Alice Rawsthorn tells the story of machine drawing pioneer Desmond Paul Henry whose work was forgotten until recently:
[O]ne of Henry’s interests was devising ways of creating images without paint or pencils, mostly by making marks on paper with unorthodox materials, including liquids and creams he found at home and photo chemicals. In 1961, Henry won a local art competition with that work. The prize was an exhibition at the Reid Gallery in London. When one of the judges, the artist L.S. Lowry, visited his home and saw the machine drawings, he encouraged Henry to show them. […]
His first drawings were made using ballpoint pens. Then Henry switched to technical tube pens, whose ink was less likely to fade. […] It took six to eight weeks to build each machine, and up to two days to produce a drawing. Once Henry became accustomed to the process, he would leave the machine running while he concentrated on academic work, or took his daily nap.
“As time went by he left more and more to the machine,” Ms. O’Hanrahan said. “He made tiny hand embellishments on some of the drawings, but they were so subtle that you have to look very carefully to work out where he has highlighted something or accentuated the lines.”
When Desmond Paul Henry Traded His Pen for a Machine (New York Times)