Medium: Bienfang paper, Derwent graphic pencil set
Dimensions: 18 x 24 in.
The elements and principles of design can help us to understand an image, no matter the medium. Using them when creating an image creates a stronger finished piece. My biomorphic animal drawing can be better understood by looking at its texture, space, and contrast.
Since the animal I chose is a dog, creating a fur-like texture was necessary. I worked toward having this texture by shading using single lines placed closely together. The lines curve and move in different ways to show how the fur had grown on the husky and how it would lie on its body in this position. For the hat, I first shaded around the edges of the hat. I then shaded in different sections along the hat to create the fabric texture. I chose not to blend the shading for either of these parts of the image to make the texture stay closer to how it would look in reality. On the other hand, I blended the shading on the mechanical elements to look smoother since metal generally does not have a lot of texture.
The way in which the animal takes up space in the page helps with how the drawing’s composition is seen. I wanted the animal to take up most of the paper so I have the potential to add a lot more visible detail. If I had made it smaller, it would have been difficult to some of the more subtle detail of the animal, such as the shine on the husky’s nose and the reflection in its eyes. I put the animal off-center to make its presentation stronger. The image would not have been as strong if it was directly in the center of the paper. Also, this way helps with the impression of action, like the husky is looking down off the bottom of the paper at something capturing its interest.
Within the image, there is a full range of shading that creates a nice amount of contrast. The husky’s fur has many different shades, so it creates a lot of contrast within the animal itself. With the hat being the darkest part of the image, the eye goes to that point first. It then moves to the darker fur on the animal’s back and toward the right following the different values. Since metal is generally grayish in hue, it is about the same shade as the gray areas of the fur. However, there is enough of a difference in the value to create some contrast between those two elements. The differences in the contrast help to direct your eyes across the paper.
While an image can be strong standing on its own, thinking of it in the terms of the elements and principles of design can help us determine how successful an image is. Using texture, space, and contrast the choices behind my biomorphic animal can be better understood. These aspects of art in a work are what make art such a powerful force in our lives.