003 Raincoat Girl & Colour

I printed the photos of the raincoat girl with labels. I wanted to see how I could use different effects to influence the message of the picture. I printed these images at 75% of the original image size.

I selected black-and-white for printing, and I really like the effect this has on the composition. Printing in black-and-white allows me to see the different tones within this image, that I couldn’t see in the colour version. Waiting is something that we usually do not like to do. Therefore, printing this image in black-and-white emphasises the boredom and passing of time that we associate with waiting.

I then chose to print one of the photos in red. I chose the ‘unbreakable’ image because of the use of scissors in the picture. When looking at colour theory, I learned that red has associations with danger and blood. Therefore I felt it appropriate to use red with the subject of something being ‘unbreakable’.

Colour by Ambrose/Harris

For this next image, I used an effect called duotone. This is where the image prints in black and another colour. In this case I chose yellow and black. According to colour theory, which I read about in the book Colour by Ambrose/Harris, yellow is a bright and happy colour. The book also says that yellow is versatile and can represent many emotional states. “Greeny yellows have a stronger connection to illness and nausea.” I think this is the case within my image, since the use of black and yellow in my prints, combine to create a greenish tone.

I wanted to try the duotone effect using a different colour in place of the yellow. For this image, I used blue and black. Colour theory suggests that blue is calming, however the use of black in this print, combines with the blue and creates a darker navy blue. “Darker blues, such as navy, are considered conservative and uniform.” I like the depth created with black and blue this photo. It is appropriate for the image, because of the strong shadow in the foreground.

I used blue when printing this image, but this time I chose to omit the black. This gave the photo a cooler and lighter feel. “Pale blue suggests more youthful and serene qualities.” I feel that blue in this case gives The Raincoat Girl a youthful look. I wanted to combine the ‘unbreakable’ image with the image of bricks, to emphasise the word unbreakable. I took this photo of bricks while in town. I like the warmth of the bricks in contrast to the pale figurine. Because of the paleness of the blue print, the background was useful in framing the subject.

I had the idea of combining my figurine with different backgrounds, to see how this could add to the message. I need to be careful so as not to overcomplicate the image and therefore the message. For the old-fashioned figurine, I used a photo I took of a dead tree. The tree is clearly aged, and this ties in with the theme old-fashioned, but in a literal way. I kept the text on the left-hand side, as it relates to a JPEG file. This is a contemporary theme, so I felt it made a nice contrast with the rest of the subject.

I photographed some flowers in the park. People say that no two flowers are alike. In this piece I played with that idea, by combining the flowers with a copy stamp. The viewer considers the fact that this figurine is a copy, due to its being mass produced. The figurine also has a story of its own, and therefore is more than just a copy.

003 Artists & Words

I was interested in looking at how words can affect the meaning of an image or sign. Words are signs in themselves. To combine them with images can change the meaning completely, emphasise the meaning, or create a sense of irony and humour.

First, I looked at They Key of Dreams by Rene Magritte:

First, I looked at They Key of Dreams by Rene Magritte. In this painting he presents the viewer with a selection of different objects, divided by frames. The division gives us a sense that the artist doesn’t want us to connect the meanings between objects. The painted representations are detailed and realistic. Because of this, they could be considered icons.

A bag, a penknife, a leaf and a sponge are all common items. A sponge and leaf are natural, and the bag and knife are man-made. He then gives them inaccurate labels: Le ciel is the sky. L’oiseau is a bird. La table is a table. However, L’eponge is the sponge, which he labels correctly. In giving these objects different names, the viewer is led to question the use of the object and whether there may be some resemblance between the object being named and the object pictured.

Is a bag open like the open sky? Is a bird’s beak sharp like a knife? Could a leaf possibly be used as a table? Or are tables made from the same tree as a leaf comes from? The contradictions make for an interesting piece. They make the viewer think, and I really like that.

Brian Rea

Brian Rea is an illustrator based in Los Angeles. His drawings and animations are playful and easy to understand. His style can be decorative but not overworked or garish. I like his restricted colour palette and hand-drawn lines. Several of his illustrations incorporate words. With few words he is able to say a lot. And this is because of how he has used the words.

(All images from BrianRea.com)

In this first example, there is the element of needing to know some background knowledge. A symbol is a sign that communicates a concept. In this instance, Rea is referring to social media likes. He signifies this without needing to draw a phone or computer screen. The words and the thumbs up icon are enough to reference the social media structure to an audience who has knowledge of social media programmes.

With this image, you would need to understand written English to be able to understand the message.

When viewing this piece, the viewer is putting together the meaning in their mind. The words and images here are of equal importance to communicate the meaning.

I then thought of words I could associate with my chosen object, The Raincoat Girl:

I cut out the labels and placed them next to the figurine. I wanted to see the effect of adding words and what I could be signifying, with the addition of these words.

The sign ‘Waiting’ suggests a narrative. The figurine is holding 2 umbrellas. The viewer can add together these 2 signs and decide that The Raincoat Girl is waiting for somebody to arrive.

I noticed that I saw the figurine in a different light depending on these captions. For instance, her expression looked more bored when she was placed next to the ‘Waiting’ sign and looked defiant when placed next to the sign that says ‘Unbreakable’. Am I imagining this? What do you think?