Methods and Media

  • George K. Francis


This chapter is about a method I developed to draw the pictures in this book. It is, of course, an amalgam of many techniques which I learned from other illustrators. My earliest efforts at drawing surfaces were inspired by catastrophe theory. Many of the models proposed by Thom and Zeeman were purely descriptive: a figure of speech based on the geometry of a polynomial. The technical economy and operational simplicity of such models are very appealing. Accordingly, I shall present my drawing method in terms of such a geometrical metaphor. If you are familiar with the story of the calculus, as told by Carl Boyer [1949] for example, you will also recognize my debt to the schoolmen Suiseth and Oresme. In their theory of forms, a precursor of Cartesian geometry, they graphed an inexact intensity on the latitude (=ordinate) against the longitude (=abscissa) measuring some duration or physical extension.


Line Drawing Line Pattern Catastrophe Theory Construction Line Pinch Point 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • George K. Francis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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