Saturday, February 1, 2014

February 2014 theme

The theme for February 2014 is:

Greetings, Laura C-W here,  with apologies running a little late (the joys of technology)

Well now, "windows": we can think of this literally - the openings in walls or gates through which we view, looking out, looking in, wondering what is on the other side.
Exploring this idea leads to wonderful fantasies, doesn't it.

We can remember the suggestion that the eyes are the windows to the soul, and play with that in our imagery. What would that look like for any one of us?

What I'd like to share with you are some ways of using "windows" to isolate or identify strong points in your sketches or in determining if a work in process needs refining or cropping. Think of how we use the viewfinder in our cameras and how we use the crop tool when processing digital photos.

My two favorite "windows " for these purposes are empty slide frames, and pre-cut mat boards.

  Here we have a small piece that needs editing.
In the two lower images I have used a pre-cut mat board to see if part of the composition is stronger than the whole.
 I think so but don't know which I favor quite yet.

The slide frame can be used to isolate a part of a view of anything you are looking at (you have probably seen images of artist with their thumb and index finger circled and held up in front of their eye - that's another sort of "viewfinder" or window.)

Another "window" tool I use, both in my sketchbook and in work in process is a grid, sectioning off areas to provide focus or to eliminate some chaos.

These two bits were loosely based on the sketches above.

The image above is a detail from "Harbinger". The grid separates sections, allowing the eye to rest, also creating little windows into the subject matter - Spring color.

Another thing to think about is that your imagery is a select window through which you share a vision, an idea or a design. The dimensions you choose for the finished piece can emphasize this concept. Pay attention the windows you see or attracted to, including the classic "rose" windows (mandalas anyone?) or tall narrow windows, windows with multiple panes... Perhaps this way of thinking and observing will lead you to new places as you doodle, sketch, compose and construct.
Be inquisitive and observant.

“Our senses are indeed our doors and windows on this world, in a very real sense the key to the unlocking of meaning and the wellspring of creativity.”  Jean Houston

The last day of each month we have a slide show of the Sketchbook Challenge Flickr group's work for that month's theme. To have your work in the slideshow at the end of this month, be sure to tag it on flickr with feb257.

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