Pet Portrait Art - Experimenting with the SquiggleCam App

Posted by Michelle Chandra on

Not surprisingly, once shelter in place began here in California, my creative drive suffered a bit. To get back into making generative art, I decided to make pet portraits of my new kitty, adopted in late January (fortuitous timing!) Here is Paneer at just 6 months old.

I started with a close up photo of Paneer, and converted it to line artwork using Maks Surguy's SquiggleCam app.

pet portrait drawn with axidraw squiggle art created using squiggle app

This portrait was drawn by my Axidraw pen plotter using a Copic Drawing Pen, which is a disposable fountain pen. Very nifty for getting line thickness variation, without having to deal with swapping out ink cartridges and ink nibs of a traditional fountain pen.

How Did I create this Line Drawing?

To create this line drawing, I used Maks Surguy's SquiggleCam app, which converts any photo to squiggle line art. Here are the settings I used to generate the above portrait.

squiggle app by maks surguy

I highly recommend playing with both the image brightness and contrast settings, in tandem with the squiggle line settings. 

Here is another version of the pet portrait! This time drawn with a Le Pen Marvy Uchida fine liner marker.

pet portrait drawn with axidraw pen plotter, squiggle art from photo

I had so much fun making these pet portraits, I ended up offering to make pet portrait postcards to any of my Instagram followers who felt like receiving some snail mail while sheltering in place.

pet portrait postcards drawn with an axidraw pen plotter squiggle art

Needless to say, looking at photos of adorb pups and kitties was a much needed serotonin boost! The teal portraits were drawn using a Micron PN pen in Blue.
 pet portrait art made with axidraw pen plotter and squiggle app, line art generated from photo

The above portrait of my older lady cat, Tigerlily, was drawn with a burgundy Micron pen! I also couldn't resist a little portrait of my partner and I drawn using a Staedtler pigment liner.

portrait art drawn using axidraw pen plotter vector line art generated from photo

And one more, for good measure!

portrait line art drawn with axidraw pen plotter, line art from photo using squigglecam app

If you end up using the app, let me know but also let Maks know! You can find me on Twitter and Instagram @dirtalleydesign.

All Axidraw All the Time

But what if you want to learn more?! Check out these additional blog posts:

CMYK: Process Color Experiments and my Axidraw
How to Draw Generative Art with an Axidraw Pen Plotter
Favorite Pens for Axidraw, Plus How to Make Multiple Color Plots!

michelle chandra dirt alley design


Dirt Alley Design was founded just off a dirt alley in San Francisco in December of 2016 by artist Michelle Chandra. Inspired by the beauty of street grids, Michelle invented maze maps in which she transforms street grids into mazes. In 2019, she began a new project - generative spirograph prints created with code and drawn with a pen plotter. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @dirtalleydesign where she posts new spirograph designs daily.


generative art plotter

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