Pixel tree fractal

by Matthew James Taylor on 1 February 2011

Pixel tree fractal

This illustration came from an idea to draw a picture in layers of increasing detail like a fractal - I've been quite obsessed with fractals and recursive behavior lately...

I starting with a very small image (16 x 16 pixels), and drew the tree trunk with a one-pixel brush. I then doubled the size of the image in Photoshop with resampling set to 'nearest neighbor' so the colours stayed sharp. Using the same one-pixel brush (now only a quarter of the size) I drew the next set of branches in a different colour. I repeated the 'doubling then drawing' process five times, until I reached the tiny leaves. This last layer took a long time because there were so many leaves on the tree!

Finally I drew the owl in the same colours and pixel dimensions as the tree and sat him on one of the branches. Here's the final result:

Hiding in pixels - Threadless tee-shirt design

If you like the design why not vote for my tee-shirt submission on Threadless.com. If enough people like it they may even print it!

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Matthew James Taylor