Automatic Drawing Summary Collage

For my last project I wanted to try to revisit some concepts and artists that we covered over the past 12 weeks. My motivation was to create a digital collage from an automatic drawing that featured images that I had saved over the semester.

We started by creating an automatic drawing on a sheet of 8.5 by 11 printer paper. For this project the size of the automatic drawing was not really important because the next step is digitizing the drawing. A sheet of printer paper fit perfectly on my scanner but any size could have been used. Additional items used were a high end custom desktop PC loaded with the open source GIMP imaging manipulation program (


Here we have the raw scanned image of the automatic drawing. The lines were burly and poorly defined. Also there were some dark areas from bends and dirt on the paper. The background would need to be white and the lines would need to be black and fully defined for this to work.

This shows a before an after section of the drawing which has been magnified 3x. Notice how clean the lines are on the right (after) image. There must be a translation from black directly to white with no fading between. If it is not clean then the images will not show around the outline correctly.


Here is the full drawing with the color threshold fixed. This was done so that only the darkest part of the black line would show and the rest of the image would be white (transparent). This is necessary so that only the desired images would show through with no distortions from poor scanner quality.


The processes involved free-form tracing the outline of a section from the scanned and corrected automatic drawing. This tracing was then pasted on the source image which had already been sized correctly. Sizing of the source image was done by using the on screen rulers and estimation. Once the correct section of the source image was selected it could put cut and pasted into the working collage where it was fit in like a puzzle piece.


This image shows the collage partially complete and right before the oil rig section get placed.


I repeated the process described above until all sections of the automatic drawing including the background were filled in. To finish the collage I used a solid circular #20 brush tool to outline all of the source images. This was done to make the images pop and to give an overall clean appearance.

It was a challenge to select just a few images from more than 200 images that I have saved over the ‘Summer of Art 100.’ I chose a photo that I took from the Art Walls at Venice Beach for the background because I thought this the most important day that encompassed the whole semester. At the top chose some photographs from some of the artists that I liked the most from the semester. My favorite that I keep coming back to is the very confused, naked, 1960’s anti-war protestor. The serious look on his face really strikes me. Clearly he has a message for everybody that he can not quite get out.

Next I included a photo from the Sistine Chapel. This is one of the most beautiful works of art ever created and it is a reminder of all of the history that we covered. In the middle it got a little abstract because there were some small sections. I included a photo of a flower, the Japanese Garden, an oil rig in Long Beach, and a photograph of a photograph of goats at MOLAA. To finish it off I used my Spirit of Detroit mosaic and a photograph taken of Detroit by my friend who goes by the tag of WARD.

This summer has been challenging, very introspective, and it truly meant a lot to me.


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