Working with flat color was fun and challenging—in the best of ways. The absence of continuous color directs the viewer’s focus to the simple outline of an object, and working within the “confines” of that simplicity is wonderful. Simply wonderful. I like the idea of taking a step back and focusing on simple shapes and colors to convey a message. With the recent increase in the accessibility of cameras that shoot in HD and deliver photos bursting with colors and detail, we have found ourselves bombarded with loud and complex photography; thus this assignment was refreshing for me.
All of my Scratch compositions were created with the intention of illustrating a scene that correlates to a memory of mine from or an idea of Ashland. In “The Guardian” I wanted to convey a large and colorful, yet slightly obscure being that sat up in the hills and watched over the town. Eventually I settled on a large bird that sat on Mt. Ashland and watched over the migrating birds. Working with simple shapes such as ovals and triangles, it was simple and effective to portray such a bird.
I employed simple shapes again in “Snow Angels” to set the scene with a snowy wonderland filled with sparse and simple trees. The stars in the night sky were made using only two triangles of varying scale. The “angels” were the most involved of anything in that composition—the wings took numerous vectors to create the look I was going for.
The final composition, of a full moon, is again set in Ashland but features a central and prominent full moon of pure white set against the black silhouettes of simple trees and mountains. I made this composition and later used it as a poster to advertise a full-moon bicycle ride around Ashland the same night. While this intention influenced my process, the simple colors and shapes allowed me to create an impactful and effective “poster” that garnered a decent amount of positive feedback.
I choose the colors that I used first to accurately represent the real-world thing that they were coloring, and second to (hopefully) work well with the surrounding color. Both of the first compositions were more realistic than stylized, though I put more thought into trying to use the same “family” of color in the third. Oranges and whites were used a plenty, with black being featured quite well, too. I thought that the small white bike wheels paralleled the large white moon well.