Possibly the Rarest Art Form – Forensic Art

Possibly the Rarest Art Form – ForensicForensic artists play large roles on police procedural television shows like Law & Order and CSI. However, in real life forensic art may be the rarest art form.

It is rare for law enforcement units to have forensic sketch artists on staff. In fact, New York City has only three full-time forensic artists and the Los Angeles Police Department has two. Out of the entire FBI, only 11 agents are known as “visual information specialists.” Even in large cities like San Diego and crime ridden Washington D.C., no full-time forensic sketch artists are employed.

In many precincts, software programs are used to help police officers “sketch” victim-led descriptions of perpetrators. Unfortunately, at this time, such software lacks the capability to produce accurate imaging. They only make pre-loaded facial features available for an officer to piece together an image based on a victim’s direction. For instance, by clicking on a predetermined eye color and shape, it is added to a larger composite.

The Advent of Digital Forensic Art

Possibly the Rarest Art Form – Forensic 2Even though we live in the age of digital art, forensic software leaves something to be desired. Still, forensic artists are underemployed. Throughout the United States there are less than 100 full-time police designated sketch artists. The high costs of training and annual salaries seem to be the reason why this art form is becoming increasingly rare.

However, the artists who sketch robbers and vandals aren’t convinced that software will be an adequate replacement. Carrie Stuart Parks is a forensic sketch artist from Idaho. She claims that “[People have] been calling this a dying art for years… It may be changing, but with what we do, you don’t need to worry about technology and having computers and programs that go outdated within a year.”

Still, the bigger problem is lack of accuracy in software programs. When a new born baby was taken from a hospital in Texas, a digital composite of the thief was put on display in public. The only problem was that the woman, who was clearly black in the surveillance video, appeared white in the image. Fans of software programs like SketchCop tout how surveillance cameras should be enough, but surveillance cameras are notorious for capturing the big picture and leaving out critical details.

The battle between forensic software and forensic sketch artists might wage for years to come but forensic art will always play an important role in crime and rescue. As for the art behind the lifesaving technique, it might become obsolete. At the very least it will remain possibly the rarest art form.

Read more Segmation blog posts about sketch artists:

The Creative, Artistic and Inventive Mind of Leonardo da Vinci

Tips for Improving your Landscape Drawing Skills

Art Often Begins With a Pencil (www.segmation.com)

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Why Is Your Favorite Color Your Favorite Color?

Psychology of Color - Segmation Digital Art GameYou probably have a favorite color, but chances are you rarely stop to think about why you are drawn to this particular hue.

For years, psychologists have been claiming that people are drawn to choice shades for particular reasons. This means that, whether you know it or not, there is good reason why your favorite color is your favorite color.

What is Your Favorite Color?

It is likely that your preference stems from personal tastes and the culture that surrounds you. After all, we develop color affinities at young ages. For instance, to make conversation with a child, it is common to ask, “What is your favorite color?” Therefore, it makes sense to think that these hues have an influence on our personalities as we age too. According to some psychologists and color experts, our favorite colors reflect parts of our personalities, but how?

One artist who correlates colors with personality traits is Oliver Munday. His color maps recently made their way into a highly anticipated book on color, ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color (Bloomsbury 2013).

Color Maps of Your Favorite Colors

The color maps explore long held truths about colors as well as historical events and phenomenon related to specific colors. Like, did you know the yellow pencil can be traced back to Ch’ing dynasty in China? At the time, yellow was the “exclusive imperial color for the country” (Huffingtonpost.com).

Take a look at Munday’s color map of black. “Miserable Ecstasy” and “The Vast and The Minute” it says in bold. Nobody needs to ask why these sayings are associated with the shade because they make perfect sense. As the color map enfolds them into historical events and phenomenon, like “The curious science of ink” and “Glossy vs. matte blacks,” readers begin to learn facts about their favorite color and become enlightened as to why they prefer certain shades.

Emotional Connections to Color

To some, it is fascinating to learn that the reason our favorite colors are our favorite colors are rooted in history. However, most of us understand that there are emotional reasons why we connect with certain shades. Empower-Yourself-With-Color-Psychology.com lays out what your favorite color says about you on an emotional level. Click on the link to find out what your favorite hue reveals.

If you’ve never stopped to think about why your favorite color is your favorite color, take time to explore this thought today. Use the resources and links provided in this post to identify the historical significance and emotional ties you have to your choice hue.

We live in a colorful world. Learning about your favorite color may enlighten you.

Read more Segmation blog posts about color psychology:

The Psychology of Color

Colors Change What is Beautiful

Art Therapy Treats more than the Heart

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The Best Summer Sunsets, Nightly Shows of Color

The Best Summer Sunsets, Nightly Shows of ColorSummer is here, but it never seems to last for long. In fact, if you blink you might miss it.

