When all parts (sizes, amounts, or number) relate well with each other, the design becomes realistic; believable. However, when proportion is distorted, the design will appear surrealistic.
The image shows a big elephant in contrast to small elephants. The proportion gives us a sense of reality through the suggestion of depth, where the big elephant appears close to us while the small elephants appear at a distance.
The use of several elements of design to hold the viewer’s attention and to guide the viewer’s eye through and around the work of art.
Colours (red, blue and yellow), lines and dots, depth suggested through overlapping, common shape of a spinning top and constant reflective texture of the coat of gloss paint are the different elements of designs that the image encompasses to give us a sense of variety.
Use of elements that lead the viewer through the image in order of their significance – starting from most important to least important.
“The Maestà” (Maestà of Duccio),
2.13 m x 4.0 m,
Duccio di Buoninsegna
An altarpiece composed of many individual paintings commissioned by the city of Siena in 1308 (period of Byzantine art). A sense of hierarchy observed from the sides (represented by saints and angels) towards the centre (represented by Madonna and Child) of the image.
Born in Sandusky, Ohio, in 1961, Catherine Opie is an American fine-art photographer who specialises in portraitures, studios and landscape photography. She rose to prominence as a photographer at the height of the culture wars between traditional and conservative values in the 1990s.
Her works explore the relationships between mainstream and infrequent society by mixing traditional portrait photography with less traditional subjects. In doing so, she provides a social and political commentary of different communities such as the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community. As Opie identifies as part of the LGBT community, she sought to provide visibility and representation to her friends and the community at large, bringing queers to a forefront normally silenced by societal norms. At the core of her investigations are questions about relationships between individual and the community.
How did she feel during the time she did ‘Self-portrait/cutting’?
In her portrait, Opie offers something deeply personal, even confessional, revealing extremely strong yearnings that are magnified by the great physical fragility of the sadomasochistic acts the photographs portray. At that point in time, Opie had recently broken up with her partner. Then, she was longing very deeply to start a family, which at that era was still condemned by many. The rawness of the cut amplifies her pure and burning desire. The bleeding, juvenile, stick-figure drawing of lesbian domestic bliss cut into the flesh of her back radiates all the painful contradictions that were innate in such situations.
What is her intention?
Opie aims to address contemporary concerns of queer identity, where ‘queer’ has been used as a derogatory term for individuals with non-normative sexual or gender identities in her work.
Self-portrait/ Cutting shows a female nude seen from behind. In Opie’s work, she moves away from traditional representation of ‘Self’ by omitting her face from her viewers. Firstly, instead of showing distinct unique features of her face, she chose to present herself in a non-confrontational way with her back facing her viewers to allow viewers to enter her art invitingly, and look at something they might not otherwise look at. Secondly, her intention may be to make us look into homosexual identity in general, not specific to herself, by disallowing us to associate her face with her identity.
On her skin:
She has treated her skin as a canvas to express herself in Self-portrait/ Cutting. With her blood still fresh in red bleeding through the cuts on her back during the time she photographed herself tells of her deliberate intention to portray her pain at that moment in time. Her weeping blood is also representational of the inner conflicts she have with her inner self in relation to her physical body.
In Project 1b, I worked on three parts, namely: ‘Fire’, ‘Perish’ and ‘Ice’ in relation to the poem, ‘Fire and Ice’ by Robert Frost. I embarked on this project by thinking of the cause-effect relationship that the two elements have with emotions and visual evidences. For the process, I made use of painting in an abstract way to bring out the emotions I have for each element. I chose to present my final work digitally by incorporating my first hand images with a second hand image of an eye through digital manipulation.
My Idea in translating texts in the poem into images:
Eye as a medium to convey the poem because we see the world through our eyes; our eyes are windows into the world we see
Use of circular/ round form to represent a sphere, the form of a globe, like Earth, and to represent a continuous line, unity, balance, a shape that links the three images together
fiery, hot tempered, passionate, bright, destructive (Emotions)
Cracks, cold, melts into water/ gas (dry ice), reflective, burn (Visual evidences)
Tracing paper – for its inherent quality of translucency to represent ice,
Painting lines with strings – to create thin uneven & irregular lines, which resembles cracks in ice that tells of the tension in something cold; the emotional strain between relationships,
String – an object that appear to be frozen in time, stuck onto the paper,
Gloss medium & varnish – layered onto strings and tracing paper. To serve as an adhesive for them to be stuck onto the paper and to provide shine as a reflective surface similar to that of ice
Final Presentation for Project 1b:
My reflection: I thought that fire and ice are elements that should never go together. In my struggle to create a set of definition for each element, I realised the two elements could actually go together. They are both destructive, or at least to me. I have been burnt by a fog machine once so I could empathize with the definition of the words, especially that of ‘burn’.
