Friday, September 29, 2017

Calligraphy maps a landscape, in half a dozen ways

Song of Solomon: timeless love poetry in contemporary calligraphy.

This scripture practically designed itself, and gave me a chance to use half a dozen techniques that all visual artists employ to add the third dimension to their two-dimensional work.   
I was enchanted by these verses, about a young man coaxing his lover to come down from the hills where she lives with lions and panthers.  I started by laying out the lines of text out like a mountain range.

IV: 8 - 9 Rough draft.  
An initial rough layout, pasted up quickly with lines of type, showed me that using progressively smaller letters could suggest mountains farther and farther away.  I filled in the O spaces with purple to see if they would look like gems in the landscape and found that not every bright idea works the way I'd like.  And the text explicitly refers to "one gem,"  Back to the drawing board.

I needed more ways to reinforce the illusion of depth, beyond simply making the letters smaller.  

Remind yourself to look hard at what you actually see
in a landscape, rather than what you think you see. 

Landscape painters learn that when things get farther away they become:
  • Less contrasty
  • Lighter in tone
  • Grayer all over
  • Cooler color 
Other ways to create the illusion of 3-D on a 2-D surface can include:
  • Overlapping of diagonals
  • Convergence of verticals 
  • Closer to the top (the horizon) 
And in some mountain landscapes, mist collects in the valleys. 


No comments:

Post a Comment