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Project

1: example of documenta4on and annota4on of the

developmental process.

In this exercise you should be exploring your individual and intui4ve ar4s4c
preferences, and working towards being able to ar4culate what these are.

In the rst instance, this involves nding one page in a Na4onal Geographic
magazine that, to your eye, has visual interest or impact. Try not to think too
much about this, just respond and go with your own preferences in terms of
colour, paFern, shape, text and composi4on.This should begin to reveal
something about your innate ar4s4c preferences about colour, tone, shape,
texture, paFern, composi4on and technique.

Avoid using the word like in your annota4on. Judgements about your work must
be based on how an image has visual interest/impact to your eye.

Throughout the process of developing your artworks, you should go with what
feels right to you, but, as you proceed, you should be star4ng to analyse the
formal quali4es of your composi4ons: rela4ng paFern and colour from part to
part, assessing the overall colour rela4onships, balancing your composi4on etc.
Your artworks may become pictures, or may remain purely abstract composi4ons,
but by the 4me you decide they are nished you should be able to jus4fy them
in terms of their formal, technical and (if appropriate) thema4c elements. There
should be a visual order that you can ar4culate in your annota4on.

In the Photoshop phase of the project , you should be able to jus4fy your
decisions about how you crop and manipulate your composi4on.

Throughout your developmental process, your annota4on should explain the
ways in which you see your changes and manipula4ons bringing out par4cular
aspects of the image that you see as important. You should be working towards a
composi4on that works as a unied and coherent artwork.

At the end of your documenta4on for this project, write a short reec4on in
which you explain what you think you have learned about your own ar4s4c
preferences.

In your annota4on, you must always refer to the ways in which the formal
elements are used to create unity, balance and visual impact in your work as you
proceed through the developmental process. You should always be referring to
the formal elements of line, shape, form, tone, colour, texture, paFern, balance,
composi4on, technique and medium (only those most appropriate to analysing
your composi4ons), and be analysing the way these are aec4ng the impact of
your composi4ons.

This is my original page.


I chose it simply because, to my eye, the
combina7ons of almost pure colours
green, red, yellow and blue and also the
shapes of the text in the signs create a
visual impact and interest. To me, there is
movement, energy, and complex pa>erns
that seem to oer some poten7al for
crea7ng a new composi7on.

I have rotated and cropped the page. This crop isolates the formal elements that gave
the original page its visual impact for me pure colours, text, energy. I rotated the image
simply because it felt be>er this way. The series of roughly ver7cal elements unify the
composi7on and feel more visually right in a landscape format.

I have converted the image using the Cut-out Filter because this converts it into at
colour tones. I am becoming more interested in this as an abstract composi7on, so its
nature as a picture of something is becoming less relevant to the way I am developing
the image. There are also a variety of pa>erns the pa>erns (of colours and of rela7vely
random shapes) that are star7ng to add more visual interest.

As Im becoming more interested in this image as an abstract composi7on, I have


increased the satura7on of the colours in order to emphasise the colours, shapes
and pa>erns that have created the visual interest in the previous images. My
composi7on is becoming a li>le too complex, though.

To simplify the composi7on a li>le, and to


emphasise the strong pa>ern and colour. I
have cropped out the right side sec7on of the
image. Now any link to reality is almost gone
and the composi7on relies en7rely on its
abstract elements (formal elements) for its
visual impact.
The colour rela7onships are cool and warm,
and complementary. Reds and greens make
up most of the complementary contrasts,
while the cool greens are amplied by the
heat of the reds, yellows and warm earth
colours around them. The visual impact is
also strengthened by the strong contrasts of
tone, especially those between the blue-
blacks and lighter colours.
As well as the energy created by these colour
and tonal contrasts, there is movement and
energy created by the many diagonal and zig-
zag lines and shapes in the composi7on.
Im happy with this composi7on and will now
recreate it in another medium. I think that
acrylic paint will suit the crisp, at shapes and
pure colours.

I have included this image, as it shows a stage in


the process of my rst new medium; pain7ng.
I started with a piece of cardboard primed in a
ground of deep reddish-brown. I used this
ground because I though it would enrich the
colours as I painted them over the top of it. This
proved wrong, because, since many of the
colours are very light, I had to paint several coats
to cover the dark ground. It would have been
be>er to use a white ground.
This image also shows how I changed the colours
as I developed the pain7ng. The colours here are
dierent from those in the nished artwork (next
slide).
I have also included this stage because I think it
looks awful and its only because I persevered
with it that I proceeded beyond this awful-ness
and arrived at an image that I felt worked as a
coherent composi7on and expressed the visual
impact that I was looking for.
Lesson: dont judge your artwork un7l its
nished.

I think this painted composi7on is be>er


than the digital one.
While the colours are not quite as strong, I
think this helps to 7e the composi7on
together as it has eliminated some of the
very stark jumps in tone and colour
between shapes.
To me, there is more visual interest and
impact created by the texture and colour
modula7ons. These quali7es enrich the
composi7on and give it a more human,
physical and lively feeling. Quite literally, it
gives the digital image life. The sense of
movement and energy has also been
enhanced by the direc7onal brushstrokes.

