24″ x 42″    3500 brushstrokes     2003

Genetic Programming, Complex Adaptive System,

Rule-based Expert System and Fuzzy Logic

Dulcinea’s first painting after she became completely automated represents a milestone in the evolution of art and robotics. She became a full collaborator, not just a fancy printer.


Dulcinea painted unattended – she started this painting one day in July 2003, continued painting during the night and finished in the early morning hours of the second day. There were 3,500 brush strokes in the painting. The color changes and brush washings were entirely automated.


Paul Kirby also innovated in the painting’s design, which he created using genetic programming, a subset of evolutionary computing and artificial life. In genetic programming, the solution source-code program actually evolves through a series of evolutionary survival of the fittest steps. The final outcome may even provide powerful and surprising results. Initially, two colonies of ants were selectively bred and roamed around the field of the painting on the computer, creating the background patterns for the painting, including obstacles and ridges. Then, three other small colonies of ants evolved and created the brown and orange foreground, or main patterns of design. These sets of patterns were then converted into brush strokes.


Kirby generated the color palette utilizing a rule-based, expert system with some added fuzzy logic. The colors derived from three parameters given to the program: mood (happy), style (Flemish) and key (high).


Each time the expert system was run, satisfying these parameters and utilizing fuzzy logic, it created a unique color palette.


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