The Robot Sketches

The Robot Sketches

My name is Vladimir Tsimberg. I am the founder of Robohood Inc. We use robots to paint traditional works of art on any surface with brushstrokes. I thought about how we can make the painting process easier and more comfortable for everyone to paint; and this is how the company was born. We have several painting styles built into our software which allows for a variety of abstract or impressionist paintings to be produced from a digital render.

The sketch style is one of my favorite ways to interact with our Robotic artist. The sketch style is actually the first style we produced at Robohood Inc. We started with lines and graphics and moved through an artist's path to more complex compositions. Nevertheless, the sketch style is still our favorite!

This is the advice Engr gave to the twenty-year-old Edgar Degas, when they talked about drawing:

“Draw lines, young man, and still more lines, both from life and from memory, and you will become a good artist."

The sketch style, a primitive form of art seen in prehistoric cave painting which marks the beginning of visual artistic expression, allows us to quickly and easily manifest our creative ideas. This style is an ideal, versatile tool for any artist. With Robohood, it can sketch any image outline in either paint or with marker.

For budding artists, it can give them a helping hand! Professionals don’t start large-scale works without sketches and creating preliminarily work and/or an entire composition takes a lot of time. The sketch style can assist artists to develop their work more quickly.

Lines are the most important component of a sketch. It serves as a marker or indicator of space, shape, and proportion. Unlike full-colored paintings, sketches do not have to be thoroughly worked out. A sketch, or outline, can be careless; however, it can fully convey the idea or essence! This can be returned to, or seen as a base, when working on a larger project.

Leonardo da Vinci, Edgar Degas, Eugène Delacroix, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec made sketches. Rubens painted "Return of the Holy Family from Egypt" from his sketch. Watteau always made figurative sketches of heroes which were drawn from different angles. Afterward, Watteau would only select one for his the final composition.

“Decorative motifs. Sketch sheet”.

By Watteau

On the other hand, Rembrandt carried a pen and ink with him to make sketches: portraits, landscapes, animal drawings, nude figures, and facial expressions. By the age of 50, Rembrandt had amassed 20 sketchbooks.

“Sketch of a Woman Holding a Child»

By Rembrandt

Renaissance artists increasingly began to paint from life, rather than from memory which was customary in the past. Sketching, or drawing, illustration, outlining, circling - whatever you prefer to call it - gave Renaissance artists a sense of freedom and the opportunity to experiment. They tried new artistic techniques and themes, and broke the rules of academic painting.

Capturing the moment (or the here and now) with drawings/sketches helped artists portray emotions, figures, and objects – in the same way we perceive a photograph today. Eventually, these sketches would be transferred onto a large canvas to become a full-fledged painting. Great artists used the grid method, which is still taught in art schools today.

With this method, a sketch is divided into cells, then transferred to a large format using a grid. This technique was also used in Ancient Egypt to draw people and objects (not as they were seen, but according to established canons that were strictly controlled by the authorities). This method of maintaining proportions spread throughout the world, and the grid system has been used by many artists throughout ages.

Michelangelo used a grid to paint the Sistine Chapel. Albrecht Dürer invented a whole system of grid transfer using a drawing machine, which he wrote about in his "Guide to the Measurement of Planes and Volumes with a Circle and Ruler."

"An artist painting a reclining woman." 

By Albrecht Dürer. Woodcut.

In the early Renaissance, artists also tried to make sketching easier and more sufficent. There is a study, "Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters" by artist David Hockney and physicist Charles M. Falco. It revealed that Da Vinci used a camera obscura for sketching which was described in detail in his Treatise on Painting. Similar devices were used by Engr, Giovanni Bellini, Francesco Parmigianino, Caravaggio, and Jan van Eyck.

Today, technology makes work easier to accomplish: many artists use projectors to project images onto walls or large canvases. Some artists even use a printer or plotter to apply a template.

