Assignment 5: Pluralist/Eclectic Assignment (Formerly the Flatbed Picture Plane Assignment). Maximizing Variety of Styles and Imagery

Size of Assignment and Number of Studies: 
Complete 1 painting that is a minimum 20 x16 inches with 3 small studies that emphasize concepts demonstrating the language of painting along with a variety of imagery and painting styles. 

Summary of Assignment Objectives:

Like the Modernist assignment this work should demonstrate a variety of formal concerns in the picture plane such as the use of colour, shapes, line, scale shifts, composition and mark making (gesture) using paint of choice. For this assignment a variety of images and styles will be required. 

Tracing (from projections or images), Stencils and Transfers are allowed!

You have the option of developing a bit of collaged materials into the painting provided the above objectives and the points below are followed.

Assignment Details:

1) Maximizing Variety of Styles and Types of Imagery in a Single Work

Harvest and maximize various types of Images, Styles, Patterns from Art History and Visual Culture.

This assignment will reflect deriving ideas, style, and visual taste from the broadest and most diverse range of sources possible.

Emphasis will be placed on formal visual variety but thematic ideas will involve a small component of the work

Emphasis will be on paint for this assignment but some mixed media can also be integrated into the painting.

2) Assignment Must Include the Following from Visual Culture and Art History:

Visual Culture:

-Line work from a diagram that is schematic, architectural, industrial design, technological, or science based.  

-Pattern (could be from any culture but could also be art historical)

-Cartoon Subject Matter

-Parts of Lines, Shapes and Text from a Graphic Design Logo (Stencil Style)

-Subject Matter/Object from non-Western Culture (could be also be another art historical element)

-Lens Based Image that is pixelated or digitally deteriorated or antiquated film technology (Language of lens and film from old still camera or movie camera)

Art Historical:

-Purer Abstraction Styles from previous assignment includes physicality of paint and gestural mark making

-Representational Style (very realistic style) Subject Matter

You decide which of the above requirements will be major and minor components of the composition

3) Formal Criteria:

I) Elements: Your painting should consist of a variety of line, shapes (organic and geometric), colour and spaces. Develop a variety of line and shapes and consider variations of visual weight in the line and shapes. Variety of colour will include  no pure white, or pure black but could use tints and shades. Start with simple colour and gradually work toward the colour becoming complex. 

II) Composition: The arrangement of elements should have variety, complexity but unified in the overall. Consider intervals (negative spaces) between elements and allow for focal points where there are areas of multiple overlapping shapes that interact with each other while simultaneously interacting within the overall composition. How do the various different elements connect and/or interlock with each other? Collage aspects of work need to be convincingly integrated into picture plane.

III) Space: should vary from deep to shallow with elements overlapping and weaving through work. Avoid literal or conventional methods to depict shallow and deep spaces. Spaces and forms can be fragmented and or abstracted through experimentation with painting materials.  

IV) Materiality: Consider the reality of the painting medium (language of the medium) on the 2 dimensional surface of your picture plane. Thick and thin applications of painting mediums and mark making and consider your options in terms of a surfaces to paint on. Various styles and brush sizes will be useful for this.

V) Editing Process: Revising and Layering process. Some areas will require numerous layers of painting materials while other areas will work with minimal applications of materials. As well during the painting process some areas of the paintings should involve scraping and covering (materiality). 
Keep the work fresh, intuitive and do not over plan the work.  Document this editing process.

4) Purpose of Studies or Smaller Preliminary Works: 
The purpose of the studies is to assist you in the investigation of this assignment. All the objectives do not have to be met in each study but rather should be used to take risks and experiment with paint, colour and composition to find all the required objectives. The studies are not about making something small and then duplicating that small study at a large scale. Instead the studies and the larger work should feed off each other. 

During the process there should be a back and forth of working between the studies and the large work (especially at the beginning stages of the painting) As well studies may include manipulations of digital photos of the large work taken while in progress. In general it is strongly recommended that you photograph the work in progress and periodically make some inexpensive prints at home to work on in order to consider all potential directions to develop the work. Overall experiment and investigate various options thoroughly with the studies and the larger work(s). 

5) Steps of Process to Consider for Developing Painting(s): 
Avoid having every formal and conceptual component of your painting pre-planned or “figured out” before you begin. This will eventually suffocate any desire to work, because it is almost impossible to pre-plan every step in the process and get positive results for this assignment.  

If you are stuck with no ideas it is best to immediately start painting with vague ideas and some random organic and geometric shapes such as in some of the posted examples.  

6) Prepare yourself mentally for a process of:  
As in the Modernist assignment risk taking, unexpected direction, layering, reworking, researching, making small preliminary works, applying criticism, generally experimenting with conviction in your painting, and you will have a very successful work. 


40% for the following:
Variation of interesting organic and geometric solid shapes and shapes depicted with line (different sizes)

Overall good visual variety and complexity (using all elements) but also work is still unified

40% for the following:
Maximized layering and editing process in major parts of the painting(s)

Physical presence of materials on surface (Layer paint materials thickly in some areas of painting)

Variation of mark making and physical textures (organic and straight, short and long, etc)

Variation of Line and Shapes (this is potentially connected to variation of imagery, stencils/templates, and mark making)

20% for the following:
Experimentation and innovation

Overall uniqueness


Basic Design Summer 2006 
This assignment does not meet all the objectives for the Flatbed Picture Plane Assignment but has an interesting combination of abstract organic form with cartoon (pop style) imagery and colour.

Painting 1 course
Study for Flatbed Picture Plane Assignment

Painting 1 course
Pluralist/Eclectic Assignment
oil, acrylic and ceramic tile on canvas 3 x 4 feet

As well see other examples of assignment from 1st Year Drawing course examples:

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