Artist: Michael Zancan
Title: Walls of the Unsaid
Date: January 2004
Technique: Oil painting on canvas – 45×34 inch (115cm x 85cm)
Image URL: http://zancan.deviantart.com/art/The-Walls-of-Unsaid-6224451
Compositional Interpretation Analysis
The image shows a fantasy world of a risen concrete-like block city with two isolated trees and a naked lady in the foreground of the scene.
The colour is dominant in various hues of radioactive green. There is a lot of low saturated green creating a pale green. There is a balance of value with a balanced amount of low value green-black and high value green-white. A foggy light blue is used for etched earth pillars that hold the buildings up. Caucasian skin tones are used the lady. The trees have an organic colour scheme, brown hues for the trunks and branches with green leaves.
The main light source is unclear, it could be assumed as the sun that is faded out by the array of clouds and fog or some artificial light source. It uses realistic lighting in terms of shadows as can be seen on the buildings. A secondary light source comes from beneath the concrete buildings.
The image has a lot of depth as you can clearly see the far distant the buildings and the buildings that are close. The clouds are directed as focalisers which lead the eye towards the vanishing point. The sides of the buildings and the perspective is made in a way which also leads the eye towards the vanishing point. The lady is placed in the bottom right third of the image, she is close to the spectators eye however the formation of the buildings and clouds make it seem as if she is also distant to the spectator. Her face and eye gaze looks in the opposite direction of the horizon creating a distance between her and the world she is in.
The particular green used combined with the environment creates a gloomy fantasy feeling of a city that has lost touch with the harmony of nature and has created very radioactive like atmosphere. The naked lady could be seen as the purity and innocence of mother earth personified as a human. She appears to be in discontent as she oversees mans disharmonious ‘concrete jungle’ which has overtaken the surface area of that place or even potentially the planet. The two trees drowned in amongst the structures would be further emphasizing the disconnection to nature.
Title: The Day He Left Me
Date: November 25 2013
Technique: Photography and Digital Editing
Image URL: http://baravavrova.deviantart.com/art/the-day-when-he-left-me-415851768
Compositional Interpretation Analysis
The image shows a young lady in an elegant red dress sitting over the edge of a dock for a still misty lake.
The white mist takes the majority of the scene, it makes the trees in the background appear as a light grey. The most significant colour is from the lady’s red dress, it is very rich and saturated. The dock has a low amount of saturation and high value, creating a light brown dock with a lot of white highlights. The lake is mostly a white-grey reflection from the atmosphere with darker tones of grey from the reflection of the trees.
The lighting uses natural lighting and is similar to the result of an overcast day with a heavy white fog creating misty lighting. The main light source is in the far background has hinted by the realistic shadows given by the trees reflecting on the water and the girls shadow on the dock.
The edges of the dock draw the eye inwards towards the lady. The lady is directly within the vertical center line of the image and she is below the horizon line and the vanishing point. This scene is set up to to make her the center of the attraction but to look down on her. The lady is within the center of the ripples of the pond, creating a greater emphasis on her. The lady’s gaze leads outside and beyond the image.
Red = Vanishing Point
Blue = Horizon Line
Orange = Focalisers and Perspective lines
Purple = Subject’s direction of sight
The lady’s elegant red dress screams romance however she is within foggy scenery which may reflect a time of haziness in her life as if she is lost in love. The setup of looking down on her, along with her body language, insinuates that she may be sad emotional state.
There are a few similarities between both images. Firstly, the direction in which the focalisers redirect the viewers eye is in quite similar, both guide the eyes inwards to the distance. Another similarity is that the vanishing point and horizon line just happen to be almost be the same. Finally, both images symbolically use a lady and in similar way. For both ladies have a sad demeanor, both gaze away from the horizon point and their gaze leads out of the frame. As well both their hue relative to the scenery around them is in great contrast.
Relation to Practice
Recently I have been exploring the world of film and been creating short concept videos. I’m currently teaching myself rather than learning from film school and so there are quite a few applicable insights I’m gaining from compositional interpretation as it also applies to film. The one aspect I hadn’t explored is the use of focalisers. In normal cases if I was recording a subject I would have them framed as I would prefer but had never consciously thought of using their surroundings as focalisers to redirect or affect the viewers gaze in relation to the subject. This gives me something new to play around with.