Pareidolia (/pærˈdliə/ parr-i-doh-lee-ə) is a psychological phenomenon involving a stimulus (an image or a sound) wherein the mind perceives a familiar pattern of something where none exists.

Common examples are perceived images of animals, faces, or objects in cloud formations, the man in the moon, the moon rabbit, and hidden messages within recorded music played in reverse or at higher- or lower-than-normal speeds.

In his notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci wrote of pareidolia as a device for painters, writing, “if you look at any walls spotted with various stains or with a mixture of different kinds of stones, if you are about to invent some scene you will be able to see in it a resemblance to various different landscapes adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys, and various groups of hills. You will also be able to see divers combats and figures in quick movement, and strange expressions of faces, and outlandish costumes, and an infinite number of things which you can then reduce into separate and well conceived forms.”

In the example below the artist used the pixelated shapes to inspire the character drawings seen here.  example

Project Goal:
Use the Sprite Generator or any of the images above to inspire your own full color character design using watercolor or markers.