Tag Archives: research

Typographic Portrait: Research research

From the previous post, I mentioned my attraction and interest on the technique of News Overprint. So this post will hold a slightly in-depth portion on my research throughout the project.

More inspiration pins on Pinterest @ https://www.pinterest.com/youmikaltsum/news-overprint-inspiration/
More inspiration pins on Pinterest @ https://www.pinterest.com/youmikaltsum/news-overprint-inspiration/


(above) I used these images as an example of how I could incorporate designs into my own book page.




(above) I used these images to help me have an idea how I want to make the typography stand out within the designs in the book page. I thought alot of contrast between bold and light, negative space etc.




(above) I refer to Sol LeWitt’s wall drawing line works to see how I could portray my personality by using just lines.


There are other resources that I came across with that I found to be interesting to add on as an inspiration:

The third image uses the same word throughout the work “HA”. The bold effect allows one to actually see what the message is, with its background faded.


The 2 images below consists of Pinterest research on artist Kurt Schwitters on his collage works and the technique of Ephemera:





Continuing research on ‘Connecting Lines’ — I wanted to look further from Sol LeWitt’s line works, example: on how I could use these lines to form shapes or typography?



And after these research, I’d try it out myself to see if it suits with the vocation or personality I chose.

#throwback: Other artists

Besides Agnes Martin, I actually looked up on Ed Moses and a little bit on Sol LeWitt. So I went to the ADM library and borrowed these books (see below) for further reference.

Although the research of these 2 artists are brief, I managed to get some information about them and their techniques.

First of, we have Sol LeWitt.

2D Lines - Monoprint (16)  21lewitt_portrait_original

Sol LeWitt is a leading figure of Minimalism and pioneer of Conceptual art. LeWitt’s work is characterized by serialization, repetition, and progression, exemplified by his iconic open-grid structures. LeWitt’s wall paintings are just about the same as Agnes Martin, lines are mathematically drawn. In LeWitt’s case, once he does the calculations and planning, he would get his assistants to carry out the work for him with specific instructions.

As you can see here, assistants does the work instructed by LeWitt.
As you can see here, assistants does the work instructed by LeWitt.
Installation of the wall painting. Accurately drawn by hand following specific instructions by LeWitt.
Installation of the wall painting. Accurately drawn by hand following specific instructions by LeWitt.

I actually watched a documentary before about LeWitt’s art techniques and how he works in the industry. They actually showed his assistants working on the installation — not 1 or 2, but at least 4 people working on a wide wall.

Next, Ed Moses, the artist.

[CLOSE UP] Monographs of Ed Moses (and the process of his art-making) by Radius Books.
Monographs of Ed Moses (and the process of his art-making) by Radius Books.

Venice Mag 1_EMAIL

I considered myself lucky to have found the book (see above) in the ADM library. Although the weight was a total burden, I had to do what I had to do for research — BORROW IT!

In the book contained bits and pieces of the artist, his artworks, and FAQs. I admit I was solely interested in his artworks besides anything else. But I picked up a few information from the book as well.

Ed Moses…..

  • Prefers taking risks, moving beyond what he already knew
  • Focuses on profound possibilities and challenges of abstract painting
  • Thinks that painting is an adventure whose ultimate reward is knowledge of self


  • Mainly uses watercolours for his paintings
  • Multi-coloured to monochrome
  • Structure of diagonal & parallel lines
  • Early paintings formed by a grid
  • Concept of “Playing with Chaos” — painting without rules or preconceived compositional goals
  • Works on both sides of the canvas, allowing bled through ghosts from one side to prompt composition painted on unusual materials with unusual tools

Interesting information of his techniques are actually the materials he used for his artworks. As stated above, he uses unusual materials like raw mahagony and unstretched canvas; unusual tools like long-handled mops, sponges and squeeges, besides normal rollers and brushes.

(There’s more…)

Moses also used….

  • Translucent, light-reflecting materials — unstretched canvas, powdered pigment, resin, off-white drafting tissue and Rhoplex
  • Paint with spray gun — using insoluble mixtures of oil paint, acrylic & shellac

Here are some snapshots of his artworks from the book. (I should have done proper citation of the images. My bad!)

2D Artist Ed Moses (20) 2D Artist Ed Moses (23)



Most of the time when I continued to flip the pages, I was in awe with how contrasting and bold Moses’ artwork are.

In conclusion with these 2 artists, I mainly looked at their artworks for inspiration and motivation to continue coming up with whatever I have at the back of my mind. I didn’t really plan to follow this artist to that type of art piece, I just do without thinking. Then when Prof Ina mentioned mine had some of Agnes Martin’s work in the monoprint etc, I was like…… “really?”

Funny how I didn’t even realised that!

#throwback: Agnes Martin

Major throwback to the first week of Foundation 2D.

This was a group research that Caroline and I did during the first lesson of 2D. We chose and was assigned one of the many artists — Agnes Martin. This research is a hand-me-down information from the slides that we did. (So basically I’m just transferring the information here.)

Agnes Martin (1912 - 2004)
“When I first made a grid, I happened to be thinking of the innocence of trees, and then a grid came into my mind and I thought it represented innocence, and I still do, and so I painted it and then I was satisfied. I thought, “This is my vision.” – Agnes Martin


Agnes Martin (1912 – 2004)

Martin was known as an American abstract painter, referred as a minimalist but considered herself an abstract expressionist. She turned to art around the age of 30, when she was a student at Columbia University in New York.

One of Martin's art piece
One of Martin’s art piece


So when I typed “Agnes Martin artworks” at Google search, I was perplexed, surprised and couldn’t really believe what I was looking at! The picture above is one of the many artworks of Martin’s. Look at how simple her artworks are — geometrical shape, and just lines by pen and a ruler. At that point of time I was thinking to myself “WHAT? That means if I were to just draw a single line in pencil and tell people ‘This is my art piece’, I would be famous too?”

HA HA HA (Dream on Ummi)

That was definitely a complete puzzle to me and that was the first impression of Martin’s artworks. She has this signature style of hers where she uses squared monochrome canvas, layered with gesso, overlaid with hand-drawn pencil lines and thin layers of oil or acrylic paint.

(More examples of her pencil-ed lines below…)

Agnes_Martin_Hiram_Butler_Gallery_a securedownload-2


Let me share Martin’s techniques used in her artworks. Firstly, pencil lines. As you can see from the above examples, you can tell that she is a mechanical person. She actually has hand-drawn horizontal, vertical or in grid formations across gesso canvas. She stretched string across the canvas and uses ruler to draw. Then, her line spacing was mathematically worked out on paper, then painted between to form solid bands.

Secondly, colour range in her artworks. Martin mainly uses the primary colours of red, blue and yellow, and of course the most basic colour of black and white. She customizes the colours by thinning, mixing, lightening and darkening them. Furthermore, with these colours, she actually creates ghostly effect of the colours by bleaching them out. That is why her coloured artworks has those neutral, gentle yet faded colours.

1974, Martin’s artworks eventually moved out from the ‘monochrome zone’ and became more human and involving by replacing neutral tones to brighter colours.

In general, Martin’s inspiration are mostly from nature and emotions. She always somehow connects her artworks with her emotions deep inside. Therefore, if you were to re-read the quote at the top of this post, you could see how much she would relate nature with emotions and then transferring those characters onto her canvas.

So what do I think of Agnes Martin?

Personally, I like simple stuff. I was impressed that her just a few lines could actually mean something so deep. I actually have this motto of “Less is More”, and I think Martin portrays that as well.