Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Assignment 4 - Preperation for formal assessment

Amendments Assignment 4

My tutor feedback for this assignment was quite brief. His comment that my "approach to a subject is often quite innovative, leading to some interesting compositions and ideas" was a highlight. He commented briefly on the 8 images of the assignment and as a result I have amended and reprinted only 2 of the images.

Texture 1

Texture reprint
My tutor commented - "Your lighting technique has revealed the texture very well. I suggest that the colour balance is rather too blue."

I studied the print again as a result of his comments and can clearly see the coolness in the image. I don't know how I missed it the first time around and having re-opened the RAW file can see the colour temp recorded at 4650 kelvin which would explain the blue tone. I have adjusted the colour temp to 5700 and reprinted the image.

Shape 2

Shape reprint
Although my tutor did not comment on the white balance in this image I felt it too had a rather cool colour cast and was also slightly underexposed. I have corrected both of these issues and reprinted the image for assessment.

Mark RothKo

Mark Rothko 1903 - 1970

Untitled, 1969 (acrylic on paper laid down on panel)
Untitled 1969
Whilst I was concentrating on the colour assignments of this course the obvious artist to spring to mind was Mark Rothko. The American abstract artist who cites his early influences as Milton Avery and Matisse favoured simple compositions with a bold use of colour.
Before he developed his signature style of painting his earlier figurative work became more surreal.

Later still the familiar asymmetric horizontal bands of colour start to appear before developing into his best know images. As an artist he excelled in depicting emotion with numerous variations of colour, form, balance and composition leaving the viewer to evaluate and ascertain their own understanding.

Preferring the viewer to take their own meaning from his artwork he was reluctant to discuss his work in this context believing his paintings could "represent the fundamental nature of human drama".

He is also quoted as saying "It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism. There is no such thing as good painting about nothing."

Might he have said the same about a photograph?  Unfortunately he committed suicide in 1970. Before he died his art took on a more sombre mood, an example is in the image above. A case of art imitating life perhaps?

 Image courtesy of Bridgeman Education Libraries.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Assignment 5 - Applying the techniques of illustration and narrative.

Assignment 5
The final assignment requires images for 6-12 pages of a story to illustrate a magazine. The theme of the project itself is unimportant but the images must work together as a set to illustrate the project from start to finish. As ideally you are creating a picture essay which will tell the story the text to accompany the images is unimportant but brief captions are required to explain and link each image.

In order for this to succeed the images will need to be informative, varied and interesting.

Things to consider:
  • sequence of events. i.e. images which show project from beginning to completion. An eye catching introduction to the project to set the scene.
  • size and positioning of images to show continuity and progression of the project.
  • viewpoint - distant, large scale or close up.
  • use of colour to catch the viewers attention and influence an emotional response from the viewer.

With these points in mind I have presented the following magazine pages to my tutor for his feedback. At the moment this is printed but my initial idea was to produce this in digital format. I may revert to this idea depending on my tutors feedback.

Below are the individual pages and a brief note on my thinking behind the images used and their placement.

Front Cover

  • illustrative
  • void space for text
  • the essence of the subject
  • a hint at what's to follow
  • uses bold eye catching colours which are continued throughout the magazine.

Page 1 - About Pittenweem
  • the larger image gives an overview of the village and illustrates the importance of the harbour to the area.
  • the 2 smaller images pick up interesting details.

Page 2 - About the Festival
  • larger image - use of the diagonal to make the image more dynamic.
  • visitors arriving and all moving in one direction.
  • smaller images illustrating the significance of the signs and how small spaces are transformed into gallery space.

Page 3 and 4 - International Artists

  • centre spread illustrating importance of the international artists and their work.
  • more "serious" muted colour tones used 

Page 5 - Food at the Festival
  • bringing the viewer back to the location of the event
  • demonstrating the festivals popularity and the relationship that binds all aspects of it to the fishing harbour.

Page 6 - Family Fun
  • demonstrates a wide range of activities
  • important to show all ages and families.

Back Cover
  • continues the "family Fun" element of the previous page.
  • rounds off the magazine with a display that would also be the finale at an event.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Preperation for formal assessment. Assignment 2 - Reflections

Formal Assessment Preparation

Work starts in earnest now to prepare and focus all my efforts on the formal assessments in November. With a view to this I have prepared a plan of action.

1. Ensure I have all the required criteria and guidelines from the OCA downloaded and read before I start anything else.

2. Review, assess and rework one assignment at a time paying particular attention to my tutors feedback.

3. Print and organise each assignment fully so that it requires no further work then leave it alone.

4. Print up the accompanying notes to include along with my tutors feedback.

5. On a practical level order ink, photo paper and a display box for presentation of the assignment.

6. Complete and tidy up my learning log. This I am dreading as I have various exhibition notes, exercises and some reading to catch up on. However as the mark for the blog is only a small proportion of overall marks I must concentrate on my prints and their content first.

So today, I ordered all my supplies, printed off the guidelines and read them all and have reviewed my tutors feedback.

As assignment 1 is included with the work sent for formal assessment but not graded I have decided to start my re-evaluation of the assignments on assignment 2 - Elements of Design.

My original thoughts on the assignment and tutor feedback is here - and having looked back at the images and having had time to reassess my tutors comments I have decided to made the following changes.


Original image.
Pattern Original
My tutor commented " good framing and use of space. The cropping has resulted in a lower quality than others here and the image is possibly over sharpened."

Both these points seem valid however the image is neither cropped or sharpened. So the poor image quality is probably due to poor camera technique on my part coupled with the fact the image is of a very grimy railway station roof. Technical as well as visual skills form part of the assessment therefore I have replaced the image with this new one.



Original image.
Diagonal original
My tutor commented "The multiplicity of lines and patterns make this an interesting picture, well composed, although it doesn't have a strong diagonal feel for me".
I looked at this image again and considered cropping the image to below the horizontal iron bar at the top of the frame. However this actually makes the diagonal line of the railway tracks even less pronounced. Personally I can see diagonals all over the image but, being the first time I have had any work formally assessed and not being sure just quite what to expect, I have deferred to his judgement and replaced the image with this one.


Certainly the new image has much more obvious diagonals in both the structure and shadows however I feel it's a bit predictable.


Original image.
Curve original

My tutor commented "There are all manner of complex curves here and the couple make a good focal point. The lighting has revealed the right hand structure really well but the left side is a little muddled. For this exercise you could maybe have focused on the right side of the walkway, possibly using portrait format with a wider-angle view".

In the size and format shown here it is very obvious that the top left corner of the picture draws the eye. It's certainly more noticeable on the digital image than the print. However I took several other images at the time and have decided to use the one below in my submission. As suggested I had cropped out the left hand side and still included a figure as a focal point. However I don't agree that a portrait format, even with a wider-angle of view, might have been better and am sticking to landscape format.

Finally - I have re-printed all the images on Epson semi gloss paper ensuring the print is technically perfect. i.e. no blown highlights, blocked shadows, banding etc and left a margin for handling around each print. The prints are all labelled and not mounted as requested.