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
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
That's it for now.
copyright © 2017 Fred B. Mullett