This month in my study of the elements and principles of design, I am focusing on the depiction of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional plane. It often is not listed as an element of design but it seems to me to be very important.
When we look at a picture on a two-dimensional surface visual signals can convince us that we are looking at a three-dimensional image.
The paintings of the Ancient Egyptians are a good example of images with no depth. They are about as flat as they can get.
Whereas Raphael’s paintings of the early 16th century are good examples of two dimensional images projecting a three dimensional space. (I’m not sure how all the yellow squares got in the picture…. please try to ignore them)
Some of the tools for creating illusions of three dimensional space are overlapping, changing size and placement, linear perspective, relative hue and atmospheric perspective. For this exercise I decided to play with the size and placement of items in the picture to change the perceived depth.
The photo I chose to work with is very flat looking and does not read as very deep. In Microsoft Picture It! I pulled out the small lamp post in front of the house, enlarged it and replaced it in the photo.
The house isn’t any bigger or closer but the front of the picture was brought closer to the viewer. So the percieved depth of the picture was increased.
To further play around with the photo I applied a photo illusion that Microsoft calls accented edges, which basically just highlighted the edges of the objects in the photo. After printing the photo on fabric I colored it with Crayolas and edged it with zig-zag stitching.
In some ways I feel successful with this page, in other ways I don’t feel successful with it. I think that enlarging the lamp post did successfully increase the depth of the image, (even though my son told me, “I don’t see it!”) But I don’t feel like the crayons did anything for it and the whole piece lacks the interest and punch I’d like to see. So I am calling it a successful failure. 🙂