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Old 06-11-2008, 05:39 PM
Aamalthea Aamalthea is offline
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Confused on a design

Hi all!

I need a little bit of direction here. I'm working on a final for my design class, and the teacher and I are ...well...not on the same wavelength it seems so I can't trust my own instincts anymore.

The one at the top there, I did with a lot of inspiration, and there's a lot of feeling in it, even though I didn't specifically make the background. The bottom one, is a sketch where I created every piece of it, but I wasn't very inspired to do it. To be honest, I was quite bone dry as far as inspiration and creativity is concerned.

Now keep in mind these are both just sketches for a final, but I'm curious which one of these do you think better represents "elements of basic design" like balance and contrast and such. I thought the top one was more balanced with the wings going up and the tail balancing the bottom right. Is my idea of balance off?
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:19 PM
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WFMartin WFMartin is online now
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Re: Confused on a design

I has been my opinion, based upon some experience, that it makes very little difference whether or not you painted a piece "with feeling". It is more important that you inspire a given "feeling" or "mood" within the viewer. In fact, you could have been quite un-inspired in your creation of a piece, but if it inspires the viewer, that is generally all that is important.

A piece of advice that I once read regarding being juried into shows, and receiving awards, is that your painting should make the judge say, "Wow!" In this case, your goal, it seems, would be to cause your critical teacher to have the same response. Your art needs to do that.

In both your designs, you violate one basic "rule" of composition, in that in each piece you have a subject "facing out" of your composition. Ordinarily, that would be of not much importance to me, but you did mention that you did these works with the purpose of displaying proper elements of design, and subjects looking out of the window is a violation of that premise, I believe.

The top one seems just a tad bit more "together" than the bottom one does.

Take care,

wfmartin. My Blog "Creative Realism"...www.williamfmartin.blogspot.com .
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:00 AM
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bobc100 bobc100 is offline
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Re: Confused on a design

As far as balance goes, the one on the top seems to me to be way heavy on the left side. Not only is all the visual weight over there, but you've got a major element touching the left side and everything appearing to point over to the left. I'm thinking the balance might be much better if the foreground elements were reversed, or the background move to the right, or a white strip with some small element in it added to the left to balance the one on the right. You might also think about what you want your prime focus point to be and how to make that happen.

The second one does appear very balanced, although it might be even more so if the figure was gazing into the composition and the circle in the upper left was brought in a little closer to everything else. I will agree, however, that it isn't nearly so interesting an image as the first one.
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:39 AM
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La_ La_ is offline
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Re: Confused on a design

i would have like to see the 'wings' leave the canvas on the left (the abrupt stop bothers me)

and the figure in the second, i feel, is too close to the edge ... she could be backed up a bunch ... enough for her shadow to cross both the light and medium shades of ground

do tell, what did your 'teach' say?

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Old 06-12-2008, 03:10 PM
Aamalthea Aamalthea is offline
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Re: Confused on a design

Teacher said this: "Your previous thumbnails that you had submitted were much better visually in terms of manipulation of elements of design; pyrmaids, sun, textures, your own designs, etc. Here I mostly see a dune, a bike stuck there and an illustration....although the illustration is very interesting, it really overwhelms the design. Maybe you can make this less heavy visually, less contrast, and have it wrap around a pyrmaid"

Previous thumbnails being the greyscale pyramid scheme which was a first draft. I had been thinking, and looking at other's work and I started to think that this is a "it's not what you draw but how you place it" type of deal here. This is a Fundamentals of Design class after all.

So considering my teacher seems to like the greyscale version, if I turn the image around, stand her up and have her facing the pyramid in the back, change the first planet so that it is over her but a little tiny bit to the right of her, and then add some color change to show distance, would that still be balanced? I will be adding a sketch later on to show what I'm talking about but if you can get a mind vision of that, would that be considered balanced still?

Thanks for the help you guys have given me so far. I apperciate it.
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Old 06-15-2008, 03:02 PM
Subbia Subbia is offline
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Re: Confused on a design

I need a little bit of direction here. I'm working on a final for my design class, and the teacher and I are ...well...not on the same wavelength it seems so I can't trust my own instincts anymore.

You should trust your instincts to a point. There is a famous quote by Michelangelo,

It is better to keep one's compass in one's eye, and not in the hands, for the hands may execute, but the eye judges.

Basically, Michelangelo was referring more to the preconceived notion of proper proportion that writers like Vitruvius, Alberti, and Theophilus preached. However, his quote can be applied fairly to all aspects of both composition and execution. You must remember that your judgement is ultimately what passes or fails a composition. But you must use that judgement in conjunction with the rules of design.

In addition, the far greater point is one of patron. Your teacher, who is your patron in this sense, is asking you to perceive design through his or her own way. It is something you have to accept if you wish to get a good grade. The majority of art teachers that I have met are finicky, indiscreet and arrogant. Unfortunately, you are in a position of apprenticeship, and thus must obey the rules set forth by them. You must learn to turn the other cheek.

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