All posts by pittsburgharticulate

Final Project Assigned and Workday for Multiples Project

Before we play one last thing to cover….

The Golden Ratio

Useful to consider when determining your composition and framing.  It wont always be what you want to do but who knows, it might come in handy…


some useful templates:


Design Fundamentals Final Project

Your last project will be a series of three pieces that thematically and visually relate.

Each work should show careful planning and relate form to content. This includes your presentation or framing of each piece.  Is it mounted? Framed? Or do you have creases and glue spots?

Any materials we have used in class will be allowed including stop-motions.  NO TO DIGITALLY ILLUSTRATED IMAGERY.  MAYBE TO TEXT, see me first.  YES TO COLLAGED MATERIAL, YOUR OWN PHOTOGRAPHY, MIXED MEDIA.

You can think of this as three logos that represent a person at different stages in their life, a three part visual story, an illustration of movement, etc.

This project must show formal decisions that support the content of the works. Including three of the following:


Negative space (figure ground)

Perspective (linear or aerial)


Color (monochromatic, triadic, polychromatic)

Gestalt (whole is greater than sum of parts)

Space (scale and proportion)

Composition (rule of thirds, golden mean)

Pattern or Repetition

Variety and Unity


Things Things Things Things Things

Many contemporary artists are well known for using everyday inexpensive and multiple units of same materials to make art.

Jason Peters


Megan Geckler

Willie Cole

Jean Shin

image of artwork

image of artwork

The Brick Artist (Nathan Sawaya)

Holton Rower

Felipe Barbosa

We Make Carpets

We Make Carpets Temporary Contemporary Carpets

We Make Carpets Temporary Contemporary Carpets

Tara Donovan

Tom Friedman

Studio Exercise A:

What fear/welcoming/surprise/boredom/sadness feel like.  The purpose of this exercise is to warm up your abstract thinking through manipulation of texture.

Studio Exercise B:

From One Thing to Another.  The purpose of this exercise is to look at something a bit different than normal.  To see something(s) as possibilities not as definitions.

Using a paper bag, transform the material into something else – a new and unexpected abstract form.  You can use your tools, your hands, water, anything you can find in the class to manipulate the paper.  It might be best to play first…

Now for the fun part… HOMEWORK!


Dollar Store Multiple


Color Schemes

From the studio Richard Mehl, the study of color combinations.

“The color stripe composition, like a color grid, presents students with the challenge of exploring specific color contrasts. In this assignment, I asked students to explore what Itten called contrast of extension—also referred to as contrast of proportion. This form of color contrast is based on the concept of light values, originally proposed by the 19th century German polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. …

In these projects, students used the principle of light values, along with personal color associations, to express concepts related to war and peace. They explored the idea of a stripe composition as a kind of abstract expression—the rhythmic intervals, proportional relationships, and suggestive characteristics of simple parallel forms. The visual structure of a diptych is employed to express the contrasts and connections of war and peace.”



Studio Assignment: Chose one of the following concepts: War and Peace, Life and Death, Up and Down, Chaos and Order, Pain or Pleasure, Failure or Success, Love and Hate, Male and Female.  Just as in the examples above, you will create a diptych with colored pencils on paper.  EACH panel must be mounted.  Think about the scale and shape of each part of the diptych.  These will be completed in class today.  No smaller than 6″ x 6″ for each panel.

Homework: Invented perspective letter invasion (help with lettering can be found HERE and here.)

Artists: Ed Rushca, Wayne White, Morgan Giselle Milders

Perspective Tutorials and FUN STUFF:

Week 9/10 Individual Meetings

I would like to meet with you all individually to check in on your progress and answer any questions you might have about the content covered this far in the course.

I will also be giving you information on your artist presentations that will be due week 14 (the class before our final exam).

I am available to meet before or after class, or on Friday before noon.  If these times do not work for you, please let me know what will and we can schedule another time.  In the meantime you can read the presentation guidelines and start to think of what artist you might want to share with the class.

Design Fundamentals Oral Presentation on an Artist of Your Choice

These presentations are meant to be of benefit to the entire class by giving them the opportunity to learn a little bit about the life and work of a specific artist who you find makes good work utilizing the principles of art and design that we have covered in this class.  The presentation should be no more than 10 minutes long.  It should be accompanied by no more than four ppt slides or images.  The images should be carefully chosen, because you should spend time talking about each one and should discuss how the works exemplify one or another of the design fundamentals.

You should include some basic information in your first 2 minutes–information on where and when the artist was born, how he or she began making art and the interest or message they send through their work.

The rest of your presentation (8 minutes) can concentrate on:

  • the artist’s individual ideas and/or inventions
    • different stages in the artist’s production (if they exist)
    • why you consider the artist to be important (or why he or she is overrated or underrated)

Be prepared to answer questions from the class on your artist.


Please email me your presentation before class so I can load them onto the computer.  You should also bring your presentation on a thumb drive in the event a file cannot open.


“Day and night, light and darkness — this polarity is of fundamental significance in human life and nature generally. The painter’s strongest expression of light and dark are the colors white and black. The effects of black and white are in all respects opposite, with the realm of grays and chromatic colors between them. The phenomena of light and dark, both among white, black, gray, and among pure colors, should be thoroughly studied, for they yield valuable guides to our work.”

