Alea Jacta Est Color is a P5 sketch is a program to make interactive digital drawings. The concept behind it has to do with the ideas of chance, probability and play. This drawing is also related to the Dada, Minimalism and Fluxus movements and the modern Avant Garde art movements in general. The idea of following intructions and doing an artwork that does not require a special ability to create, different than the will to do it, and the decisions to invest you time on doing it. It is the first digital version of a series of drawings I did some time time ago, called ALEA JACTA EST. To see the project please visit or see the images at the end of this post.

Why did I do a digital version?

By doing a digital version the creative possibilities expand, and also the possibility for anyone to create a drawing is easier for the common user, than using materials such as papers, canvas, wood among other traditional and both traditional means of expression. But more important than that, It also allows the data gathering more effective, precise and easy for the user.  Another advantage is the possibility to share the final result as a digital image, and also as a printable file, not even mentioning the infinite possibilities that a digital file can offer. The idea is to follow the guidelines provided in the screen:

“Roll the die and enter the color! To complete the drawing roll it 100 times… have fun!”

The user finds a six sided color die dice next to the computer. The computer has the same colors as the dice on 6 keys. When the user or users decide to finish the drawing they can export the resulting image by pressing another key that will print it to a jpg file and will reset the program to start the next drawing. At the bottom of the browser’s windows, the user can also see the amount of times each color has been rolled. The user could also cheat and write the colors he decide to…

The process

The process was thinking about how to set the amount of squares and rolls of the dice. An other decision was about choosing the colors. The idea was trying to get some bright colors that would create strong contrasts, vibrations and color interaction in resulting image. Colors that could also be tracked by a camera that would detect the results every time the die was rolled. The idea was to have a grid that would have enough quantity of squares to make it an interesting image, and also to gather some information about the die. The next step was thinking about how to write the code to make the program draw each square of the grid. First I created different variables such as the colors to be written in the canvas and the keys to be pressed. One for counting the results of each color. A variable to set the end of the drawing. I used the push function and used the key pressed function to activate the keyboard as an input to select the color to be printed in the canvas. An array was created for the colors. Also a HTML element to write the instructions for making the drawing and communicating the number of times each color resulted from rolling the die.

Things to be improved for the next versions

Something that would be good to have is a camera detecting the result of the die and the program writing it to the canvas. The possibility for the user to change the times to roll the dice to complete the drawing and the size of the squares and the canvas. Assigning a sound for each color, so the program would play a sound each time the die is rolled. Also the possibility to play the sequence both, as an animation and also as a sounds score at the end of the drawing process. The possibility for the program to keep record , to store the resulting images, and also the possibility to compare the results from the different drawings that are made. The possibility to also create a drawing with the traditional six side dots, similar to the previous paper version I did before.

the link for the p5 sketch code:


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