What do you appreciate most about summer? Do you like the hot sun? Water activities? Outdoor outings with friends and family?

For some, the most magical part of summer is the setting sun. Summer sunsets are captivating. They seem to cast shades of radiant orange, purple and pink that aren’t visible in other seasons.

If you enjoy a good summer sunset, you are in good company. People travel all over the world chasing these nightly color shows.

According to National Geographic, there are 10 places you should travel to experience the most colorful sunsets.

10 – Australia

If you visit the “Land Down Under” be sure to stop by Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock. The massive sandstone geography is said to turn radiant red as the sun falls behind the rock.

9 – Tahiti

Tahiti is made up of 118 islands, and you can probably see majestic sunsets from each one. However, the island with the best view of the sun meeting the horizon is Bora Bora. Have you been?

8 – Taiwan

Tropical plants and birds are known to habitat the Kenting National Park, but not many tourists visit this scenic location. Break away from the crowd. Stop by and take in the radiant nightfall.

7 – South Africa

Clifton beaches are home to some of Cape Town’s wealthiest residents. Even though they may have been drawn to the beautiful beaches and crystal clear water, the sunset is said to cast a “million dollar view.”

6 – Greece

At the northern most spot of Santorini is a village known for its Oia Castel. Go there to watch the sunset if you ever find yourself in Greece. Some call it breathtaking.

5 – Chile

Chili peppers are often red but Torres del Paine National Park in Chile glows pink at dusk. With granite mountaintops and lakes galore, there are many rosy sunset views.

4 – Florida

Key West is proud to be the southernmost point in the continental United States. But this title doesn’t hold a candle to the show that comes when the sun dives into the ocean at sunset.

3 – New York

Thanks to great architecture and a gift from France, New York Harbor is a beautiful place to watch the sunset. When the sun casts its beams off skyscrapers and falls behind Lady Liberty, an array of colors accompanies it setting.

2 – Utah

Utah is known for its Great Salt Lake, but residents might as well know the Great Salt Lake for its sunsets. At Antelope Island State Park the setting might as well be called, “picture perfect.”

1 – Hawaii

It’s hard to find a bad view in Hawaii. The tropical weather, crisp ocean air, soft sunlight and eclectic natives are captivating. But no sight can hold one’s attention like a Hawaiian sunset. Aloha ‘Oe.

Have you experienced any of these 10 sunsets? When was the last time you saw an immaculate sunset? Did you take a picture? If so, share it with us on our Facebook page or send it our way with a Tweet. We’d love to see what you consider to be the best sunset.

The Best Summer Sunsets, Nightly Shows of Color 2

Read more Segmation blog posts about nature and art:

Colors of Cancun

Communicating with Color in the Animal Kingdom

Preserving the Art of Earth: Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty”

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Behind the Scenes with Segmation: Meet Digital Artist Ana Villanueva

Most of you know that Segmation is the Art of Pieceful Imaging, but very few of you get to experience the magic that goes on behind the scenes.

For this reason, we are eager to answer a burning question some of you have asked:

Where do we get the artwork that YOU bring to life?

Digital Artist Ana Villanueva creates some of Segmation’s pattern sets. Her most recent creation included our Independence Girls.

Segmation - Ana Villanueva 5 Segmation - Ana Villanueva 3 Segmation - Ana Villanueva 2 Segmation - Ana Villanueva 1

                            “One of the best things in life is to love what you do, so you can get better at it.”
~Ana Villanueva~

Ana Villanueva is a digital artist from Valencia, Spain. Since she was a child she was always drawing and creating characters. She has been able to make a living of her talent and provide illustration and animation services all around the world. A lot of her inspiration comes from comics, funny cartoons and pop culture. Ana really enjoys making people smile with her art and to illustrate beautiful and colorful characters.

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Ana’s artwork can be printed on t-shirts, prints, phone cases, mugs, stickers and other goodies. AnishaCreations is available now on Society6 and Redbubble.

“If you really want to catch your dreams you will have to chase them.”
~Ana Villanueva~

She majored in Fine Arts and focused on computer animation and illustration. At a very young age her talent in drawing and creating characters was easily noticed. Years later she turned her natural talent into a career.

Other Segmation Sets by Ana

Have some Ghoulish Fun!

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Santa’s Girls

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Segmation - Ana Villanueva e

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“Whatever you decide to do in life makes sure it makes you happy!”
~Ana Villanueva~

In addition to filling Segmation with stellar pattern sets, Ana provides illustrations, animation and creative services all across the globe. She pulls a lot of her inspiration from comics, cartoons and pop culture. The digital artist enjoys making people smile with her art and to illustrate beautiful, colorful and fun characters.

