Texas Sky: Math Perspective

We tend to think that the color of the sky is sky blue, but the color of the sky displays different colors through the day. Texas Sky painting includes some unusual colors for the sky.

I dissected this painting into distinctive colors and created a mathematical representation of the painting. Based on the pixel amount of color/

Today, it is very common to represent color in numbers. We categorize colors with Pantone systems and hexadecimal. These methodologies allow us to differentiate one color from the other. Hexadecimal was created so that we can easily identify and refer to a color.

The hex code and pixel count of colors on Texas Sky:

Name HEX Pixel Count
White ffffff 180,468
Ochre a37a2a 44933
Medium Gray 8e8b87 40892
Warm Gray cfc8b9 38952
Dark Gray 83827d 38952
Sky Blue 4f91c5 32536
Mint a7beaa 17198
Blue Gray 7888a1 13753
Black 181713 12803
Red d12523 8252
Orange e88527 4651
Yellow e1cd6a 3555

Pie chart showing the pixel count of colors on Texas Sky


Texas Sky by Ali Akbar. Davidow Collection



Texas Sky: Art Perspective


Like landscapes and seascapes, artists were interested in the sky as a subject of their expression. Traditionally, artists used the watercolor oil or acrylic paints to visualize skies, but today’s world some artists used drones and 360-degree cameras to capture the beauty of the sky.

I created my own skyscape by manipulating photographs of Texas sky, I took over the years. I utilized a grid of different panels to change colors different sections; These sections to represent various faces of Texas Sky.

Texas Sky in a grid by Kelly Park

“My greatest dream is the projection of light into the vast night sky, the probing of the universe as it meets the light, untouched, without obstacles—the world of space is the only one to offer man practically unlimited freedom.”—Otto Piene

Here are some skyscape paintings from various artists.

Vista del Golfo II by Julio Larraz
Untitled by Carlos Narino
ZHAOMING WUSamsara, 2015.jpg
Samsara by Zhaoming Wu
Cloud and Power Line by Maurizio Lanzillotta
Work 1 by Yumiko Kinoshita




Texas Sky: Engineering Perspective

I started this project by creating a mind map, which helped me jot down thoughts quickly and visually brainstorm ideas. Often this process inspires new research topics and the concept of the project. I thought this process is vital for engineering because before you create something, you want to understand what it is.

Mind map


Later, I created a concept map, which is more focused on the artwork, Texas Sky. This methodology helps you carefully observe the artwork longer, discover new meanings and expand your perspective.

Concept Map of Texas Sky by Ali Akbar

Texas Sky: Technology Perspective

How can I capture the vast sky?

We are living in the age of technological advancements where we capture images from the satellites in the universe and do have a better understanding of the atmosphere. But I think capturing the whole sky is quite impossible, but I thought I can mimic the unfathomable and perpetual quality of the sky by looping the animation.

I used my iPad to capture the sky. As I turned 360 degrees, I took 12 photographs in the different angles. Then, I edited photos into monotone photographs. Later, I looped the images to mimic the perceptual quality of the sky. I used some crazy colors to represent the fickle and random quality of Texas sky. Also, each gif animation has different speed, which represent the wind.






Texas Sky: Science Perspective


Meteorology, a science of atmosphere, is closely related to climate changes and weather. Texas is known for its fickle and unexpected weather.

When I first moved to Texas, I noticed that Texas sky is vast. It was because I lived in the big cities like Seoul and New York, where you are surrounded by skyscrapers. In Soul and New York, my view was hindered by skyscrapers, but in Texas, there are very few buildings go up higher than three stories. The sky is wide open for you to observe. It is interesting to observe Texas sky because of  fickle and sporadic weather. This month, different parts of Texas experienced very discrete weather. Houston got flood, Rowlett got softball-sized hail. It is Texas when it pours down one moment and later all dried up and sunny.

The sky in the painting, Texas Sky, seems like it’s ready to change at any moment. Based on the weather I experienced living Texas, I created a gif animation that mimics the precipitation radar. Different colored areas are selected; in motion, it looks like the cloud is dancing.

image2-1024x994     dancingcloud.gif


Texas Sky by Ali Akbar

Similar to LoveJack Project, we were challenged to select an artwork from Davidow Collection at UTD and interpret in STEAM perspectives. I chose an artwork called Texas Sky by Ali Akbar.

