This is the initial design phase for my self-portrait woodblock assignment. I’ll post more picture to show the final product.
Although I brought an array of pictures to class, I found that I was most attracted to pictures of faces with gripping expression. By the term gripping, I mean, facial expressions that are attention-grabbing because the emotion behind the mask is unclear. At first, I thought the only way to capture this emotion was to replicate details found in the facial expression. However, I found tracing the pictures to be very limiting and frustrating because the picture would become blurry with the plastic board on top of it. I decided to trace the outline of a specific portion of the picture and then I would use free-hand brush strokes to add details and background to the image. After many frustrating attempts at trying to capture facial detail, I began to wonder what other artistic elements I could use that could evoke a similar response. In my two color prints of the little girl, I used color, alignment, and background, to explore how the same facial expression of the girl could suggest different emotions. I would like to further explore this theme of using one character but changing around different elements of the composition to stir up different meanings. This first project was helpful in lending me the opportunity to explore and consider how stylistic elements such as color, background, and placement, affect the overall quality and meaning of a print. I tend to get bogged down in focusing on one particular element, but now, I am starting to see how all these elements are interrelated and have a profound impact on the composition as a whole.