The brief requests to produce a poster (297mm x 420mm) that celebrates a colour of my choice. I am asked to choose a colour that is special to me and to work only with that colour, its complementary colour and black and white.
Keywords for this assignment: poster, colour, brown, white, black, meaning, text, collage, illustrations, photographs, tints, shades, creativity, limited palette, visual dynamics, contrast and texture.
The colour that I will celebrate in this assignment will be brown. I have always been fond of brown, it is a very rich and stong colour in my opinion, it is earthy and is seen wildly in nature. It reminds me of soil and tree trunks.
I find brown to be very pleasing to the eye, without being loud and harsh. My eyes and hair are brown, so guess also for that reason brown has been always special to me. While thinking about brown for this project, I also realized that I have lots of brown clothes, shoes, handbags, eye shadows etc.
I started the research by looking at different illustrations, collages, paintings etc. that have a lot of brown in them. By doing this I want to see what complementary colour to choose for the poster and to see how brown is used in different images.
After doing the research I decided for the complementary colour to be blue. Following are a few examples of illustrations and photographs with blue and brown together:
I also remember how much I liked the brown/blue combination in the guidebook cover for Montreal in the Abstract cities exercise:
I want to include in the collage subjects somehow connected to me, as I would like for it to be a representation of what is important and close to me, but I would also like to keep with the earthy theme.
I decided to paint the background in watercolours. I included brown, blue and white in it. The soil will be represented by brown, it will merge into blue and white, that could be water or sky.
The other idea for the background that I wanted to try out was weaving it on a weaving loom:
I used similar colours to the watercolours background. I like the texture of the background made out of wool, but I suspect that it might be a little overpowering and busy for a background. I also tried a background made out of newspaper clippings, a photo of one of the doors in my apartment and a photo of my schetchbook placed on the wooden floor:
I decided to use 5 letters spelling brown in my collage. I wanted to incorporate blue into the text as it is my complementary colour.
The other element will be a brown eye collage:
I made it out of pieces of paper, I am really happy with the way it came out. It will add a piece of me to the collage as I have brown eyes and the colours I used in it keep with the colour palette I chose for this project. The eye is quite striking and should add to the final collage.
I also wanted to include a brown garment and brown hair to represent me in my work and to keep with the brown theme. I found a model in a fashion magazine wearing a brown coat and she has brown hair. I thought I might use it:
I did some experimenting with the different elements of the collage.
The background turned out to be most difficult. The first few ideas just did not work. The watercolours background made the piece look washed out and the background I made on the weaving loom was overpowering. In the end the photo of my sketchbook suited the collage best. It took me a while to incorporate the text into the piece. At first I wanted to place the paper cutout letters in the bottom left corner, but then I decided that placing them on a circle will make it look cohesive and I thought it did. I just filled the white circle with the watercolour background and placed it in such a way so that the figure overlays it. I think the text looks less out-of-place like that.
The second poster will share some elements with the first one, but I will try to make it different by introducing some new elements. I will use the white circle with the text, background and the eyes from the first poster. I want to make a woman’s face out of paper. I started by ripping brown pieces of paper and arranging it into a hair shape. I used different magazines to get different shades of brown. I also made a hair collage out of smooth pieces of paper, but I prefer the ‘ripped’ effect.
I am happy with the way it looks. The ripped pieces give the hair a nice and full texture. For the face I wanted to make a collage out of a few different parts of different models’ faces merging into one. I experimented with 4 rectangles that I put together to make a face and I tried putting together horizontal stripes.
I decided to use the face made out of 4 rectangles. The next step was to add the eyes I made and used in Poster 1. I simply covered the model’s eyes with my paper eyes.
I am happy with the way the elements look together. The eyes are very intense and staring. I decided to keep them large comparing to the size of the face to make them pop out more. I used text in a similar way I used it in the previous poster. I just put it in the bottom right corner, so it looks like the person in the poster is wearing a badge on her coat. The blue coat completed the picture, it gave me the opportunity to attach the badge with the text to it and to use the complementary blue in the poster.
The background is the same as in the previous poster, it is very neutral which suits this vibrant collage rather well. The final step was to crop the edges of the poster to put more emphasis on the eyes and the badge.
I am much happier with this poster than Poster 1. All the elements seem to work together. The blue bottom of the poster gives a nice variety from plenty of brown used in the top half.
My third collage will feature a silhouette of a woman walking. I want to incorporate a bit of nature into this poster. I started by sketching different trees with a silhouette of a woman walking across.
For the background I used a picture of a brick wall, I like the texture of it and it keeps with the brown theme. I transferred a picture of a coat I found in a fashion magazine into Photoshop. The coat was originally very fair, so I changed the colour of it to brown with a washed out bottom part.
The poster is celebrating brown colour, so I added a number of brown elements to it. The next element that I added was hair. I took a picture of my own hair and incorporated it into the collage. The hair will cover the whole face. This element represents me and the brown theme.
My complementary colour is blue, I added just one blue element, which is a blue shirt, peeking out of the open coat. The blue colour will not be present as vastly as in the previous collages. I added brown suede boots and legs to complete the model. I wanted to add a black and white colour into the collage by adding a newspaper that the model with carry in her hand. I found a picture of a blank paper online and I added text to it in Illustrator. The title will spell ‘BROWN’ and there will be a few columns of text imitating an article about brown colour, that the person in the poster just read or is just about to read. I used the pattern I made on a weaving frame for Poster 1, but I never used it for it. I cut out just the brown bottom, as it will imitate the soil the model is walking on.
Initially, I wanted to incorporate a tree into the collage, but then I decided to abandon the idea, as I thought that the silhouette will be made out of a number of elements and I did not want to make it too cluttered. However, after having made the whole silhouette, it seemed to me that the collage did not look complete and rather bare on top. Therefore, I decided to include more elements that the woman is likely to come across on her autumn walk and elements that will add to the celebrating of brown colour. First, I added a bare tree, that I thought filled out well the empty top of the collage. I thought a wooden bench, placed behind the silhouette, was a pleasant addition to the background.
These are my final collages:
I found the making of this assignment exciting, rewarding and painful at the same time. It all started very well for me, the cutouts and collage elements I made at the beginning of the assignment, made me think that the assignment will be easy and pleasant as I came up with a few elements so quickly and was rather happy with what I made. Then came the first bump, which was putting together the first collage. I really struggled with making all the elements work together, everything looked well in my mind, but then when I had the outcome on a screen in front of me, it looked completely different from how I imaged it. The first poster took me a while to make. I am still not completely happy with it, but at least I got over the frustration while making Poster 2 and 3. The next 2 posters were completely different. I seemed to like what I was creating, how it all looked together and I had more ideas. I was happy with the way I used space in those collages. The elements in the three posters represent me and what I like about brown colour. I enjoyed making some elements myself, instead of having everything done on a computer.