Working towards my second recrea7on, I have scanned my pain7ng and tried a number of crops,
looking for a new composi7on that I think will develop further the ideas Ive been working on so far. I
have in mind to create another, larger pain7ng, so that I can concentrate more on the energe7c and
gestural poten7al that is in the rst pain7ng.
I like both of these crops. The one on the leV is warmer and more vibrant, while the one on the right
feels a bit darker and more conned and drama7c (because of the larger areas of dark colour and the
stronger tonal contrasts there is also less warm, high key colour and the composi7on is more
closed).
To explore a direc7on that is slightly dierent from the rst pain7ng, Im going to try to develop the
right crop above. It has a rather dark drama, and also the format is dierent; more horizontal and
landscape than ver7cal and portrait.

Heres the rst stage of my larger, second recrea7on as a pain7ng in acrylic. Im just using a sheet of
foam-core and it is warping a bit because the paint is only on one side, but its adequate for this trial.
So far, I can see that Im already developing the composi7on in a slightly dierent direc7on from the
original crop. The composi7on is stretched horizontally a li>le more and Im enjoying the pure colours
and building up texture by scumbling and modula7ng the colour. This is already crea7ng more vibrancy
and energy.

Here is the second stage; almost nished. The colours look stronger, probably because I have added
the dark areas of blue-black and this has created a strong contrast against the lighter and purer
colours.
Im star7ng to se an abstracted landscape in my composi7on, mostly because of the horizon. I have
also enhanced some of the edges along the horizon to suggest the silhoue>es of trees.
The composi7on is s7ll very abstract, though, and relies mostly on the formal elements and
technique for its visual impact. The texture and modula7on of the colour areas, the contrasts of tone
and colour, the purity of much of the colour, and the complementary and warm/cold contrasts of
colour, create a composi7on full of life and energy, even if the overall eect is a li>le dark and

Here is the nal stage of my pain7ng. I think I have really taken it somewhere in terms amplifying some of
the quali7es that I liked in my rst artwork. The energy and vitality is s7ll there, and amplied in the strong,
pure, modulated colour shapes and in the gesture of the brushstroke. The strong warm/cold and red/green
complementary colour rela7onships, as well as the stark contrasts of tone created by the dark shapes, also
add to the feeling of energy and drama of the composi7on.
There is also a balance of organic and geometric shapes; a variety that also helps to enliven the composi7on.
The composi7on is s7ll nicely balanced around its central axis; for example the strong contrasts of high key
colour on the right are balanced by the strong dark shape on the leV.
Ive also enhanced the idea of landscape by emphasising both the horizon and the foliage shapes along
this line. There is also a nice play between real and abstract; I think this helps to engage the viewer.

What can I say about my innate ar4s4c preferences, from the artworks that I have
created for this exercise?

If the work I have created for this exercise is any indica7on of my innate ar7s7c
preferences, then I have discovered this:
that I tend to prefer pure, high key and strong colours rather than pastel hues,
that I lean towards using rich, warm colours, with accents of cooler colours
that my technique tends towards a more gestural and modulated applica7on of
the paint.
that I tend towards seeing abstract rather than literal composi7ons, though the
literal does creep in to create an ambivalence between the real and abstract.

The formal and technical aspects of my ar7s7c preferences tend to produce
movement, energy and a strong visual impact in a composi7on more that s7llness
and quiet.
My habit of seeing composi7ons more as combina7ons of abstract formal elements
perhaps suggests that I look for an abstract order more than a literal one.

This may be telling me that I am more suited to abstract subject ma>er, treated in
an expressive manner, with strong contrasts of pure colour.

Project 1: EXAMPLE 2


In this exercise you should be exploring your individual and intui4ve ar4s4c
preferences, and working towards being able to ar4culate what these are.

In the rst instance, this involves nding one page in a Na4onal Geographic
magazine that, to your eye, has visual interest or impact. Try not to think too
much about this, just respond and go with your own preferences in terms of
colour, paFern, shape, text and composi4on.This should begin to reveal
something about your innate ar4s4c preferences about colour, tone, shape,
texture, paFern, composi4on and technique.

Avoid using the word like in your annota4on. Judgements about your work must
be based on how an image has visual interest/impact to your eye.

Throughout the process of developing your artworks, you should go with what
feels right to you, but, as you proceed, you should be star4ng to analyse the
formal quali4es of your composi4ons: rela4ng paFern and colour from part to
part, assessing the overall colour rela4onships, balancing your composi4on etc.
Your artworks may become pictures, or may remain purely abstract composi4ons,
but by the 4me you decide they are nished you should be able to jus4fy them
in terms of their formal, technical and (if appropriate) thema4c elements. There
should be a visual order that you can ar4culate in your annota4on.

In the Photoshop phase of the project , you should be able to jus4fy your
decisions about how you crop and manipulate your composi4on.