“صور مقربة لبوبوة العين احدث صور احدث الصور – اجمل الصور × صور جميلة HD.” اجمل الصور × صور جميلة HD. September 25, 2014. Accessed September 14, 2015. http://photos-images.net/%D8%B5%D9%88%D8%B1_%D9%85%D9%82%D8%B1%D8%A8%D8%A9_%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%A9_%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D9%8A%D9%86_%D8%A7%D8%AD%D8%AF%D8%AB_%D8%B5%D9%88%D8%B1_%D8%A7%D8%AD%D8%AF%D8%AB_%D8%A7%D9%84/
Accessed September 14, 2015. http://www.thedranggallery.com/index.php/artists/marc-quinn
In Project 1a, I worked on three tasks, namely: Me, Me interacting with an object that is significant to me, and My World. Each tasks are composed of three images.
For task 1, I narrate the sides of me that I usually hide.
In the first image for task 1, I want to express myself in my vulnerable/defensive/introverted state by presenting myself in a crouching position. I implemented the use of long shot to establish distance, to suggest a wall that I put up against others; against their criticism and judgement. I used a narrow crop, giving the space a claustrophobic atmosphere, to express confinement; how I feel trapped within myself.
In the second image for task 1, I present myself looking out of the frame in a close-up shot. I want to touch on the topic of ‘Fear of judgement’ – not just of others’ but my own judgement too. I wanted to show how outward appearance really makes a huge difference – ‘Will my friends accept me when I remove my makeup?’ I masked myself in a layer of cosmetics so as to hide whatever flaws I see in myself. I want to suggest the space I am in, by looking out of the frame – I am looking at a mirror.
In the third image for task 1, I am revealing my inner self shown through the action of me stripping in a medium close-up shot. Yet the focus is on my reflection in the mirror – ‘What you see is just a reflection of me. Not really me.’
For task 2, I depicted myself interacting with red chilli(es).
The first image shows a close-up of a chilli composed by placing a shoe box above it to keep it in an upright position.
The second image shows a ground angle shot of me stepping on the chilli in a brutal act of dislike towards it.
The third image shows me back-facing the chilli, an act influenced by Catherine Opie’s ‘Self-portrait/cutting’, 1993. Similar to Opie, I appear non-confrontational. In my case, I do not want to confront the chillies at the foreground. The chillies are larger than me in perspective to represent how large a threat they are to me. The spiciness of chilli stings and burns my tongue, numbing my senses. I wanted to convey the message that I don’t like chilli, but it is a big challenge I have to live with.
For task 3, I chose to share on my hall for it is the ‘world’ I am currently staying at.
The first image depicts the pigeon hole for my room at my hall in a close-up shot. It represents my new identity, an identity that tells me: I am officially free from any restraints set for me by the people close to me, such as a curfew. That also means, I have to be self-reliant and self-disciplined.
In the second image taken with a high-angle shot, I want to show the presence of human habitation observed in the things that we dispose, like newspapers, old socks and clothing. They tell me that I am not alone physically.
However, I feel alone emotionally. My feelings of loneliness can be seen in the third image depicting a round stone table. I feel like I am looking at an empty table even if people sat around it, because they are strangers to me.
My reflection: All in all, I learnt to make use of various framing and photo-editing techniques such as cropping to bring across my message in every image. In the process of photographing myself, I learnt how to present myself visually in the way I want to see myself. The process required a lot of time and effort in the setting up of equipment and formulating of concepts. I learnt to focus on an idea and not deviate from the message that I want to convey in every image in relation to the tasks. Also, I took a few learning points from my group’s presentation on Catherine Opie’s ‘Self-portrait/cutting’. Through our presentation, I learnt to interpret Opie’s work by breaking down her work visually: Why is she in nude and seen from behind? Why did she photographed her freshly cut skin? What is she trying to convey in her stick-figure drawing of a house and two women holding hands? — that eventually became a skill I put to use when I photographed myself. I asked myself: What kind of posture should I adopt? What kind of action do I want to document? What do I want to convey in my images?
Final Presentation for Project 1a:
In my presentation, I deliberately saturated red in every image to emphasize that they are a series. My choice to highlight the red colour was also because red appeared as the most striking colour in every photo. My choice for placement of the images is so that it gives an overall form of a roof. I want to convey the idea that the images are about me under one roof. The following images shows the exhibition area for my final work:
Medium: Turbulence reflected in the reaction between water and charcoal powder on paper.
Process: After sprinkling charcoal powder on the surface of the water, in a wide tub, I pushed the paper across the water immediately to create movement in the water. The paper absorbs water due to osmosis effect and the charcoal powder clings onto the surface of the paper. Turbulence is then captured in the marks made by the charcoal powder.
