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Alphabet & Number Collages

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1 Alphabet & Number Collages
AP 2D & Draw/Paint Teacher: Jeannette Clawson

2 Assignment Description
Create a unique and superbly designed alphabet or number collage. AP Drawing & Painting Must be more painterly than collage. Think mark-making.

3 Definition A collage (From the French: coller, to glue) is a work of formal art, primarily in the visual arts, made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.

4 Materials According to Wikipedia:
“A collage may include newspaper clippings, ribbons, bits of colored or hand-made papers, portions of other artwork, photographs, a piece of moss or even a dead mole and other found objects, glued to a piece of paper or canvas. The origins of collage can be traced back hundreds of years, but this technique made a dramatic reappearance in the early 20th century as an art form of novelty.” What?! What?! A dead mole? This is 2D --Please, don’t include any dead animals in your collage! Yuk! Aye-yie-yie and Ew! ! !

5 Historical Connections
The term collage derives from the French "coller" meaning “glue". This term was coined by both Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the beginning of the 20th century when collage became a distinctive part of modern art.

6 Historical Examples of Collage as Fine Art

7 Pablo Picasso The Guitar 1913

8 Georges Braque The Day

9 Henri Matisse Beasts of the Sea, 1950, paper collage on canvas, collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

10 Cecil Touchon Fusion Series #2174, Collage on Paper, fragments from found billboard material c.2006

11 Project Requirements Research additional imagery and typography
Select an artistic approach for solving the creative problem Use your sketchbook to generate ideas and note resources Work on the 16 x 20” canvas board Horizontal or vertical composition Keep it flat. Layering papers or other thin materials is great, but keep it under ¼” thick. Please, no macaroni noodles. Visually organize the layout. You may use a variation of the invisible grid, but there are other ways to organize the space. The exterior edge may be jagged or broken. Create unity while maintaining enough variety to keep it interesting Limit colors Develop a unique artistic voice in your presentation; avoid trite Imperative that each letter/number maintains clarity & readability Demonstrate excellence in neatness and attention to detail

12 2D Photo Approach Search your environment for the letters or numbers. Think about exterior building signage. This is fun and labor intensive. Consider your knowledge of photography, especially lighting and depth of field as clarity is key.

13 2D Photo Approach If you choose to print your own individual digital images for hands on composing, use a matte surface paper. A presentation with glossy paper is difficult to shoot later for your portfolio due to glare. If you prefer, you may manipulate digital images and composition using a software program. Of course, Photoshop or a similar quality program allows for an abundance of choices. However, the project requirements can easily be accomplished, with great success, using Microsoft Picture Manager to enhance and crop the images along with Word to organize the composition.

14 Alphabet Collage Examples with a Photographic Approach

15 Keri Coles Photography
These letterforms are architectural and industrial in nature. The subject and content enhance a feeling of unity. Study the placement of similar images within the overall layout. What do you see? The artist has skillfully balanced neutral and bright colors to achieve balance.

16 In addition to the clever letterform discoveries, note how the linear black grid design improves the overall presentation. The black grid separates the images while providing unity and powerful contrast . Also, the horizontal lines are continuous while the vertical line placement varies to accommodate the letter widths.

17 This photo collage can be found on Flickr in response to a “photograph your own alphabet in nature” challenge. Created by: Juna in Cholula Some letter images are stronger than others.

18 Environmental Typography
In your everyday life, letters and words constantly surround you: on signs, in store windows, on vans and trucks, on packages. Name a surface and there’s probably some kind of lettering on it. This is called environmental print.

19 Take a walk and photograph letters from signage
Take a walk and photograph letters from signage. Crop and assemble into a collage using an editing program on your computer. Created by: Amy Kraft as a project to assist her child in learning the alphabet. Notice the general absence of background distractors. Also, please see that the background colors create contrast and an implied line between adjoining letterforms.

20 House numbers in Somerville and Cambridge

21 Black and white. Environmental and mechanical.

22 Arial View Photographs
Sure! Just hop into your backyard helicopter, fly over Atlanta, and shoot perfect images – all at the same time! Using Google aerial maps, a British researcher has selected Empire State images that make up all 26 letters of the alphabet. Alphabet State was created by Rachel Young, 25, after she was hit by a car injuring her shoulder, leg and spine.

23 2D Graphic Design Approach with Illustrations and Typography

24 Animal Alphabet Screen Print by PetitCollage
With inspiration from this piece, you could create your own piece in paint or cut paper. Limit colors. Design your own illustrations. Consider imagery other than animals. Keep letterforms clean and properly proportioned if hand-lettering. Research fonts on the Internet. Print, cut, and paste letters. Pay attention to negative space.

25 Cut Paper Approach

26 Susan Swan Cut Paper Example

27 Collage / Illustration

28 Make Templates for Each Letter
Use the Internet or software program to find an alphabet letterform style that is readable and has a specific personality. Please DO NOT make up your own alphabet form unless you are very aware of letter form weight, width, and consistent structure. There are industry standards concerning acceptable typographic design. Maintaining an “x-height” would be an example. Use the selected font and print each letter 2-3 inches tall. Cut apart to make a template for each letter. Trim away the interior or exterior space to create your templates.

