Monday, March 9, 2020

3 Dimensional Effects -- Real and Implied

Texture is one of several ways of achieving depth in artwork; and it can be actual texture, or it can be simply implied by coaxing the viewer's eye to "see" a raised surface when in fact there is none.

In a very similar way, there is visual flatness and its contrast of visual depth.  In the example below, a basic kind of visual depth emerged when I used one of my new ATC-sized masks, Ski Lift Works (from ATC Mixup 1--Swatton), to make three prints, one atop the other.  The first print is barely visible, having been covered in two acrylic paints, red and silver.  That silver print initially appeared as "foreground" because the first, mostly obscured, print was under it.  But it lost foreground status, and became middle ground, when the final black print was made over it.  This, in a very simple way, illustrates how layering creates an illusion of visual depth.


Swan, another of my just-released ATC-sized stencils (from ATC Mixup 2--Swatton), was used to make the below print on the photo-page of an old calendar.  The photographer perfectly captured the foggy background; and, in contrast, my stenciled print has crisp edges.  This contrast clues the viewer's eye to see the majority of the scene as background, while the silhouetted swan is visual foreground.  So the overall image below has visual depth.   

Something in the same vein happens when interference acrylic paints are used with a stencil or mask on a background that's black or dark in color.  Below is a print made with my ATC-sized stencil Unfurling Leaves(from ATC Mixup 1--Swatton).  My photo can't fully capture the light-play quality of interference paint, but, regardless, an illusion of depth remains visible; the eye doesn't perceive the leaves and their background as both being on the same plane.  Instead, there is an illusion of the leaves being lighted from behind.  

It may be helpful to click on the image below, to enlarge it, to better see the subtle way shadows and highlights create the illusion of depth as well as raised areas.  The background paper is completely flat, and the Swan-printed blue foil paper is nearly flat, yet has a slightly embossed surface.  Both sets of shadows and highlights work together to keep the surface from appearing flat.

Moving forward to actual (as opposed to implied) 3-dimensional depth:

The ATC above, created with Sprigs from ATC Mixup 2--Swattonwas developed as I spread light modeling paste thru this mask; then, after it dried, I tinted the surface with with pale green watercolor and rubbed darker green paint across its raised areas.

The greeting card cover below offers an example of simple layering to create actual 3-dimensional depth.  The base is a pre-crumpled sheet of red plastic (a gift from my thoughtful daughter who found it among novelty papers in an art supply store.)  Over that I've glued a print made with Fern Fronds Silhouette, an ATC-sized mask (ATC Mixup 2--Swatton); and I added a final embellishment of an embossed Dresden foil decoration.  (These are available at AmazonSmile and from several Etsy vendors.  They aren't self-adhesive but gluesticks work fine with them.)

Today's final image is similar in that its depth was created thru the
layering of physical objects:

I used Sprigs from ATC Mixup 2--Swatton to make the blue-red-yellow print on a readymade tag.  Two papers, one silver and one gold, form layers under the tag.  Dimension is added thru the addition of another Dresden foil embellishment, as well as the ribbons that I tied thru the hole at the top of the tag.

ATC Mixup 1--Swatton

ATC Mixup 2--Swatton

Each 9" x 12" sheet contains 9 stencils (some with bonus masks); many of these ATC-sized art tools are derived from larger stencils and masks I've designed.  These include Ski Lift Works, Cats, Fantasia, Hot Air Balloons, Penguin Family, Sprigs, Ornamental Iron Curls, Thistles, Mikki's Flowers, Ginkgo, Fern Fronds Silhouette and Osprey Wings.  Altho derived from my larger stencils, they differ not only in size but also in additional ways.  However, there's enough similarity so that the ATC-sized stencils and masks work beautifully in combination with the original larger sized stencils and masks.

To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils and masks, please start here.

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