The purpose of this exercise was to briefly reflect and summarise on the creative and visual approaches taken in Assignment 4 so that these could be reframed within the context of the coursework, and any lessons taken forward into Assignment 5.
Key words from the brief:
- Write a brief, 200-word statement about what you think worked and what didn’t in Part Four
- Bullet point some brief responses
Your visual approach to the theme
- Visual mind maps and rhizome diagrams/thinking
- Cut-ups/composing pictures
- Model making
Would I change it now?
- If I had more time I would have explored model making and use of props further
The research you undertook. What did you learn?
- Paula Rego – model making as part of creative process
- Dave McKean – The relationship between illustration and text and seeing text form and layout as an extension to the image making process
- Jim Kay – Use of chance during image construction and simple strong expressive character poses to create narrative
- Reference photographs from Hampton Court Palace – Numerous figures and background reference from the Story of Abraham tapestries. 17th Century court costumes. Neoclassical sculpture reference and architectural reference
- Audience research – Audience segmentation (in the UK), typical characteristics and interests of each segment and how publishers tend to approach each segment i.e. what sells
- Book research – typical book sizes, materials, finishes and pricing
- How do I use model making as a way to learn more about creating facial expression and caricature?
- How do I use models/sets as an approach to create future narrative illustrations?
The creative and material processes.
Ways of visualising and testing
- Timeboxed thumbnails – 10 x thumbnails in 20-minutes. Repeated for each illustration. Purpose to test point-of-view and composition and break through procrastination
- Text layouts to scale – Layered Photoshop document at final artwork size and resolution. Using scaled-up thumbnails as image placeholders and text layout based on 2-column grid. Purpose to test composition and text layout
- Model making and visual style proof-of-concept – create clay face and dolls models in a mini set. Use this as the basis for a test illustration using layered gouache and Inktense colour pencils. Purpose to test model making and how this translates using observational drawing, and test the visual style so that any lessons/adjustments can be made
- Observational drawing
- Drawing from reference
- Redrawing and refining using a lightbox
- Painting using layered gouache, acrylic, watercolour overlayed with Intense Pencil
- Rapid gestural mark making
- Overall the process was 70% physical, 30% digital
If you made a group of paintings, what were their strengths and weaknesses?
- Composition – Use of leading lines, negative space and visual hierarchy
- Visual style – Moving from black and white, into colour, and then back into black and white
- The interplay between text and image
- Text layout designed to work across double page spread i.e. each page needs to also stand alone
- Illustration 3 – A strange masquerade the least successful composition. Layout didn’t really work with the text
- The final illustration seems slightly at odds with the others because it was made using more digital techniques
- Slight inconsistency in use of text because I got more experimental as the making process went on
What would you have done differently?
- I would have been less ambitious in terms of scope; 6 x illustrations was too many given the available time
- I would have been more experimental with text layout
- I may have tried using more rapid making techniques. I wondered whether some of the cut-ups are more successful than the polished artwork. Practice research question: How do I test this?
Was the scale of the work appropriate to the ideas?
- Physical scale – I worked at approx. A2. This seemed appropriate to the work and I achieved the fidelity I needed