Demo Reel: Anisha Creations from Ana Villanueva on Vimeo.

“Life is better when you are laughing.”
~Ana Villanueva~

We hope you enjoyed meeting Ana, digital artist for Segmation. Follow Segmation on Facebook and Twitter to see what pattern set Ana will create next.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art

Tips for Improving your Landscape Drawing Skills

Extracting Art from Science

The Creative, Artistic and Inventive Mind of Leonardo da Vinci 

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An Art Project For Human Kind

An Art Project For Human KindArt mimics its creator.

The art project Humanae has a strong identity and global reach, just like its creator. The woman behind the art has a colorful lineage and resilient sense of self.

Angelica Dass is a photographer who set out on a mission to expose the myriad of identities, cultures and skin tones that exist throughout the world. The Humanae project involves her taking a portrait of an individual and extracting an “11 by 11 pixel sample” of the person’s face. She matches the exact shade to Pantone’s elaborate color system. Then, she edits the picture so that this shade becomes the portrait’s backdrop.

When Dass aligns the pictures, she shines a light on what people often forget: no two people are exactly alike. With over 2,000 photographs, Humanae is revealing that two people might share a cultural heritage but are different in many other ways.

Nobody knows this better than the creator, herself. Angelica Dass is number 7522 C on the Pantone color scale. She is Brazilian by blood but her biography sheds light on the texture that weaves this artist together. “[Dass is] the granddaughter of ‘black’ and ‘native’ Brazilians,” an article in the Latin Post reads, “and the daughter of a ‘black’ father raised by ‘white’ adoptive parents.”

It is easy to imagine how such a checkered past raised a few questions in the mind of a young Dass. Her questions propelled her to seek answers in art. Through the Humanae Project, she is “recording and cataloging all possible human skin tones.”

What started as a final project for her Masters degree in Art of Photography has now turned into a global adventure. She is eager to photograph as many people as possible. But this is not necessarily of her personal volition; the project has taken on a mission of its own.

An Art Project For Human Kind 2“Humanae has influenced areas, materials, attitudes, knowledge, human meaning, expression, and communication outside of my control,” she tells Latin Post. The purpose of the project has pursued a greater calling than Dass ever intended. The growing collection of 2,000 photographs represents a sense of equality.

The people who are photograph come from all walks of life. Not only are they from different parts of the world, they are of different socioeconomic circumstances and education levels. They speak different languages and have contrasting social norms, too. But these differences are not what appear on camera. The differences viewers see go far deeper, exposing the individual.

With individuality front and center, humanity seems to exist only because of differences. Or, as the creator of Humanae would say, her project is as “global as humanity.”

Read more Segmation blog posts about creative photography:

Food Never Looked So Good

When Ink Art and Underwater Photography Collide

Photography: Black and White or in Living Colors

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A First Rank Landscape Painter, Thomas Doughty

Shortly after America declared its independence from Great Britain, an artist was born in Philadelphia. Thomas Doughty (1793 – 1856)  would come to change the face of art in America and throughout the world by mastering and popularizing landscape painting.

Ruins in a Landscape

Ruins in a Landscape

Doughty’s career flourished during his time in Philadelphia. What started with an apprenticeship as a leather currier turned into a career as a painter, seemingly overnight. There are only a few records of how Doughty developed his skill, but it is clear that he showed natural artistic talent at a young age. In fact, by 1816, he had an exhibit with his landscape artwork at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1820 he declared “painter” as his full-time career.

What Thomas Doughty did not know was that his art would change American art forever. At this time, Americans were beginning to show more interest in landscape painting than portrait art. Doughty was known as a highly skilled landscapist. His art often reflected his perception of gentle rivers and quite mountains.

View of the Fairmount Waterworks

View of the Fairmount Waterworks

Some of his work was copied from European landscapes he saw in collections by Robert Gilmor, Jr. Copying the landscape work of other artists was how Doughty taught himself to paint different types of landscapes, which he would set behind familiar scenes found in blossoming American towns. Often times, the artist would travel to take sketch notes that would allow him to breathe realism into his whimsical work.

Thomas Doughty was often able to sell his artwork and make a living as an artist for much of his life. In 1830 he went onto edit a magazine titled, “The Cabinet of Natural History and American Rural Sports.” Doughty would create hand-colored lithographs of animals for this monthly review. But after only two years of production, Doughty stopped publishing the magazine and moved to Boston.

