Josiah – Forrest Gump



Visual Elements:

The quote means that beauty is a lure to death. The angler fish is frightening and also a representation of that lure to death and the lure of the angler fish is a flower, which is the representation of beauty. I used a hibiscus flower as it represented acknowledging beauty in Victorian times. The pistil of the hibiscus is a line that draws your attention towards the flower itself – just like a lure.The halftone of the angler fish gives it a level of depth as it looks like it is in the shadows. This is in contrast to the flower that is clear as day. The painting frame is a nod to the film, where a character says the above quote in response to not wanting to give up a painting. Coincidentally, a painting is also a symbol of beauty. The frame gives depth to the image within which enhances the feeling of being lured into the void that is death, hence the use of a black ‘canvas’.

Design Principles:

Unity/Harmony – Perspective is used to show depth or distance between the frame, the angler fish and its lure.

Symmetry – The symmetrical balance of the composition gives off the feeling of calm and patience; like being stalked by a predator. “It’s quiet…too quiet.”

Similarity/Contrast – Contrast of the negative space and the angler fish make the subject pop out, like from the shadows.

Dominance/Emphasis/ – The flower is at the centre of the frame and the halftone of the angler fish makes it recede into the back. This makes the flower the centre of attention.

Hierarchy – The frame and lines leading you into the elements within it. The angler fish has the subject of the flower within it. Each of these things lead your eye to the flower in the centre.

Scale/Proportion – The flower is a lot smaller than the angler fish. This is to make the angler fish seem larger and therefore increase the sense of danger and tension.



Visual Elements:

The quote is about sacrifice and letting go. I started out with the image of a nut, used to hold all the elements within. The wolf is a representation of the Iron Giant. It is leaping out of the sphere that is breaking apart. It leaps to the void to protect the innocent boy. The boy looks on at the wolf. The way the boy looks at the wolf feels like a farewell. The sphere at the centre of the composition is a representation of the world. The sphere is breaking apart. It is literally about the world that is about to be destroyed, leaving the Iron Giant to protect it. It is also about how the boy’s world is about to be shattered because the Iron Giant is about to leave to sacrifice itself.

Design Principles:

Symmetry/Asymmetry – While the composition looks almost flat and symmetrical, the breaking of the sphere breaks the symmetry. This adds to the feeling of unease at the loss of something precious. It also makes the composition more dynamic.

Hierarchy/Scale/Proportion – Apart from the broken bits of the sphere directing your attention to the wolf, the size of the wolf is much bigger is also leaping out. The lines of the principle axis of the wolf leads you to the boy who is looking towards the wolf, forming an imaginary line.



Visual Elements:

The composition is almost all in pixelated halftone. This makes it feel as though freedom is a blurry mess and it disorientates. The American Bald Eagle is a representation of freedom and it looks down on us and makes us feel small. The sunset brings about a sense of freedom but the sharp lines cut through the cloud, pointing towards the eagle almost as if to say that freedom is painful. Lastly, we have the feather which are shaped like crosses, implying that freedom is a burden.


Unity/Harmony – The repeated use of the feather cross gives a sense of unity. The different sizes of the feather crosses gives a sense of perspective and depth to the composition.

Scale/Proportion – The size of the eagle makes it the first thing you see.

Similarity/Contrast – The different sizes of the feather crosses. Most of the images look clearly halftoned except the feathers and maybe the eagle.

Balance – While the composition is hardly symmetrical, there is a sort of balance in elements in the composition that gives a sort of symmetry to it.



Visual Elements:

The quote is about ‘taking it easy’; very much like inner peace hence Buddha being in the centre. Buddha is seating on mandala ‘carpet’ – a subtle reference to the film where the Dude’s rug is ruined. The mandala is a spiritual symbol in Indian religions for the universe. In a way, the worldly issues of the world are beneath the Dude. The roundness of the bowling ball and the balanced composition gives off the feeling of peace; there is no tension or turmoil. The textures of the ball gives off a hippy, psychedelic feel. This is to set the mood of the composition as being very spacey (as in the Dude being spaced out). The three holes in the bowling ball are meant to represent the 3 marks of existence – Impermanence, Unsatisfactoriness or Suffering, and Non-self. The marks of existence are all behind Buddha. In a way, this says that the Dude is not bothered by these things. The shades on buddha makes it much more obvious to see that there are no worries.

Design Principles:

Balance – The composition feels balanced even though the three holes of the bowling ball give it a little bit of asymmetry. At the centre of it, Buddha. This is very similar to Early Christian/Romanesque Christian art where the Christ is at the centre of attention.

Hierarchy/Scale/Proportion – Buddha is the most prominent element in the piece because it is huge and in the centre. Behind Buddha is the bowling ball and the in Buddha’s palm is the bowling pin.

Similarity/Contrast – It feels like two main elements. The bowling pin and the sunglasses seem to add to Buddha and not stand out from it. This is because these elements are representative of the character (they are of the character). The bowling ball is the external and therefore is contrasted with Buddha.

Unity/Harmony – The mandala is done in perspective to give a sense of depth to Buddha. This also creates a slightly unnatural and surreal effect because the bowling ball is supposed to be flat. So while it creates distance, it feels surreal.


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Life's short, paddle hard.

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