# Andrew Smith

Artist
Independent

Last year I exhibited a painting at a show accompanying the Bridges Waterloo 2017. It was a twenty-one-foot triptych, composed of nearly 300 polygons. I announced there were two ways to attribute distinct grey values to polygons. One was determined by their inner angles.

If a circle (having an inner angle of 180º) is 100% black, then the grey value of a triangle (with an inner angle of 60º) would be 33.33%. A square would be 50%. My formula for ‘Absolute’ Polygon Grey Steps (APGS) is simple: APGS=(360/n)/180(100), when n = the number of sides.

For this triptych, mixing enough paint to satisfy my ‘Absolute’ grey system would have proved prohibitively time-consuming. I was obliged to adopt an alternative, ‘Relative’, system.

The Relative Grey Step Protogon Painting Study
40 x 40 cm
2017

Each seven-foot square acrylic painting used 98 polygons. The 98th has 100 sides.

Had I used my ‘Absolute’ system, the halfway grey point would have occurred by the second polygon, and the painting would have been unnecessarily dark. (The 100 sided polygon would be 98% darkness).

My ‘Relative’ system attributed the middle grey towards the design center. I chose to paint the even-sided polygons black and the remaining ones in equal descending shades of grey. This enhanced the depth and the inherent spiral. I had to mix only 48 greys, plus black and white. I reasoned a large version in just black and white would be likely encourage vertigo.

The Absolute Grey Step Protogon Painting Study
40 x 40 cm