Week 4

This was our third and last class working on our first project. In my demonstration I talked about the importance of creating areas of emphasis in addition to balancing unity and variety. By creating emphasis we tell our viewer how to read the image - what they should look at and whether or not one thing is more important than another.

If everything in our composition is equally interesting or eye-catching, it will be difficult for a viewer to engage or enter the image. It is also potentially problematic when a seemingly unimportant part of the image is visually dominant. It is important to understand visual language so we can communicate clearly with an audience. 

We talked about how to use elements and principles of visual design to create focal point(s). A focal point is an especially dominant area of emphasis. There can be more than one focal point. Some of the ways to create focal point that were mentioned are:

1. Anomaly - make one thing look different than everything else in some way.

2. Positioning - arranging compositional elements in a way to point at or accentuate one particular element. 

3. Contrast - high contrast draws more attention than low contrast. Light and dark (value) contrast is an especially powerful kind of visual contrast.

4. Concentration - lots of small things close together (high concentration) tend to draw more attention than big open shapes and spaces.

5. Level of resolution - areas of a composition that are more defined or "finished" will seem more important than areas than are less defined. Camera focus would be an example of this - the thing that is in focus in a photograph is perhaps a literal "focal point". There are many ways to use this same principle in collage by defining or obscuring pictorial information. 

There are an infinite number of ways to create areas of emphasis to make a visual statement clearer. I chose to put big orange dots on my collages - perhaps an overly obvious way to create focal point. Orange is the compliment of blue so it creates a lot of color contrast and a single dot surrounded by lines is an anomaly. So it is now clear what is of most importance in my collages. 

Next week we will start on a new project. I asked you to consider working with subject matter that is more difficult or heavy than usual. I chose the subject of "loss" but you don't necessarily need to do the same. There is a reason for this. I'll explain more next week.