Over the course of the last month and a half, we’ve been exploring the concept of conflating multiple images and planes to develop a cohesive work of art. Through project making, we explored anatomical figure drawings, digital silhouettes, and portraits which utilized assembled photographs to develop a contextual mood. Many of these projects and the assignments leading up to them fall under an internal landscape of sorts—portraits or figures which contain or serve as a boundary between two separate contextual spaces.
As our first project for this unit, we developed and charcoal torso drawing including skeletal components. This drawing ended up employed a variety of digital and physical tools to develop the finished product. Using charcoal for both drawings under modeling time constraints, much of the shading still contains the quick sketch marks required to map everything out in time. Once the sketches were finished, I scanned them into Photoshop, used the magic wand tool to select only the drawings, overlayed the skeleton drawing, and then lowered the opacity of each layer to get the best clarity.
For our next assignment, we took photograph portraits and altered their color to imbue a tonal mood—happines, sadness, etc.
My first portrait of my friend Alexa utilized enhanced reds and warms to evoke a sense of passion.
The next image made use of light, muted, and blurry colors to evoke a sense of joy and nostalgia.
For my last portrait of my friend Nicole, I vamped up the contrast, reduced the lighting, and increased saturation (in some areas) of my portrait of Nicole to create a mood of isolation and intense contemplation.
Next, we took portraits and full-figure photos and added internal landscapes composed of assembled images. These landscapes expressed in color and content, the mood that the subject in the portrait/figure portrayed.
I began this project with by researching some inspiration, both for color and image content. The colors and composition of Rhine II by Gursky heavily influenced my first portrait. The landscape and colors created an eerie, desolate feeling that I wanted to reproduce.
I was also inspired by the simplicity of Platon portraits. The starkness of his plain backgrounds evoked the loneliness I wanted to evoke in my own work.
As I already hinted at, the emotion I chose to express for each of my portraits is isolation and loneliness. My first portrait uses a baren, desaturated landscape and industrial components with a lowered opacities to evoke loneliness through unique color composition and emptinesses.
I used the colors and content of the gritty, dark city to produce a feeling of solitude for my last two photos. Dark blues, gritty textures, and blurry lights create notes of emptiness and depression.
Each portrait followed a similar creation process. I began by using the pen tool to trace out the silhouettes of each subject. Then on photoshop, I created an assemblage of images by messing around with opacity, distortion, selective layering, and color adjustments. Once that was finished, I brought the pen tool silhouette into photoshop along with the original photo and made a new layer via cut, removing everything around the silhouette. Lastly, I used the gradient tool to adjust the opacity of the original subject photograph on top.
After completing each of these projects, I have a more developed sense of the power color scheme can have in evoking mood/tone in a work of art. My understanding of facial expression and figure composition in developing mood also grew. Lastly, having to work in and out of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop forced me to understand each program better and how to work between each program.