Texas Sky is a small acrylic painting located on the third floor of the Art and Technology building. At first, I walked passed by this painting without noticing because of its size, but when I noticed, I gazed at it and felt like I am looking through the atmosphere from the above. I want to capture different aspects of the sky for this project.


How can such a small work describe a big sky?

Collector Notes:

This small, intimate artwork says a great deal about the vast scale of our wonderful sky.  Artist Ali Akbar found new ways to work with paint, creating slabs of paint on another surface and then dragging it carefully onto a new canvas.  A prolific painter at the time, he returned to his native Bangladeshto continue these precious small works.


With 19 distinctive perspectives gathered from 6 individuals, we decided to create a website where anyone can contribute their ideas and opinions about certain artworks, which enables us to explore multiple perspectives on one specific artwork.

We sorted each perspective into 5 categories:

Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math = STEAM

I was responsible for the web design of this website. Here are some inspiration and wireframes.



I started by setting a grid for the design and created different pages based on the main grid. I created a logo and visual language that would dictate the whole website.



You can visit here to discover distinctive perspectives on Love Jack.


Love Jack

The main goal of the assignment is to gather many different distinctive perspectives on one artwork, Jack, also known as “Love Jack” because of the last name of the Artist, Jim Love.

My 3 perspective on Love Jack

  1. Digital 2D models (graphic designs) of “Jack” (e.g. Illustrator)
  2. Exploration of image filtering pipelines (e.g., Filter Forge, Photoshop)
  3. Digital animation of Jack in 2D or 3D

The Love Jack is a giant red sculpture situated in the courtyard of Art and Technology building was first in 1976, is iconic of the University’s larger-than-life thinking. Originally called “Jack,” the sculpture was quickly renamed the Love Jack by students who joined its original name with the name of the sculptor, Jim Love. 

My insight was that even though it is considered as one of the icons of the University of Texas at Dallas, not many people are aware of it. Also, there is a giving society named after the sculpture, The Love Jack Society. I decided to create a branding for The Love Jack Society so that more people other than students and visitors will recognize the Love Jack as an icon of UTD.

1. The Love Jack Society Branding (2D models)



2. Image Filtering

Inspired by the nature of converging angles of the Jack, I created a photo manipulation of Jack using Photoshop. Photos are taken in multiple angles and locations where the viewers will look at the Jack. Different cropped images of Jack forms another image of the Jack.

3. GIF Animation

By animating of photo manipulations, it is easier to see the transformation. Transforming images represent history and legacy that Love Jack witnessed being situated on the campus of the University of Texas at Dallas. Its location moved few times, it was once situated in front of Erik Jonsson Academic Center to Visual Arts building. Currently, it is located in the courtyard of Art and Technology building; which is very suitable since Art and Technology department is where out-of-ordinary and big-thinking happening.



Fabrication of numbers

For the second assignment, we were assigned to find “numbers in the news” to represent using 3D modeling skills. First, we started by researching news item. It was difficult to browse sea of information without knowing what we want to do or able to do. So we decided to get inspired by browsing through current issues and news and choose a topic to go deeper.  

Personally, I started by asking questions like What is relevant to me? As a student, millennial and woman what issues are important? As a student, I am concerned with economy and job markets. As a millennial, I am worried about my future like taxes, healthcare and etc. But later I thought the more appropriate question would be “what is relevant to everyone?” Climate change is a big deal for everyone since everyone is affected by one way or another. So we decided on Climate change issue and go deeper.

Ideas for possible topics

The Process

  1. Research news item on various websites
  2. Pick a topic
  3. Research #2 on specific topic
  4. Gather data for chosen topic
  5. Dig out insights
  6. Brainstorm
  7. Prototype / sketches



Sketches during the brainstorming session.

Because I did not use it in years, I had to brush-up my memories how to use SketchUp. In order to do that, I watched tutorials to re-famliarize with the program. For prototype, I used simple boxes. It was so much easier to see in 3D. Sketching on notebook, we had hard time drawing and visualizing how our projects would look like.


I also played with familar modular tool, Lego to visualize ideas. It would have been nice to have more unified colors, but my lego supply was pretty limited.

Next steps

  • Calculate data for construction
  • Start playing with 3D fabrication tools
  • Gather and buy necessary materials
  • Expect trial and error. Do many iterations
  • Document the process by taking pictures, videos and notes

I cannot wait to use 3D modeling tool for the first time! Hopefully, it won’t be too painful.