the Elegant Mess...part deux

The longer description of the Elegant Mess will not deal with material specifics.  It will, however, address a few of the basic graphic components that contribute to the merit of several of the samples.  (Material specifics will come at some point in the future.  Thank you for your patience on this.)

In two-dimensional graphics, everything sits on a background. (Some of this is covered more extensively in Push/Pull.)  A white piece of paper is a background in service to the image you put on it.  Same with a black piece of paper.

But plain paper - no matter what the color - lacks interest.  Any sort of texturing or pattern gives the work more "visual flavor"; more "pizzazz"; more interest.  That's the upside.  The downside is that if it's too interesting, it detracts from the image you put on top.

Here is an example of this idea:

This is an image that has a high contrast, uniform patterning effect to it.  And, believe it or not, there is an object sitting on top of this checkerboard pattern!  You can't see it because it matches the background.

But let's take this same layout, and lighten and diffuse the background while leaving the object on top in place.  (Roll your mouse over the image below to see this effect.)


The only thing that has changed is the "presence" of the background.  It has less of an impact due to its decreased value contrast (gray and white as opposed to black and white) and the softening of the hard edges.  The object is still sitting on the background (it almost seems to float).  It just draws our attention more because of this change in the background.

This is the same general approach to some of the images in the samples for the Elegant Mess.  It is certainly seen in the samples below.


Notice the softer background and the harder splattered images that seem to be in front.  Much like rain on the window. When the droplets get your attention, the shapes in the background fuzz out and you get a sense of depth on a two-dimensional surface.

That's it for now.

copyright 2017 Fred B. Mullett