Saturday, March 1, 2014


"Red Light in the City"  in progress,  27 X 36 Lori LaBerge  2014

Work continued on the latest geometric work this week.  I had a few problems with the color of the larger square and decided on two values of a strong yellow-green. The duller yellow-green that was first placed in the piece had a value that was too close to the grays and tended to disappear, adding nothing to the design as a whole.  

When working on a piece, I always look forward to seeing how it will change from the original idea.  The yellow will triangulate around the work.  A black line will be placed across the whole piece above the purple.  The black line, along with the triangulated yellow will help draw the eye to the red.

I started some design work on my figurative abstract series.  These will be 30" X 30" hanging works.  Here is how the process on one piece is going so far:

I looked through my collection of photos and this one grabbed my eye.  I'm looking for scenes that will make a good backdrop for a figure.  This photo was taken while I was waiting at a traffic light.  The reflection was what caught my eye.

I cropped the photo to focus on the reflection.

The photo was flipped horizontally as I felt the traffic lights in the original pulled one's eye out of the picture.

This was the time to see how a figure would look with the background.  The arched section to the left of the traffic lights from the earlier photo was eliminated as it detracted from the figure.  The photo as a whole was simplified.

I squared out the format.  This gives the design more breathing room, creating slightly more space between the figure and the objects around it.

I changed the design to black and white to check value.  This helps to find where things don't look right or need changes.  The design itself is good, but the figure doesn't stand out as much as I would like and the values look a little off balance with the darker traffic light drawing the eye to the upper right.

The eye is naturally drawn to any figure that is in an artwork, but  darkening the value of the head of the figure makes all the difference in this piece.  The largest value contrast  is in this area, the darkest against the lightest, lessening the pull from the dark traffic light.

Here is where I am with the design right now.  There will be more work with color.

The start of an idea and current design side by side.

You never know what you may find in your photo collection.  Look through photos both as a whole and in sections searching for design ideas and have a great day.    

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