Throughout your developmental process, your annota4on should explain the
ways in which you see your changes and manipula4ons bringing out par4cular
aspects of the image that you see as important. You should be working towards a
composi4on that works as a unied and coherent artwork.

At the end of your documenta4on for this project, write a short reec4on in
which you explain what you think you have learned about your own ar4s4c
preferences.

In your annota4on, you must always refer to the ways in which the formal
elements are used to create unity, balance and visual impact in your work as you
proceed through the developmental process. You should always be referring to
the formal elements of line, shape, form, tone, colour, texture, paFern, balance,
composi4on, technique and medium (only those most appropriate to analysing
your composi4ons), and be analysing the way these are aec4ng the impact of
your composi4ons.

This is my original page.


I chose it simply because, to my eye, the
combina7ons of textures and pa>erns, as
well as the earthy colours, create a strong
visual interest and impact. Also, I might
be able to use the pa>erns of the text in
my composi7on in some way.
I scanned the page upside down and
decided that the image looked more
interes7ng in this orienta7on.

This crop isolates the formal elements that created visual interest in the original page
cool earthy colours, text and gri>y pa>erns and textures.

I have cut and pasted the text and the leV hand side of the image so that it overlaps the original
picture. I have also altered the colour of the new right side of the image, using the hue and
satura7on adjustment. The text overlapping the image unies the two elements (text and image)
be>er than them being side by side. This overlapping also creates a new layer of texture, pa>ern
and complexity to the composi7on. The division into colour sec7ons (leV and right) creates a new
dimension to the image, but maintains a sense of unity through the repe77on of textures, shapes
and lines.

Here I have simply lightened the tone of the image. This seems to have brought out the gri>y
textures that drew me to the original image, and has made the text more clearly an element of
the composi7on. While the overall composi7on looks quite abstract, I am also star7ng to see
landscape elements the diagonal lines appear as thin tree trunks and the upper third looks like
a hillside with trees.

Because of the complexity of the image I


have been working with, I decided that my
recrea7on should be in a medium that picks
up these textures and complexi7es.
Here I have converted the image into an
etching, using the solar plate method.
In the process of prin7ng, the image has been
reversed. I dont really mind this change, but
to avoid it I should have reversed the original
image before I transferred it to the etching
plate.
I think this medium suits my image, though I
have lost some of the tonal contrasts that
emphasised the pa>erns and textures in the
previous digital version of my composi7on.
The etching has, however preserved the
grainy textures of the previous image, and I
think that the sepia tones help to express the
sort of aged feel also.
Im now going to re-scan this image so that I
can develop it further a second medium.

In this series of trials, I have


1. scanned and reversed my etching so that the images matches the format in which I had been
working originally. I think I prefer this format, but cannot really explain why. I just feels be>er
this way.
2. Adjusted the levels to increase the contrasts in the image. This has claried and strengthened
the image, amplifying the visual impact
3. Repeated step 2 in order to further clarify and strengthen the contrasts to bring out the
pa>erns and textures that, to me, give this composi7on its impact, and its allusion to
landscape.

This is my second re-working (recrea7on) of my


composi7on.
I have printed the last digital image onto art paper (using
the AGC printer), then used watercolour to subtly 7nt
three of the panels in the composi7on.
I did this so that the composi7on would be be>er
balanced; the visual interest of the colour balances that
of the text on the other side of the central axis.
I have also 7nted the grid and this again helps to 7e the
composi7on together (unify it).
I have also simply rotated the image so that the text can
be read. This gives the text more impact and visual
interest, and adds a layer of rather random complexity to
the composi7on. The viewer can read the text and
wonder at its rela7onship with the image. This is one
way of engaging the viewer.
Rota7ng the image has also made it more abstract; I s7ll
feel the sense of landscape in the pa>ers, lines,
textures and colours but the separa7on of the image
into panels, emphasised by the red grid, has rather
formalised the image into something more abstract.
This duality in the image, I feel, again adds layers of
complexity and visual interest that will engage the
viewer and ask her/him to think about what they are
looking at and interpret it in the light of their own
experience.

What can I say about my innate ar4s4c preferences, from the artworks that I have created
for this exercise?

If the work I have created I Project 1 is any indica7on of my innate ar7s7c preferences, then I
have discovered this:
that I tend to prefer rather muted and earthy colours than pure, strong ones.
that I lean towards using the complementaries red and green, blue and orange.
that my technique tends towards a more at, subtle and diluted applica7on of the paint.
that I lean towards gri>y, grainy and earthy textures, but also enough formality in a
composi7on to give it a solid structure
that I tend to prefer a duality between realism and abstrac7on, using this as a means of
engaging the viewer..

The formal and technical aspects of my ar7s7c preferences tend to produce s7llness ,quiet
and order in a composi7on more than movement and drama.
My habit of seeing both pictures and abstract order in otherwise random composi7ons
perhaps suggests that I prefer to use abstrac7on to increase the level of ambivalence or
mystery in a composi7on, with the aim of engaging the viewer more.