Thursday, 5 August 2010

Unit 5 Art History

Need help with critically evaluating others art work or contrasting and comparing, here are a few examples from my Distiction level Art history project.

Movement: Post impressionism
Artist: Vincent Van Gogh
Title of work: The starry night
Date of work: 1889

Materials and Processes used:
oil on canvas
vibrant swirling brushstrokes/flame-like brushstrokes
broken lines
short contrasting brushstrokes/colorful exaggerated lines

Formal elements/visual language:

The lines in this image are broken up and curved to show an impression of an image that borderlines on unreal. Even though the lines are broken up they guide the eye around the painting. Thick lines have been used to add detail to the houses in the lower part of the image. The use of curves and swirls that flow along the top contrast against the unbroken lines in the lower half of the image to achieve balance.The artist has used contrasting orange and blue tones that accentuate detail and light in parts of the image such as the brightness of the moon.

The artist was known to paint quickly and the quick dash-like brushstrokes implies texture especially in the lower half for the fields and the trees.
There is a light colored section in the middle that runs the length of the image that brings the higher more rough looking style and the lower more detailed space together.

I am not a big fan of Vincent Van Gogh's work as I find his technique a little “busy” for my taste, however, I am interested in the psychology behind this painting.

I found a quote from the artist online at

“I have a terrible need of -- dare I say the word? -- Religion. Then I go out at night to paint the stars...”

I have included this quote because I think it is relevant to the above image, not only because he speaks of painting the stars which he has obviously done, but because he speaks of his “terrible need” for religion and I think that some of the images in the above painting are quite church-like. Whether or not he has done this deliberately is anyone's guess, but I think he may have done this subconsciously. He was known to paint very quickly and have an undying urge to paint and maybe the thoughts from his subconscious mind, as well as whatever mixed emotions he was experiencing at the time, were released through his creativity.

I found another depiction of Vincent van Gogh's starry night that was done in red pen, (above right)

I also noticed that the church-like image from the previous painting were really reeds. I find it odd that they would differ so much as everything else in this image is very similar to the images in the painting. I also noted that this picture was done after the painting. Maybe the artist was in a different frame of mind when he did the latter.
I found an extract from online at that backs this theory up. According to Wikipedia;,“Vincent Van Gogh used color and vibrant swirling brush strokes to convey his feelings and his state of mind” and in an article about post impressionism it states that;

‘impressionism was filtered through the heightened perception of Van Gogh's vision, the results pushed art towards Expressionism, an exploration of the spiritual and emotional side of art.” (
This leads me to believe that there was a spiritual meaning behind this painting. Van Gogh also used flame like brushstrokes for the church-like image which could represent a burning desire for religion also.

I hope this has helped.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

"stop-motion animation" a love hate relationship

The models I made for my stop-motion college project achieved some excellent appraisal from the lecturers,they were impressed with my models even at the stage when they were just an armature and a foam body, my hunter character was probably the best, as for my squirrel I made that one several times, I experimented with various materials to make up the body but I found that a hard and light blue foam worked best because it could be easily moulded into the shape that I wanted and the plasticine that went over the top was put on really thinly because it stuck so well to the foam, this led to models that were really light and could be moved around and animated with ease.

Paris and San Francisco

when it came to filming, one of the lecturers advised that I film all of the different shots together so that the camera could remain in the same position, apparently in real life film, if they have various scenes in different parts of the world say Paris and san francisco,they will film the Paris scenes all together, and the San Francisco scenes together instead of going back and forth from country to country,so I took heed of this advice and started to film the scenes from a long shot viewpoint first. This was the first big mistake that I made because I was manipulating the models for the long shots it wasn't noticeable to the camera that the models were melting like chocolate in my hands and the detail on them was becoming less and less apparent. In fact the state of the models got so bad that I had to rebuild them, because when it came to doing the close ups they looked that rough and deformed you could barely make out there faces.

After I spent another weekend getting them up to scratch again aswell as doing any so-called freelance work I had going on, on top of another two projects, I was just so eager to start animating again.

One of the lecturers noticed that the models had changed and asked if I had rebuilt them, I assured her I hadn't which was not the case, but I didn't want her to worry that I had to start animating again from scratch as I had completed 13 and a half seconds of film already and I was ahead of the rest of the class.

The missing dope sheets

On Monday I managed to animate 10 seconds in a whole day, that was aswell as a client meeting which didn't go aswell as I had hoped, finishing a piece for the client and re-doing the two dope sheets that had miraculously gone missing in the course of last week .(I swear someone is sabotaging my work, but I cannot prove it) I didn't find out that dope sheets 10 and 11 were gone until I started animating a scene and I turned the page onto the next sheet and I saw that there was some lip-sync, were there wasn't before, so it was just a case of opening up my adobe premier pro file and re writing the two that had gone missing.

one of my lecturers had to have a quite word with me the other day, apparently a few of the students complained about me saying that I was criticising there animatic's but judging as I was the only one who had finished my animatic this just couldn't be true, how can I criticize something that I couldn't see, plus no-one would let me see how far they'd got with there's, we are encouraged to look at others work at college but if I try and do that I just get criticised for doing so, I'm not going to stop though because I'm genuinely interested with how others are doing I believe that as a team we should be able to motivate each other and learn from each other achievements not get all egotistical and jealous about it, plus I'm always there when people need help and believe me they do ask, and ill always oblige to it regardless.