Monday, 12 December 2011

Self analysis & critical reflection - project 2

Manchester Museum Project

Self-analysis and critical reflection

At first I struggled with this project. I changed my process from the last project which in itself was a mistake as I knew that the original process worked really well and produced some fantastic outcomes. Instead of the initial painting of characters I started to paint washes similar to Eric Carle’s style and cutting out the shapes to layer up with each other to create compositions. The aim was to produce children’s fact book 10-12 pages long. I struggled with type and how to make it stand out from the remainder of the image and the images themselves were weak in comparison to the work I have produced for the previous project. After deliberating for a few weeks, which on its own was too long, I decided to return to the process I used on the previous project. I have a problem working with black which is the realistic colour of a scarab so I concentrated on the jewellery aspect of the insect instead, giving me more scope to work with other colours. By doing this I have turned the project into ‘my’ project, it reflects me and I have proudly and independently found a solution to fix my struggles. My jewelled amulet now faces a new challenge though, as this project requires me to produce an A2 poster aimed at children I need to highlight that the main image is in fact an amulet and not the actual thing and is only a representation.

From the last project I have assessed that colour is an issue which needs addressing, therefore my first element of research was colour palettes. I created a mood board in accordance with the subject matter and so it needed to be appropriate. After debating which colours would be appropriate (which took a while, as you can see through the development of the work) I ended up choosing royal colours to symbolise the jewellery I was trying to represent; gold, topaz and emerald. These main colours are accompanied by spot use of red. I think that the colours work well together and harmoniously on the muted plain background. After trying the image on white, I decided that the dark grey was much more complementary to the use of colour in the title and main image. The facts ended up being white as it was the only colour that showed up well on such a dark background.

The type on the poster is again the generic Myriad Pro Photoshop default type face and doesn’t look as sophisticated as it could. I need to research type more for my next project as I think it is the one element that lets the poster down if anything. I understand that with the target audience being children it needs to be easily read but the generalness of the type is quite crude and ugly. Of course Comic Sans would have been even worse. I did attempt to hand render some type and the title of the poster however, is hand painted and matches the main feature well which I like.

I have tried to keep the tactile quality that my painted characters had in the last project and I think that I have succeeded on this front. The number of layers of paint which makes up the finished outcome essentially leads to this result.

During the course of the next project I will aim to integrate any type fully into the image rather than it being an afterthought and put on a separate layer on top. Sometimes, as seen in this and the last project this layering especially with type can look unfinished and an afterthought rather than thought of as the image as a whole. I will concentrate on use of colour again by creating another mood board as this has worked well for this project; the board gives me a reference point and inspiration. I will try to incorporate stitch instead of continuing with acrylic as I think it has more scope to be developed and explored. Additionally, stitched work has no boundaries or limits I can reach all audiences without having to change style if I utilise this process. As I have found with wet media it tends to be limited to a mainly child orientated audience and I need a process that can work well on all levels.

To make this particular project better I could have experimented with the type by hand rendering it in line with the title. Additionally, the dark background looks ugly; being a flat colour the lines start to appear from where the printer has brushed across the paper, so adding texture here could be useful. Again with the image being an amulet it would be useful for a younger audience to have an actual representation of the arthropod too, although the scarabs will be available to view on the day of the event. Creating additional dimensions for the project such as a short animation or paper model would show that the image can work across many platforms and has strength in all fields.

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