There are people who have heard of this and some who haven’t (in the art world). It was made more popular by Maggie Toole in 1992, for which is a technique she used for pencil crayons. It is a way of making a certain mark which can be said to be related to pointillism. In pointillism, you simply use dots. Thousands upon thousands of dots, using in a way to make tone and texture. One famous artist who uses a form of this is chuck close, who used the techniques in his photorealistic works. Circulism relates in the way that you use tiny circles which are then interwoven and gradually layered up to create not only tone very accurately but varying textures. It said to be perfect for realistic skin textures. This is a technique which I have been using for a while now and have found to be very reliable. The best thing I feel I pulled out of it was that it helped me learn about patience. To not hurry your work. If you hurry and rush this technique it will backfire enormously, your work will look scruffy and very amateur. Taking your time with your work is critical. Ok so Rembrandt had amazing work which were said to be completed in a few minutes, maybe even seconds! But that sounds all good and great, however he first learned slowly, spending many, many years practicing his craft until he could do it this quickly. ‘Learn diligence before speedy execution’. (Leonardo Da Vinci).
Works you may wish to see which may blow you away which have been done using the Circulism technique are of Armin Mersmann’s. His work is staggering. Not a bit like academical work, it has a flavour all of its own. Should you look carefully at his work you will see it is not photorealistic but almost real. His work astounds me and is a truly inspirational man. And should you wish to see what patience amounts to, he is a walking example. Some of his works can take a year or so, spending hundreds and hundreds of hours on one piece.
Some people use this technique rigidly, and do the absolute entire piece with it, however, words from the master himself –
‘Drawing in circular strokes should just be one of many patterns and mark making techniques that you as the artist should master. Personally I love the affect it gives but I not to let it dominate or take over a drawing but use it when needed.
Links (Circulism Related):