Friday, December 9, 2011

Concentrations 5-6

I have just completed my fourth and fifth pieces for my AP concentration, both of which are scratchboard pieces representing my grandfather, Falfa, as child in the early 1930's.  I used old photographs my mother gave me for references for these pieces.  My fifth concentration piece shows my grandfather in the yard feeding a few birds that could be chickens or some other type of agricultural fowl.
         I used hard edges and clear lines to depict the birds and my grandfather, while I left many soft edges in the back ground for the trees grass and fences.  To create these soft edges, I used a combination of an xacto knife and just a regular nail file that I found under my bathroom sink.  I tested various tools from needles to screwdrivers to hairbrushes with metal bristles, before discovering that the nail file could give me the soft look I desired.  The contrast of the hard and soft edges brings the focus of the work to little Falfa and the birds. Additionally, foreground objects, such as the foreground grass, are sharper and have harder edges than background elements such as the fence, creating a sense of depth.  Furthermore, foreground objects have more contrasting values and more emphasized highlights than the background objects giving more focus to objects in the foreground. I used stippling and hatching techniques with the xacto knife to create the forms of Falfa, the birds, and a few background elements like the sky and the trees.   I made good use of diagonal lines in this work to create a sense of movement and life in an otherwise tranquil image. The diagonal slant upon which Falfa and the birds are situated implies that they are sitting on a hill and creates a slight sense of falling.  In addition, Falfa’s arm is a diagonal line pointing toward the birds, the birds’ tails sticking up in the air create more diagonal lines, the foreground grass is composed of diagonal lines and the hatched lines in the sky are diagonal as well.
Below are a few picture of the process of creating this work, from my original drawing to the scratchboard itself.

Concentration #6

         My sixth concentration piece depicts Falfa again feeding birds but in a different location-outside of a wooden house.  In this piece, many of the forms such as the house, the birds, and Falfa, are very detailed and have many values.  In order to break up the space and create balance, I added very dark, and very light areas, with little change in value. Also, as the objects recede into the background, they become darker and less detailed with little contrast, creating a sense of depth, and a sense that the house is going farther away from the viewer. The placement of the birds also creates an implied semi-circle around Falfa, creating a sense of movement and emphasizing Falfa as the center of interest. 
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