Project 1 – Beginning

The first project (Project 1) assigned in P273 is “Circles in squares.” For this project we each picked a representational Renaissance or post-Renaissance portrait painting. After setting up a new document in Photoshop involving numerous groups and layers and a guide, we began painting. Using only circular brushes at 100% opacity and hardness we  began painting over the portraits we had picked. We are using the guide to paint one two and a half inch square at a time. The squares themselves are turning out as very abstract individual pieces that each share a vaguely matching color scheme, but when you zoom out to see all of them together you begin to see a very cool and surprisingly put-together copy of your chosen portrait.

I am very glad we had step-by-step instructions in setting up the new document for this project. The amount of groups we are using is confusing enough, and now I’ve added up to six layers to a group! It’s mindboggling, but as long as I have the groups set up it’s at least organized and workable. I’m very interested to see the final product; the Mona Lisa example we were shown was awesome. The example looked much more intricate than it seems like ours is supposed to be; the texture must have been created using minimum opacity-  I’m not sure if we are allowed to do that or even how to do it.

The Portrait I used is by the Early Flemish Painter Rogier van der Weyden, it’s a small oil-on-oak panel painting c.1460 titled “Portrait of a Lady.” I really like this portrait; it’s one of my favorite Renaissance paintings. The composition is very geometric and simple. I’m not sure if it is the geometric composition of many Renaissance portraits or the strange fashion trends (how was plucking off your eyelashes and eyebrows ever considered attractive?) or the off-kilter proportions but something about early Renaissance portraits strikes me as ethereal or even alien (but in a good way!).