Pebbles by Zeblocks

We talk Pebble traits, what to look for in a Pebble, rarity and aesthetics as well as what the community likes and why.

Pebbles by Zeblocks

Part 1 of 2

@Ars0nic and @Cheaterflums are the generative art duo behind Zeblocks.

"Pebbles is a homage to the beauty of natural simplicity found in the most basic elements of our environment, reimagined through a digital medium." Zeblocks

We talk Pebble traits, what to look for in a Pebble, rarity and aesthetics as well as what the community likes and why. If you prefer to watch than read...then watch the Pebbles Collection overview first:

"Pebbles is a generative art collection that captures the organic diversity of stones as seen through a modernist lens. Against a backdrop that suggests the texture of woven fabric, each piece in the collection presents a playful scatter of rounded shapes and colors." Zeblocks
Pebble #268 minted by SoldmanGachs

Why Pebbles?

Pebbles are found in the natural world in many locations including riverbeds, streams, lakeshores and even glacial deposits. Where does a Pebble come from?

Photo by Engin Akyurt

We get to learn a lot about the original rock, by studying pebbles in nature. Pebbles originate from rocks or large slabs that are weathered and eroded away over time. As these former rocks are broken down into smaller shaped Pebbles, they become vulnerable to forces that transport them beyond their original creation point. A generative art algorithm creates new permutations from an original source code, perhaps giving us clues as to how nature itself was generated.

"Did you ever pick up a Pebble and skim it across the surface of a lake as a child?" MintFace.
Pebble #240 acquired by Sansebspec

Pebbles in nature can travel a long distance thanks to flows of water from the mountain tops to the beaches and lakes via meandering stream and rivers. Before I get carried away...remember that Pebbles are both an artwork and a larger metaphor for the role each of us play collecting artworks minted immutably on the blockchain.

Pebble #154 collected by Soldati

Pebble Aesthetics

There are just nine traits that have played their part in creating 1000 Pebble artworks. These traits are:

Mint Type
Color Density
Edge
Flow
Overlap
Palette
Size
Special Elements
Traced

Pebble Palette and Size Traits

Let's start with the most obvious traits of Palette and Size that determine the most visually impactful aspects of the artwork. Every Pebble is given a size and a set of colors by the algorithm that effectively paints and sizes each Pebble.

Palette and Size variations from left to right: #927 Stonelet Dusk Riverbed, #37 Rockling Serenity, #115 Rockling Desert Mirage, #690 Boulderette Coral Reef

The Palette traits lends the color to the artwork and the Size trait determines how big or small each collection of Pebbles are within the artwork.

"The collection's signature lies in its structured randomness, with certain artworks featuring a deliberate grid of circles that contrast with the free-form distribution of ellipses above. This juxtaposition of order and chaos mirrors the natural world's balance, evoking the varied forms pebbles take when tumbled by water and time." Zeblocks

Pebble Size

There is no aesthetic preference towards enjoying smaller or larger Pebble artworks. Throughout the spectrum of Pebble size traits there are interesting outputs.

Boulderette is one of three smaller Pebble size traits. Rockling and Stonelet are on the larger Pebble trait size. Let's look at some more Palette and Size combinations:

Palette and Size variations from left to right: #310 Crumb Dino Disco, #33 Craglet Unigrids#312 Crumb Shades of Hey, #334 Pebbit Dusk Riverbed

The Crumb trait is a middle sized trait being bigger than Craglet and Boulderette, yet smaller than any of the four larger traits. Craglet creates such an intricate set of patterns that the artwork collectively becomes something more than its individual Pebble components. Pebbit is one step up from Crumb in size.

Pebble Size Trait comparison chart by MintFace

Pebble Palettes

There is more to the algorithm than just Palette and Size and this can be seen more clearly by focussing on a set of artworks with a single palette. Some details are subtle like the contortion of a single Pebble. Some details seems separate from the range of Pebbles drawing long lines like fast flowing water or sticks nestled between Pebbles.

Citrus Slate palette

Dusk Riverbed one of the most stunning palettes for its use of a Prussian Blue with a tint of Indigo. Deep rivers on a sunny day give us a similar palette and as such I feel Dusk Riverbed starts to gather momentum as one of the more interesting palettes to acquire.

Dusk Riverbed palette

Forest Whisper palette reflecting the natural landscape features that we may associate with finding Pebbles. In contrast, the collection does not discuss Pebbles in the context of construction, roading or home garden and landscaping environment to direct our imagination towards the natural world.

Forest Whisper palette

Artists strive for algorithm diversity to create a range of interesting outputs, balanced with showing a degree of cohesion within the collection. Forest Whisper and Citrus Slate palette shows a good range of diversity still holding together as a trait.

Shades of Hey palette

Shades of Hey palette doesn't have color to rely upon to differentiate between artworks. The diversity relies on the traits that shape each Pebble alone. Suddenly we can find it difficult to distinguish one from another. While monochrome palettes tend to do well in art generally, I prefer a work that is easily conjured up by the minds eye without having to view the art again.

Shades of Hey palette

As a test, stare at four Shades of Hey and then close your eyes. Imagine the differences between two of them in your mind. Now try the same trick with Citrus Palette above.

Let's move on to the Unigrids palette that has a special meaning because of its heritage. Unigrids palette is a nod to another Zeblocks project by the same name, minted on Art Blocks Curated on January 27th, 2021.

Unigrids palette

The original Unigrids project had 14 palettes whereas Pebbles has 20 palettes in total. Here is a selection of three artworks from the Unigrids art collection minted on the Art Blocks Curated smart contract.

Unigrids by Zeblocks: 421 artworks minted Jan 27th 2021

You have already viewed over half the available palettes in the collection. There are more that I haven't covered, including seven of the rarest Pebbles palettes were only able to be minted by specific wallets that met certain characteristics set by Punk6529.

4 of the 7 collector reserved palettes from left to right: #748 Lunar Chuckles, #82 Blueprint, #83 Magma Mambo, #96 Summer.jpeg

The collector reserved palettes rarely change hands for the same reasons these Pebble palettes were reserved, ability to hodl previous artworks from the 6529 collections. As such, they are difficult to acquire on the open market with less than ten Pebbles available from summer.jpg, Lunar Chuckles and Magma Mambo traits.

Size and Palette Summary

The two most consequential traits of size and palette across the collection are visual, ensuring first time generative art collector can choose an artwork without the professional help of a dealer gallery. Find a palette you love, with a configuration of Pebbles at a size you like and you're ready to select your Pebble.

In Part II of Pebbles by Zeblocks we will deconstruct the remaining five traits, cover Pebble rarity and notable Pebbles sales to date.

Pebbles Part One
βœ… Palette
βœ… Size

Pebbles Part Two
πŸ’ Mint Type
πŸ’ Color Density
πŸ’ Edge
πŸ’ Flow
πŸ’ Overlap
πŸ’ Special Elements
πŸ’ Traced

Pebble #0 minted by Zeblocks