The time Thomas Doughty spent in Boston was lucrative. He sold many paintings, exhibited often, and taught landscape painting to young artists. Also, Doughty was able to expand his style, which took on more of a romantic flare. In the swell of his success, the landscapist received a rave review from the first American art historian. William Dunlap referred to Doughty as, “The first rank as a landscape painter.”

Still, what many saw as his greatest accomplishment was yet to come. Doughty would go onto become one of the three leading figures of the Hudson River school. In addition to Asher Durand, Thomas Cole, and other American landscape painters who worked between 1825 and 1870, Doughty made up a school of art that prized 19th century themes such as discovery, exploration, and settlement. Most of the artists drew inspiration from natural scenes found in the Hudson River valley and other parts of New England. The Hudson River school was the first native paint school in the United States. This gave it a high sense of nationalism, which shown in the artists’ beautiful portrayals of America.

While part of this association, Doughty’s art style continued to evolve. Then, in 1845 and 1847 he visited England, Ireland and France. Even though he might have only passively studied art there, his style became more serene and thoughtful after this tour. These traits would continue to mark his style throughout his later years.

Thomas Doughty would return to the United States and settle in New York. As he grew older, he painted less. By the time he passed away in 1856, it is said that he and his family were living in poverty.

Regardless of the penniless inheritance he left his family, the life and work of Thomas Doughty is rich, and continues to be pass down from generation to generation. The artist changed American art work forever because of his talent as a first rank landscape painter.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Thomas Doughty’s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=DOU. Also, Segmation is proud to offer 26 digital Thomas Doughtypatterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

Enjoy the 26 Thomas Doughty Landscape patterns. Segmation has for you and continue to learn and celebrate the life of a great artist.

 

Scituate Beach Massachusetts

Scituate Beach Massachusetts

Sources:

National Gallery of Art: Thomas Doughty

Hudson River School

Read more Segmation blog posts about other great artists:

The Reluctant Educator and Revered Artist, Emil Carlsen”

Thomas Moran – American Landscape Painter

William Merritt Chase – American Impressionist Painter

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American Flag Trivia – Happy Fourth of July!

 
Test Your Knowledge of America’s FlagIn the United States, the Fourth of July holiday is upon us. This holiday is special in many ways. On a surface level, it marks a day without work; a time reserved for family and friends to come together and partake in traditions like parades, barbeques and fireworks displays.

Beyond the celebration lies the true reason why people gather. The Fourth of July is a time to remember the sacrifices that were made to ensure America’s independence and honor the men and women who keep the country free.  To symbolize this reality, the vast majority of Americans fly the American flag for all to see. But what exactly does the American flag mean?

The Fourth of July is a holiday most people understand, but when it comes to the American flag, a larger number of people misinterpret its meaning.

How much do you know about the American flag? Test your knowledge with these trivia questions.

1. How many colors are on the American flag?

a. 2        b. 3        c. 4         d. trick question

2. How many stripes are on the American flag?

a. 13      b. 26      d. 50      d. trick question

3. The colors of the American flag were originally taken from England’s flag, the Union Jack.

a. True                b. False                c. trick question

4. In what year was a committee formed to develop the country’s Great Seal?

a. 1782                 b. 1777                 c. 1776                 d. trick question

5. In what year was the Great Seal adopted?

a. 1782                 b. 1777                 c. 1776                 d. trick question

6. What national figurehead claimed the color red in the American flag signified courage?

a. Charles Thomson         b. Ronald Reagan             c. Mike Buss        d. trick question

7. The flag can be flown in any kind of weather.

a. True                 b. False                c. trick question

8. Wearing a t-shirt with the American flag printed on it is okay.

a. True                 b. False                c. trick question

Answer Key:

1. c | 2. a | 3. a | 4. c | 5. a | 6. b |7. a (if the flag is designed for stormy weather) | 8. b (“The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.”)

How did you fair in Segmation’s American flag trivia?

Learn more about America’s flag, the Fourth of July, and good ol’ fashion patriotism.

Also, take time to enjoy fun activities like Segmation’s digital paint-by-number Fourth of July pattern set: http://www.segmation.com/products_online_choosepattern.asp?order=alph&cat=fju.

And here are some additional red, white and blue craft ideas: http://segmation.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/color-the-fourth-of-july-with-red-white-and-blue-crafts/.

 Happy Fourth of July from Segmation!

Fourth of July BBQ Mr. Firecracker Watching Fireworks Statue of Liberty Fireworks Striped Stars Patriotic Teddy Bear Fireworks

 

Read more Segmation blog posts about the Fourth of July:

Happy President’s Day!

United States Presidents Were Skilled Musicians

Do you have a Memorial Day Quote?

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