After creating the snail patterns on my brother, I still felt that the photos did not show exactly what I wanted to achieve. With some help from a photography student, I manipulated my photo on Photoshop by layering my photo of my brother and a shell photo to create an image that looked more realistic in terms of what I was aiming to achieve. This is what I generated:
I am really happy with how my snail image turned out, I feel the effect helps it to be more catchy and look much more realistic than my original idea which is something I was trying to aim for. However although I am pleased with my creation, I still do not think it is up to full exhibition standard and I know I am capable of creating something stronger.
With this in mind, I started to create a small range of experiments.
My first experiment evolved a simple technique of layering. Inspired by an exhibition I have been to a private view of during the summer, the artist Christian Astor layered cigarette papers on a canvas and drew with fine liner on top of them to create a stunning piece using such simple materials.
I chose to layer a piece of tracing paper on top of my A3 image and use fine liner to highlight my brother and his shell! I was eager to see how my experiment would turn out and interested to see what I could create in this medium.
I think my tracing paper fine liner piece has come out really well. It looks quite delicate as well and putting emphasis on the shell. However next time I think I would try and find a way to make the background stand out more as I feel it is as important as the foreground image. I would like to find a balance between the two.
My next experiment involved using a real shell on top of my photo to see how that would look. The shell I chose was quite big and fitted well on top of my image. I had previously cut out the image of my brother and taken away the background. Although I know the background will be part of my final piece, I wanted to see what effect I could create with the background being absent but having a 3D variable. After sticking everything together on a canvas, I painted the shell from purple to the same patterns as my original shell.
Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed with how it turned out. Although I liked the idea, the way I put in into action did not really work. The shell looked too out of place in the image and the absent background made the piece too spacious, and the white created more sadness than adventure. I was glad I tried it out and saw the outcome but I feel I need to work on my 3D mixed media in order to obtain more confident results.
Whilst I had cut out the photo of my brother for my last piece, I decided to use the outline of the photo from the background and construct a simple watercolour piece just to practice a little my watercolours and because I was feeling inspired on the day and wanted to see the outcome.
I would never use this as a final piece but I loved just getting back into watercolour as I have not used it in a while. I love the boldness of the colourful outcome and feel I was quite inspired by the artist Wilhelm Staehle I looked at in an earlier blog post who uses silhouettes. I may have go at finding a comment to write on my work just as he has, but after previously thinking, I do not feel my work shows enough for a comment to make complete sense.
I had rediscovered some pages of a book that I ripped up last year from a project and thought that maybe by putting them on my piece I could create the feeling of confusion and loneliness as opposed to happy and adventurous which was the aim of my project. I was quite inspired to show the opposite which is also the case of adventure, there always comes a little fear. I decided to show the confusion by cutting out my brother again and placing him on a black hardboard background and sticking ripped pages of the book around him. If we look closely at the piece, we can see some different emotions written in the words around him such as frightening and dazzled.
When looking at my piece I feel the opposite of what my aim was for my final piece and for this reason I’m really happy with my achievement. Although the piece is simple, it highlights some of the emotions I felt when moving abroad. The black background also shows an aspect of unknown future and fear of what is to come. After creating this piece, even though it was not the task I set myself, I felt happy having experimented using hardboard as a base and also looking more at mixed media. I think this experiment is possibly my biggest success.