– Johannes Itten, The Art of Color

value (power point presentation) or value (pdf document)

value scales: various shades from light to dark

Examples of 10 step value scales using lines or dots with a pencil or pen:

Homework: 100 pennies value composition.  You are creating a composition or narrative via stop-motion that uses value as a compositional strategy.  If it is going to be a physical object or arrangement that you bring into class next, week you need to think about presentation.  Are they glued down or do you need to come to class a bit early to set them up?  If it is a stop motion, you need to make sure you have enough frames for a cohesive narrative and the animation needs to be emailed to me prior to the start of class.  In the above value scales, they are linear going from dark to light. value scales can be depicted in other ways, imagine cutting up these scales and rearranging.  Using your pennies, you will create a value scale composition.  Keep in mind it does not need to be a line like those above but will need to strategically transition from one step to another. A new role of pennies will not work for this assignment so you will need to collect a variety of pennies in different conditions. 

You can see an example of someone using pennies in a 5 step value scale here. Other ideas for construction and design can be seen here.

While you will not be able to do designs exactly like the artists above (due to material cost and equipment)… NOT do this.


Reinventing the Wheel

Joseph Kosuth

Joseph Kosuth

An Introduction to Color

Ittens Color Wheel: Subtractive because pigment is added and light is reflected (unlike additive as in theater sets with gels and lights)

Primary: Yellow, Red and Blue

Secondary: Orange, Violet, Green

Tertiary: Yellow-Orange, Red-Orange, Red-Violet, Blue-Violet, Blue-Green, Yellow-Green

From here you can see relationships: Analogous (next to each other on the wheel) complimentary colors (opposite each other on the wheel) and you can begin to image how combining certain colors can give a sense of transparency.


 Color Basics :: HUES are the 12 purest & brightest colors forming the full spectrum ~ 3 Primary Colors; 3 Secondary Colors; 6 Tertiary Colors. A TINT (sometimes called a pastel) is any color with white added. A SHADE is any color with black added. A TONE is created by adding gray. Tones are somehow more pleasing to the eye, more complex, subtle & sophisticated. ...ღTrish W ~

Hue: a spectrum of color (a range)

Tint: the addition of white

Shade: the addition of black

Tone: the addition of gray


Value: the relative lightness or darkness of a color

Keep in mind the power of value via Citizen Kane.

Studio: Itten’s 12 step color wheel

In Class: Color Wheel

Colorwheel, gouache paint on plywood by Ji Park

Left: Pieter Drubetskoy, integrated color wheel and grayscale, Color-aid paper; right: Pablo Delkan, color wheel, gouache paint

Mao Kudo, grayscale wheel and color wheel, gouache-painted strips woven into clear plastic

Oliver Herring

and a fun Quiz via

Texture: Through Claymations and Soaps

Texture in 3d created by a variety of materials

LACP 20 (detail) LINEAR-ACTIONS CUTTING PROJECT Started in '99, this is my life work. I individually cut single sheets of paper by free-hand and stack them together. The work consists of positive or negative shapes. I am trying to embody relationships among humans, time and nature. Noriko Ambe:

Noriko Ambe

Kohei Nawa

New Feather Sculptures by Kate MccGwire sculpture multiples feathers birds:

Kate McCwire

Tracing paper and wheat paste… delicate, organic, beautiful, light-filled tracing paper and wheat paste. That’s it. Seriously. Sigh. I love this sculptural work by San Francisco based artist Mary Button Durell… and don’t even get me started on her workspace!* I want my studio filled with lovely cells and cones made solely from tracing paper and wheat paste!!!:

Mary Button Durrell

Lauren Clay creates these three-dimensional sculptures out of papier-mâché and painted cut paper (among many other things) that go far beyond the limits of paper’s two-dimensionality.:

Lauren Clay

Angelika Arendt, 2012 Absolutely astonishing!:

Angelika Arendt, 2015

Angelika Arendt

I came across some delightful sculptures from artist Ryan Johnson that got me pretty excited. I'm very interested by these playful characters, full of dignified humor despite an almost laughably pathetic appearance. These guys remind me a little bit of Ed Kienholz's work too, which is:

Ryan Johnson

Emily Barletta is a genius at crochet and here is here amazing story

Emily Barletta

Wall sculpture - Jeannine-Marchand:

Jeannine Marchand

Studio and Homework A (due next week): Texture Claymation

In class, you are to create 2 texture cubes.  All sides of your cube should have some sort of texture and the two cubes should be made of opposing textures (rough vs smooth for example).

Six Stamps in One Square Cube Dice Multi Use Clay Stamp for Ceramics Pottery Polyclay Version ONE:

Using your phone camera and a simple backdrop (black or neutral paper sheets) you will take between 30-45 photos of your cubes approaching eachother, colliding, and then creating a third type of texture or combination of textures.

These images will be imported into IMovie, Photoshop, or any other stop motion animation software to create a 1-2 minute claymation.

and if you have made it this far ….

Texture Homework B (due week 8): Soap Carving

You will each be given a paper bag with a small object inside the bag.  Without looking at the object you are to feel the surface of the object paying close attention to the textures and shapes.  To the best of your ability, carve down one bar of soap to replicate the unknown object in the bag.  Pay attention to scale, proportions and textures.

After you have completed your blind carving, you will then take the object out of the bag and carve your second bar of soap to make an exact replica of your object.

This time, you are to document the process through stop motion.  After you have perfected the carving process and recreated the object, think about ways to continue its transformation.  Add water, burn it, etc.  Record this process into your stop motion.  These should be emailed to me before class next week or brought in on a usb drive.  

The following app is FREE and versatile.

Peter Root

Soap Art

Soap Popcorn and lots of other carved soaps….

Mary Giehl