CT&D #40. Composites in Artwork

Among the work produced by Henry Peach Robinson (http://www.museumsyndicate.com/artist.php?artist=262) were composites via film and images, both of which visually told very poignant stories through various pieces.

That being said, what kind of story you are going to tell with your composite (idea)?

Looking at Robinson’s various composite pieces, I noticed quite a few details that make his blended artwork (an original photo of someone or something plus the background or figure of something / someone else) look very realistic and thematic, if not strongly more thematic. Some of the technical details include Robinson adjusting tones for the composite figure in order to make such figure(s) seemingly fit with the background and positioning figures naturally with the foreground (i.e. one of the art pieces shows a woman figure lying down on what seems to be a boat on the banks of a river, making it seem that the original work depicted itself as such).

In regard to themes, it seems that Robinson, while focusing on poignant stories (i.e. the previous example, where the woman lying on a boat symbolizes deep sleep or death surrounded by the tranquility of the nature around her), his main focus I think is capturing the essence of emotion or mood of a scene from its viewers and in-subject participants. For example, one of Robinson’s pieces shows a meadow surrounded by calm cloudy skies; were it not for the addition of two field workers looking up at the sky, as if to draw upon them feeling the moment after a long day’s work, the piece would have looked rather simplistic or even dull. As a composite piece however, the addition of figures adds so much in terms of relating oneself to the mood that is portrayed by the onlooker, worker, participant, etc.

I have worked with composites before so I know how to tell a story or even a continuing narrative through many related pieces. However, unlike before where I either enhanced a scene with objects that weren’t there before or added similar symbols together to establish a holistic sense of consistent look, this time I think I will opt to use composites similar to the way Robinson did in his artwork. As I am particularly inspired by some of his scenery pieces with onlookers taking themselves a moment to feel it themselves, my composite piece will be in the same vein but with a different take on mood that best appeals to me and maybe others as well.

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