Wednesday, June 24, 2009

An Interesting Exercise

Watching the Fashion Show last night, Bravo’s answer to the stalled-in-court Project Runway, I was fascinated by the “mood board” that Mizrahi showed designers to help them grasp the main concepts of his next group of fashions.   A mood board is a tool used in designing many different things: music albums, websites,  interior design, fashion collections, film, jewelry collections, flower gardens and so on.  The board can be presented in landscape or portrait mode.  It includes the main colour scheme, styles, inspirations, theme and mood for the intended opus.   You can actually even download a template from the net! (Not that I think you need to do that.) 

  I have long advocated collecting inspirational material – ripping out pages from magazines (where e’er you encounter them!), or copying pages from books, or jotting down a few words or a quick sketch onto paper, collecting postcards on trips – and sticking them into a note book.   When I need a jolt of inspiration I’ll look through the notebooks….or sometimes I’ll just look through them anyway to see all the pretty pictures!!  Ripping them out as you go also saves you from having piles of magazines lying around that “might come in useful” one day – rip out the juicy bits, and recycle the rest!

Now I’m thinking it will be interesting to go through my “inspirations” and see if they will naturally group  together onto Mood Boards.    It would be good to add a few sentences outlining a clear theme, scale, value key and color scheme.  The quality of the lines and shapes could also be included.  In one space you could pull together the whole intent and elemental outline of the piece…or the series!



Meanwhile, back in the studio, and away from feet up watching telly and catch-stitching the interfacing down on the Cement Works 1 piece, I’m still struggling to complete the top of Cement Works 2: The Red Castle – well that’s the tentative title!!  here’s the piece so far:   (feel free to comment!).

Critiqueing myself:  I find it helpful to put an image of a piece I’m stuck with up on the computer – sometimes I’ll photograph 2 or 3 different versions and put them up side by side to compare. 

One of the things I did with this piece was to take away everything I didn’t like, even if I  loved the little bit in and of itself – it can always be used for another day, or decorate a corner of the design wall!!  Having done that I realise I still need to push back the top right hand pale element…I’ve tried substituting other fabric but the whole thing went dead..while I love the complexity of the little walking rail platform things (in black), it may have to move…also since I’ve got curves on a lot of elements, those without curves look a bit odd, so they may have to be rounded out somehow!!  I do like the lightening (by hollowing out) of the long diagonals, and the drips on the big red container (actually it was a sort of peeling paint effect on the original) – but with the shape of the drip, I’ve echoed the shape of the big funnel on the right.   I’ve not yet found a resolution for that bottom right hand some way to go yet.  also I want to add a few touches of a cool color, it’s a bit too suffocating at present, and my theme was the height and complexity of the buildings not a feeling of suffocation!!    A little touch of the opposite temperature  (warm colors are the yellow-green, yellow, yellow orange, orange, red orange, red, red purple side of the colour wheel, and cool the opposite ones) will always help  in balance  and clarity of colour as well as intensity.  Don’t just use all warm or all cool!

so back to a cuppa tea, and then to work!  If you have been, thanks for reading!  Elizabeth
…..and don’t forget to comment!!


Anita Heady Fiber Arts, LLC said...

Elizabeth, I love your work and enjoy your blog very much.

Jackie said...

Thank you for inviting readers to follow your progress, it's fascinating! Opening up the diagonal catwalks was a great move. You still have that lovely line and they're more integrated and reflective of other elements. Now I see that the height of the front row of small tanks repeats the catwalk's diagonal from upper left to lower right. I appreciate the new tank in that sequence, the values of the mid-light orange are very nice. Adding the second from right red tank brings red to that side and the lacy top relates it to the rest of the piece, good move! Changing color on the second large tank on the left to partly brown and expanding the drip was a good move, it broke up the red monopoly there. That lower right is confusing. Interesting change to the tops of the smaller foreground tanks. Please keep us informed, as I said, it's a fascinating process.

Nina Marie said...

Ohh I like the changes you made. I too like the lattice catwalk. With buildings overlapping it, it looks less like a fallen cross. My eye keeps falling to the center to upper half. It seems like it never moves down to the lower half. Is that the quiet space of the piece - to balance off the complex upper? I love following the progress - so insightful and inspiring! thanks!

Linda B. said...

It's hard not to 'me too', but thanks for the invitationto join.

Breaking up the diagonals has gone a long way to helping the eye to travel. You say the bottom right is unresolved and I'd add that the difference in complexity of pattern (shape on shape)between the upper and lower sections is too marked. The tanks in the middle section seem disconnected from the rest of the piece. If you were looking to keep the walking planks, rounded or not, perhaps this idea could be repeated in the lower half connecting the tanks.

Hmm, did I say I didn't think on line critiquing would be viable????? said...

Hi Elizabeth, The piece seems to be essentially two parts. The top part is complex, with shapes, colors, value shifts, and lines. The bottom is a simple, minimalist design, with repeating shapes and colors. The bottom seems bigger than it needs to be, as is, out of proportion to the top. Perhaps considering the simplicity/complexity factors, balance between the top and bottom, while thinking through some changes there might help you pull this work together. Keep going. Best wishes. Rosemary

Jackie said...

Hello, Elizabeth, I've been pondering your piece all day long. I cut and pasted the latest and the earlier ones plus the photos and finally have a statement--I think it's very dense. Nothing can breathe. Thanks again for sharing your process with us. I'm sure we're all eagerly waiting.

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

It has been interesting to say the least to follow your process. I feel your brain at work. I think the addition of some cool colors is exactly what is needed. I am sure you will resolve your problems on your own and I would audition a blue grey down on the bottom right.

See this is what is wrong with showing your process, you get a lot of opinions. :)