During the Baroque era, many painters hired quadraturisti (specialist quadratura designers) to help them. These were graphic artists who had mastered the use of linear perspective and had exceptional visual-spatial skills. Their skill allowed them to create the illusion of a three-dimensional image while it remained two-dimensional. Perspective was used to create the illusion of depth in a painting, either in the distance or to the side of the viewer. This technique made ceilings appear higher and objects float on them. 

Andrea Pozzo's work.

Not surprisingly, such master graphic artists were needed to create more realistic images. Agostino Tassi was one of the leading quadraturisti in Rome. He worked on the perspective for Guercino's famous Aurora fresco. The fresco painter Giambattista Tiepolo sometimes worked with the quadratura designer Gerolamo Mengozzi Colonna. They created real magic!

In Russia, a couple of artists were always working at the theater: a sketch artist or illustrator and painter. The first artist would sketch the scenery, the second artist would paint it. For example, such a team was formed by Andreas Roller and his graphic artists Simon and Angelo Quaglio.


Set sketches for the ballet "Faust”

This practice of dividing theater artists into sketch artists and painters continued, until the end of the 19th century.

The hardest thing to do is exactly this kind of calibrated graphic. People who paint know what I'm talking about. In terms of energy, composition becomes a difficult task for most artists. That's why, most of the time, we refuse to paint a picture or give up halfway.

On the other hand, some artists have chosen to sketch as their signature style. It is capable of conveying thoughts captured "on the fly" without distortion or deception. This is reflected in the works of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.

“Studies for Beethoven Frieze” By Gustav Klimt

"Max Oppenheimer (Artist)" By Egon Schiele

Nowadays, it is very easy to imagine oneself as Schiele, with the help of a coloring book. Like something from our childhood that we can always go back to! However, as we grow older, why not make the scenes or images and the materials we use more advanced.

We can use watercolor while quickly moving the paint brush within previous painted contour lines, or paint thoughtfully in oil. We can also combine these two methods by using bold strokes of oil over watercolor.

A coloring book is a very powerful and accessible tool which has the potential to cross the energetic threshold of entering a painting. It helps to open a dialog with the artist within us; the artist is within everyone. By recognizing and exercising the need to create, we are also filled with a better sense of self or self-concept.

Sketching with a robot allows for anyone to paint absolutely any composition! It can be difficult at times to transfer an image exactly as you see it. In this new era of art, new tools have arrived. Earlier artists hid the fact that they used a camera obscura! Now, new robotic technologies attract attention and cause delight and admiration.

Our robot can build up the graphics and/or perspective, and you just relax and watch the process, then add the finishing touches later. Thus, the process of painting is facilitated without killing one's own creative expression; instead, it is preserving the strength and passion for it.

You can create multiple prototypes of a painting as sketches - like your own coloring book, or experiment with different styles and approaches to painting using the sketch as a starting point. You can decorate walls by drawing sketch lines with a robot, and then get down to coloring and creating a unique masterpiece. This will help you grow as an artist by providing you with a quick start and a new source of inspiration and opportunity! Color filling is a whole world on its own, and it is completely subject to inspiration and mood.

Coloring is still one of the sweetest ways to creatively express ourselves, since childhood. Why fight it? Just follow it.

Watching a robot create a visual is an amazing experience! For me, sketching with a robot is so much fun and faster than creating a composition by hand. I can create many sketches on canvas that will later become actual finished paintings. Magic is being created right before my eyes, and I am fully involved in this highest form of collaboration, and you can experience this too!

We at Robohood Inc. provide the foundation for creativity and self-expression for you to try, create, and make art today.

Everyone can paint now!

Can a robot paint like a human? Read the article (LinkedIn link

Works Cited

Axford, Katrina. “The Grid System.” katrina axford blog, 2020, Accessed 19 September 2023.

Wikipedia. “Hockney–Falco thesis.” Wikipedia, 2007, Accessed 19 September 2023.


"Portrait of a Young Girl" 

By Vincent van Gogh

"Composition with a skull. Sketch of a painting" 

By Pablo Picasso

Sketch by the robot "Robohood"
Sketch finalized by the artist, Vladimir Tsimberg 

Final version of the work

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