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Visual Problem Solving: Practical & Conceptual

Our top question: How do you create an image to match your image with your message?

Our goal for our students and curriculum: 

  1. to learn how to dissect and image
  2. to learn how to work backwards from a goal, to find the right images to represent your concept

Breaking Visual Problem Solving into Workshops

The “practical” side: Image Composition

1 workshop focused on Image Composition. We studied examples of different techniques artists used to weight or draw the viewers’ focus through the piece. We created our own compositions from still life objects. Each student received two objects to use as reference and had to try and come up with a composition that conveyed an “opposite” sense of what the object was. How do you draw a feather to look heavy? A small bauble to look large? A stable, symmetrical container to look off balance?

Here are some of the results.

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Drawing using a a sunflower and eagle brooch for reference, by Isabel Castro.
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Drawing of a jar on the edge of the table, by German Vasquez.

The “creative” side: Image to Concept

We did a number of different exercises and games to flex our creative skills, including:

  1. Doodle Wars and improvisation
  2. Identifying metaphors and common themes through sharing our own immigration stories
  3. Studying the metaphors in existing artworks
  4. Studying how different murals have incorporated the wall itself into the design
  5. Researching different subjects related to our theme of immigration.

We ultimately chose to incorporate different migratory butterflies and crops that are grown in Wisconsin into our final imagery.

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Our list of different migratory species of butterflies and crops that grow in Wisconsin.
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One of the students’ thumbnail sketches of different possible compositions.
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A composite sketch by student Isabel Castro of crops grown by different cultures in Wisconsin, with different roots.

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2 thoughts on “Visual Problem Solving: Practical & Conceptual

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