Is a painting painted by a robot really art? On the other hand, is that question even of concern when immersed in the beauty and enjoyment of the creative fusioneering process?

Paul Kirby



I know little about robots. What’s it need to do?

Let’s develop a list . .

  • make elegant brushstrokes

  • use various sizes of round and flat brushes

  • change paint colors

  • wash the brush between colors, as needed

  • manage and store dozens of paint colors

  • seal each paint from drying out

  • handle large canvases (e.g. 110” x 80”)

  • paint unattended, often over night,

  • sign her own signature, and

  • turn off her own power upon completion.

“That’s an impressive list to figure out and build.” “Can I do all this?”

What’s it look like? The early stages.


CAD drawing of steel structure.

Younger days during my journey.

Inspired by the Renaissance masters,
is it possible for me to build a machine
capable of creating equally elegant brushstrokes?

View Dulcinea in all her elegance!


Would you say there is beauty in that stroke?
In that moment?
In that work of art?
And hence in the machine itself?


Building the robot: Five short videos.


A GUIDING PRINCIPLE EMERGES, THE BRUSHSTROKE After studying with renowned artist, David Leffel, I am exposed to the power of the brush stroke and am determined to create a robot capable of handling the brush with elegance and precision.


AUTOMATING THE PAINTING ROBOT’S WRIST Design and construction of the robot began by solving the mechanisms of the human wrist. Creating a flexible and capable way to hold the brush was key to any further success.

AUTOMATING X, Y and Z Moving the brush assembly up, down, in, out and side-to-side was addressed as the next part of construction of the robot

DULCINEA'S CONTROL COMPUTER and SIX FEET TALL OF ELECTRONICS Housed in a cabinet next to the robot, it's control computer is created and later expanded to allow for additional duties like brush washing and storing of paints.

WHO WASHES THE BRUSH, AND THEN LOADS NEW PAINT? After an early painting or two, I decided I needed a way that the robot could load its own paint and wash its brushes, thus becoming truly self-sufficient.