Evaluation: Turbulence as a violent movement of fluid. Placement of strip in a vertical manner with two-third of positive space at the top to suggest waves splashing towards or away from me at a distance. Juxtaposition of minute spots (bottom) against huge patches (top).
Medium: Nonsensical represented with polka dots drawn with a calligraphy brush pen on tracing paper.
Process: First, I vary the scales of the circles by having them in three different set of sizes: Big, Medium and Small. Then I layered the three tracing papers with the set of big circles at the bottom, the set of medium circles in the middle and the set of small circles on top.
Evaluation: Polka dots appear as very silly and fatuous to me. The random spacing and senseless repetition in irregular scales make polka dots nonsensical. The choice of tracing paper for its inherent quality of translucency to create a sense of depth through varying opacity of dots. Big dots seem far away and small dots seem near. My main reason for rejecting the ‘Runner-up strip’ for nonsensical is because it is not as interesting as polka dots in its overall presentation.
Medium: Torn paper pasted on paper with torn lines emphasized by shading in folds with charcoal sticks.
Process: Tearing paper into four parts to suggest aggressiveness in action.
Evaluation: Paper torn in uneven lines to show an impulsive act of violence. Torn folded outwards to suggest freshly torn edges.
Medium: Chinese ink splattered on paper using bristle brush and watercolour (nylon) brush.
Process: Switching between different types of brushes for their different capacity in water absorption. Bristle brush appear to absorb lesser water as compared to watercolour brushes, thus they create small and big splatter respectively. Tilting the paper to allow excess ink in splatters to flow voluntarily in the direction I desire (because I am spontaneous).
Evaluation: The action of spattering ink on paper is spontaneous to me. After my spontaneous act, I thought I am in deep trouble because it’s so hard to find sense in spontaneous art. After consulting my instructor, I decided on the chosen strip for the contrast between drips in the vertical and horizontal axis which are thin and thick respectively. The difference in density of splatters with those of lower density at one-third (top) and higher density at two-third (bottom). Choice of placement with higher density at the bottom to suggest heaviness of splatter.
Medium: Black marker pen on paper.
Process: Swirls created free handed from top cautiously, then carelessly mid-way through by drawing without looking at the paper.
Evaluation: Swirls composing two-third of the strip and empty portion composing one-third. Empty portion as a representation of halting in work, because of the error (flawed swirls) caused when I was distracted by my idols dancing on screen. Okay…tmi.
Medium: Eraser, 2B and 4B pencil.
Process: Erasure on 2B pencil then darkening with 4B to create greater contrast in light and dark.
Evaluation: Inspired from the movement of smoke in the atmosphere, suggestive of relaxation. Implied lines observed in a slow tempo, like adagio. Erasure to bring out the white of the paper and blurred/ blended contours to suggest softness. Adagio feels soft to me.
Medium: Black marker pen on paper.
Process: Drawing different geometric shapes in a whimsical manner such that they appear unexpected and unusual with no symbolic meaning.
Evaluation: Overlapping positive and negative shapes and varying sizes of shapes to suggest depth. Distributing weight represented in solid shapes (heavy) as compared to outline of shapes. (empty and light).
Medium: 2B, 4B, 8B graphite pencils.
Process: Creating thin lines with a sharp point of a pencil, and thick lines with a blunt edge or through shading.
Evaluation: Experimenting with a range of pencils to create a light and heavy line weight. The reflective quality of graphite pencils suggest smooth, silky hair. Placement of strip to suggest long hair flowing downwards. Hair suggest something very sensual to me, which is perhaps a reason why hair plays a great role in physical attraction.
Medium: Black marker pen on paper.
Process: Drawing straight straw-like sticks overlapping one another with a crooked one in the middle.
Evaluation: Overlapping suggest depth. I feel awkward when I stand out in a group. The crooked straw is a representative of a person who feels awkward. It does not mingle with other straws and appears noticeable in the spot light even though it is also a straw, mainly, because it is not straight. I am not going into homosexuality here.
Medium: Black marker pen on paper.
Process: Repetitive drawing of squares in a chequer arrangement.
Evaluation: Systematic appears to be something very rigid to me. To be systematic is to follow an order, a grid, a format.
Medium: 2B pencil on paper.
Process: Free hand drawing of squares in a chequer arrangement.
Evaluation: Choice of pencil instead of pen for its greater smudging effect. The smudges represents a sloven person in an act of drawing. My intentional placement of the subject for sloven next to the subject for systematic is to cast a comparison between the two roles. I wanted to show how sloven is not all about being messy, it can have a logic too. In my case, I was trying to replicate the systematic chequer arrangement in sloven, except it turns out to be very untidy in its overall presentation.
Medium: Black marker pen and pencil on paper.
