On Generating Dot Paintings in the Style of Howard Arkley

Gary R. Greenfield
Proceedings of Bridges 2010: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2010)
Pages 143–150 Regular Papers


We investigate algorithms for reverse engineering certain dot paintings by Australian born artist Howard Arkley (1951-99). Arkley's biographer John Gregory discusses his dot paintings under the category “pattern and repetition.” They display a curious mix of algorithmic and random elements. We develop rules for reverse engineering some of these paintings in order to try and generate additional examples that replicate Arkley's dot painting style. Our goal is to try and better understand what compositional elements make Arkley's dot paintings so visually compelling.