29 Make Your Own Paper Make your own collage paper by layering media like colored pencil, tissue paper, marker, graphite, and paint. Consider using resist techniques with crayon, wax, rubber cement, or tape. Keep it abstract and limit the colors for unity. Pay special attention to the mood. You will need to justify it during the class critique. You may not use scrapbooking paper for this assignment.

30 Cut the Final Letters Carefully lay your alphabet templates over your fabulous paper and secure with small pieces of masking tape. Trace lightly and carefully trim with scissors. An x-acto knife #11 blade is excellent for this work provided you are skilled with the tool and follow safety rules. Craftsmanship is SO important! No hairy edges. The work must rise to AP standards. You could have the best concept, but if the craftsmanship stinks, you’ll lose the score you really want and deserve to get.

31 X-Acto Knife Tips Cover the cutting surface with a magazine, cardboard, or self-healing mat. Wear protective eye gear. Make sure the blade is secure and never cut toward the paper holding hand, especially your thumb. Hold the blade like a pencil, apply gentle pressure, and let the blade do the work. The point can snap if you apply excessive pressure. Turn the paper slowly as you cut curves. Slightly overcut intersections for clean corners. Change the blade when it starts to drag or rusts. Wrap the old blade in several layers of paper and secure with tape to prevent an injury while emptying the garbage can. Most accidents happen when the blade is left laying on the table or rolls off. Cover the blade and securely store your tool when not in use. Also:

32 Composing and Mounting
Use care to arrange the overall format or layout. Use a grid to create visual unity. Consider the effects of including spacing (or not) between images or letters. Make sure the background surface is strong enough to hold the glue without overly wrinkling or curling. Consider purchasing illustration board, bristol, or foam core. Most poster board fades. Select the appropriate adhesive for the weight of the paper. Consider white glue, rubber cement, or permanent glue stick. The collage pieces should have full contact with the background surface. No wrinkles, lifting at edges or corners. The glue should not show in the finished piece. To secure images, intermittently flip the work upside down on a smooth surface and burnish. Clean stray marks before presenting the final work.

33 The Manila Tag Approach

34 Linsay Roberts 2D -Manila Tag Example
In this example, the artist has represented each letter with images of things, like a door for the letter “D.” You could create a similar piece, but would need to include actual letters as well OR Use the tags for visual organization and use only alphabet letters, not all the extra stuff.

35 Linsay Robert’s approach is a bit more “crafty,” yet very textural and earthy in tone.
You could compose on package tags which are available at any office supply store. I have seen these tags painted and then sanded. Beautiful. If you select this approach, keep it simple and very graphic for strong visual impact.

36 Wow. Check out these cool tag designs These actual pattern designs would be perfect for the cut paper alphabet, if placed on a solid background. These designs are SO dark and elaborate, it would be difficult to use them as a background, unless the letters were very simple, bold, and contrasting in color. 2D or Drawing/Painting

37 AP Drawing & Painting Approach
Put the focus on mark making and the use of drawing and painting media. You can use graphic, 2D imagery = typography as the subject and work in a painterly style. Less clean and crisp. Think color, texture, marks with media, brush strokes.

38 This is a shutterstock image. It has printmaking qualities
This is a shutterstock image. It has printmaking qualities. Imagine finding a typographic style you love, printing the numbers, using gel medium to make transparent decals, and then painting into the composition with loose “alla prima” strokes.

39 Check out this famous alphabet by Jasper Johns.
"Colored Alphabet," 12 by 10 1/2 inches Oil, encaustic and paper collage on panel 1959

40 In the late 1950’s, Jasper Johns emerged as force in the American art scene. His richly worked paintings of maps, flags, and targets led the artistic community away from Abstract Expressionism toward a new emphasis on the concrete. Johns laid the groundwork for both Pop Art and Minimalism.

41 We see mainly primary colors with black. Very painterly
We see mainly primary colors with black. Very painterly. There’s an underlying grid that is broken with layering and mark making. Try squinting your eyes and searching for just black, or just yellow.

42 Sold at Sotheby’s Auction
Lot 22, "Colored Alphabet," by Jasper Johns, 12 by 10 1/2 inches, oil, encaustic and paper collage on panel, was executed in 1959 and had an estimated value of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000. It sold for $3,745,750 at Sotheby’s in 2001.

43 Jasper Johns 0 Through 9 1961 Oil on Canvas 54 x 45” Whitney Museum of American Art New York

44 Jasper Johns

45 AP Student Works

46 Davis Allen

47 Juna Park

48 Cameron Wilson

49 This piece was created for a 2D portfolio, but could be submitted for AP Drawing & Painting.
Note the complementary color scheme, rich tones and textures. Alice Young

50 This piece was created for a 2D portfolio, but could be submitted for AP Drawing & Painting.
Note the illusion of depth within the background. Can you see the addition of graphite that integrates the background with the letters? Vivian plays with our sense of space. She also created cast shadows along the edges of the letterforms. Vivian Ma

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