Process: Juxtaposing curvy lines with straight line made using a pen and a pencil respectively.
Evaluation: Observing uneven cracks and emphasising on the irregular path of cracks by having curvy lines to be thicker and darker as compared to the thin, faint, straight lines. Criss-crossing of paths in an unpredictable manner to show glass breaking naturally.
Medium: HB pencil on paper.
Process: Making short pencil strokes along the sides and at the corners of a strip of paper.
Evaluation: Embarrassment is something that I want to hide. Embarrassed represented in the lines hiding at the corners and along the sides of a paper. You can tell that something is there because the edges of the strip appear curved instead of angular, but only if you look closer. If you hadn’t looked closer, you would only see an empty white ellipse.
Medium: Black marker pen.
Process: Drawing circles and triangles, then shading in for circles only.
Evaluation: Incisiveness in the choice of shape. Should I use circles or triangles? Placement of circles at the bottom two-third of the strip because they appear heavy and sinking since they are solid shapes. Placement of triangles at the top one-third of the strip because they appear light and floating since they are hollow shapes.
Medium: Cotton wool with black acrylic.
Process: Painting over cotton wool and placing cotton wool on wet acrylic paint repeatedly.
Evaluation: I was trying to create something smoky and hazy. I painted over cotton wool to bring out the black and placed cotton wool over wet acrylic to bring out the white. The overall effect appear ambiguous to me. Even though the white looks like it is resurfacing from the black, I cannot make sense from the form of the white to infer what the white is.
Medium: Black marker pen, 2B and 8B pencils.
Process: Acting psychotic on the paper with the tools.
Evaluation: Psychotic reflects uncontrolled emotions to me, especially anger: being angry with my surroundings and being angry with myself. Psychotic can be self-harming. Thin lines contrast with thick lines created in zig-zagged motion using 2B and 8B pencils respectively. Zig-zagged motion to suggest slashing action. Forceful application of lines in a violent manner. Dark dots created by stabbing the paper with a black marker pen. My marker pen died in the act. T.T
Medium: Pencil shavings glued on paper.
Process: Using three different sharpeners, one big, one small and a penknife, I sharpened my pencils to get three sets of shavings. The big sharpener gave me shredded, short and curly shavings, the small sharpener gave me thin, flat and spiral shavings, the penknife gave me thick, long and narrow shavings.
Evaluation: Exhaustion is about ‘fading out’ to me. I created fading effect by having the pencil shavings with the biggest surface area on the top of the strip (high density) and the smallest surface area on the bottom of the strip (low density). I want to convey that sharpening pencils is exhausting without using an electronic sharpener.
Medium: 2B pencil on paper.
Process: Observational drawing of a tearing rope.
Evaluation: The intentional vertical placement of the strip to suggest that there is something pulling the rope down, hence tearing it. It makes me worry what is going to fall (most likely heavy enough to rip the rope and heavy enough to break a skull), who is it going to fall on and when is it going to fall on the person. This is the feeling of anxiety to me.
My reflection: Thinking of how to translate 18 sets of emotions into lines through my hand was a tedious process indeed. At the beginning, I was lost with my dots. I don’t know which path I should take my dots on for a walk. During the walk, I got to know my dots better and I felt like I could empathise with them. We had fun along the way through adventurous explorations with conventional (pencil, pen, charcoal, Chinese ink) and unconventional mediums (pencil shavings). My hands became the bridge between the paper and me. I learnt to be more translucent with expressing myself to my audiences yet not losing my individuality at the same time. This four weeks long walk has been unforgettable. To all the people out there embarking on the same project: Wear your heart on your sleeves!
Using concept of line to interpret and express the character of the following subjects: turbulent, nonsensical, aggressive, spontaneous, distracted, lyrical, bizarre, sensual, awkward, systematic, sloven, fragile, embarrassed, indecisive, ambiguous, psychotic, exhausted and anxious (viewed clockwise from top left)
Exploring and resolving interaction between line, shape, form, space, scale, texture, colour and value
Emphasize on methods of drawing techniques, textures, different mark making tools and substrates
I forgot to post this photo! I was mounting everything in my room at hall because I have swimming in the morning before my presentation and I won’t have time for that! I don’t dare to use spray glue anyway because the frame wasn’t suppose to be stuck down tightly according to my instructor. Moreover I am afraid the adhesive will be too strong and I am accident prone. Luckily I did not use the spray glue because I found out a few days after my presentation that someone mounted their works on the ground exactly at the area I exhibited my work at and made the ground dirty when he/she sprayed the glue on his/her frame. So inconsiderate. I hope the culprit will learn from his/her mistake and not do so again. At least put some newspaper underneath before you do so! (if there is a next time you will be so dead, especially if you do that at where I exhibited my works and make me a suspect, unforgivable!)