Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Petar Meseldzija - The Unicorn Chronicles 3

Today I have choosen the Unicorn Chronicles 3 cover to analyze and I have been wondering what to say about it.  There are alot of things going on in this piece that make it strong, like the gesture of the horses (unicorns), the brushwork that denotes and emphasizes their coats, the energy of the movement.  But I think what really makes this piece strong is the simplicity of its design.  I have indicated a basic value pattern for this piece.  It reminds me of a conversation that I had with Dan Dos Dantos about simple but effective compositions in illustration, especially single figure images.  The value scheme of this piece focuses the viewers eye on the figure by making the figure the center of bullseye.  Dark values in the girl's hair are surrounded by much lighter values in the horses create a high contrast relationship at that point to reinforce the viewers gaze.  Also, the gesture lines of the horses all lead back to the figure.  The shape of the tree limbs work like arrows to guide the eye down towards the figure.  There is just layer upon layer upon layer of decisions that make you want to focus on the figure.  In addition, the figure then is also the most rendered portion of the painting.  The unicorns are adequately addressed for sure, but the details of buttons, and reflections on the belt and wrinkles in the pants make the eye want to stop and take in all the information that is being presented to it.  These simple yet effective compositional mechanisms create the foundations of an extremely strong artwork.  Layer on top of the Petar's masterful brushwork, exilerating color choices and mastery of animal anatomy and tree design, it is no wonder why this piece works so well.

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