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Fractal Art (Exploring Fractals & Art Based On Fractals)

Fractals are so fascinating to me, they're so simple yet so complicated at the same time. It's like they sit somewhere in between order and chaos which is the most interesting place to be. Their organic and repetitive shapes lend themselves well for use in art:

"Curly hair" Fractal illustration

Curly hair fractal
Matthew James Taylor
14 May 2012

I created this image of curly hair using an online Recursive Drawing tool that's so fun to play with.

Read my article on recursive drawing for more information.

"Pixel tree fractal" Photoshop illustration

Fractal tree
Matthew James Taylor
Adobe Photoshop
2 Feb 2011

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 in Photoshop 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 with resampling set to 'nearest neighbor' so the colors 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 color.

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.

See more of my tree drawings.

"Imagination on a hill" Dreamy landscape

Imagination on a hill
Matthew James Taylor
Graphite pencil, watercolor, computer-generated fractal
Adobe Photoshop
20 Jun 2004

When I was young I would lie in the long grass on a sunny day and stare up at the clouds and think about how weird and beautiful the world was. This artwork is my attempt to capture those sunny moments from my childhood.

I started this artwork with a pencil sketch, then I colored it with watercolor. The swirling clouds in the sky are part of a fractal that I added later with Photoshop.

Fractals are amazing and so beautiful, and because they are infinitely complicated, they relate to the world quite well.

"Wing rot" Fractal image

Wing rot fractal
Matthew James Taylor
Fractal eXtreme
20 Oct 2002

Rotting angels' wings all arranged in symmetry.

This is one of my favourite fractals! I'm not sure if it's the colors or the design but somehow it looks different to most fractals. It has a depth to it.

Other Fractal Images

Brush strokes
"Brush strokes"
Bubble trouble
"Bubble trouble"
Flower chain
"Flower chain"
Neon smoke
"Neon smoke"
Royal gold
"Royal gold"

You can buy my fractal art NFTs on OpenSea.

Matthew James Taylor

I've been creating art all my life and running this website since 1997! During this time I've found many amazing tools and services that I cannot live without.”
— Matthew James Taylor

I highly Recommend:


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See more of my recommended design tools.

A fractal tree made by recursive drawing

Create Fractals With This Amazing Recursive Drawing Tool

Fractal gravity

Fractal Gravity: The Solution Must Also Explain Itself

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