Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pattern+Armor+Fashion Design

Checkout the designs by Alexander McQueen, included in the Met's "Super Heros: Fashion and Fantasy" Exhibition, 2008.  Comment below on the main concept of the designs and how each uses pattern.

Pattern + Armor

The use of pattern to add visual movement and symbolic meaning to objects is readily seen in body armor.  Meant to protect the body in battle, from natural elements or the supernatural, world cultures have long created armor for the body.

Check out the role of pattern and color in the collection of armor below, photographed at the Met.

  • What does the piece of armor protect the wearer from?  
  • Where is patterned applied?  
  • How does the pattern change the formal elements of the armor?  
  • How does the pattern change the meaning of the armor?  
  • What pattern structures do you notice; point groups, line groups, plane groups?

Horse Armor/ German

Armor Detail/ German

Armor/ English

Armor/ English


Hand Armor/ German

Armor/ Japan

Sword and Sheath/ Yoruba

Parka/ Eskimo

Body Costume/ Pacific Northwest

Crown and Ear Flares/ Peru

Nose Ornament/ Columbia

Mask/ Kenyah

Mask/ Bwa

Surface Design

The next bridge we make is to move from planner pattern to pattern in the round.  Pattern is used to cover the surfaces of sculpture, objects and clothing.  Pattern on form functions as an additional layer of movement, structure and meaning.

The questions we confront when placing pattern on form include:

  • What are the formal qualities of the 3-D object?  How might the pattern echo or contrast these?
  • What is the visual point of emphasis, the pattern or the 3-D form?
  • Why add pattern?  How does a repeating 2-D pattern change the 3-D form?
  • How does the pattern design relate to the use and meaning of the 3-D object?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Image + Pattern Painting Project: Research Stage Due 3/23

1. Design a composition that combines a found contemporary or historical pattern with an image of a portrait, landscape or object.

2.  The combination of image and pattern should express a narrative, or make a political or social comment.

3.  Take an original photo for your image subject.  Photograph or scan the pattern.  Save as jpegs.

4.  Develop a sketches of your composition ideas.

5.  Write a paragraph explaining the meaning behind your juxtaposition.

6.  FYI: It is suggested that final piece will be 18 x 24 in or 20 x 30 in.  It is suggested to use acrylic on canvas. (If you have another size, paint or surface in mind check-in with your idea).  The due date for the final piece will be April 6.  

Student Examples

Friday, March 2, 2012

Response Writing: Pattern in Paint

Review the work of Klimt, Wiley and Greene.  Respond in writing in a comment below.

Discuss how each artist uses pattern in the painting.  Why is pattern added to the image?  What is the relationship of the image and the pattern?  What is the visual effect?  What is the conceptual effect?  Which artist do you find to be most interesting?  Why?

Pattern in Painting

Pattern has inspired painters interested in both the visual form of pattern and the role pattern plays in culture.  The paintings below weave pattern into image form, overlay image with pattern and create unique imagery from pattern combinations.

Gustav Klimt

Kehinde Wiley

Kira Greene