portrait of young girl

Over 50 years ago I was at art college and was considering specialising in portraiture. I also studied visual interpretation and the psychology of perception (essentially, what we think we see as opposed to what we actually see or, sometimes, what we want to see).

I started producing images which, to some extent, replicated the function of the human eye – those receptors that see colour. At that time it meant painstakingly drawing and painting small circles with gouache (a form of watercolour). Now I can, with a bit of patience, produce something like this, with over 10,000 individually coloured circles. This is not the result of a clever app, the colour for each circle has been selected individually and then adjusted once the overall effect has been achieved.

Your eye and mind combine to easily see it’s a girl, with henna hair, blue-grey eyes, a fringe and you may even detect freckles. In reality there is a tiny amount of information and your brain adds the details by interpretation based on experience. If you enlarge the picture you will see how little detail is actually shown.

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