Art Studio Practice: Design Process

Outcome 2

You are now ready to take your exploration proposal further and present an individual design process that produces a range of potential directions, which reflects the concepts and ideas documented in the exploration proposal.

You will need to develop ideas through;

  • the exploration of materials and techniques that demonstrate aesthetic qualities;
  • as imagery is explored, developed and refined, explorations are evaluated to consolidate thought processes and identify potential solutions; not all explorations will be potential directions, (you should narrow them down to at least 2) and you should develop the skills to select and evaluate in an insightful manner directions that relate to the ideas discussed in the exploration proposal


Here are a couple of examples which offer possible design processes for specific individual themes and ideas from which potential directions could be developed:


  Through digital photography capture the distortion of human forms as the body is submerged in water; translate and explore the exaggeration and distortion of form through a variety of media, with a particular emphasis on expressive mark making; explore the application of layered media; for example, ink and oil pastel, water colour and crayon, gouache and dry pastel to capture distorted forms

• Explore aspects of the industrial environment by capturing through digitalphotography elements of physical environment – factories, industrial sites, physical structures and textural surfaces; explore imagery through experimental application of media such as washes, drips and splashes of oil paint, shellac, bitumen and turpentine; layer media and recreate surfaces to develop semi abstract compositions

• Explore the idea of isolation through photography; experiment with the placement of an object or a figure to create an atmosphere of solitude and tension; experiment with darkroom and digital techniques to convey the specific mood

Detailed example

Design process inspired by exploration proposal, ‘The beauty of imperfection’ p. 45.


Look closely at the style and technique of Rauschenberg and how he applies layers of colour, texture and images to create visual effects and communicate his ideas.

Explore the expressive stroke and mark making of artist Cy Twombly and his move away from the perfect composition into more random applications of materials. Also his use of multiple boards to form one composition or artwork, leading the viewer across different surfaces and planes, creating a strong sense of movement.

Look at the portraits of Andy Warhol and the imperfect marks that he applies over the surface of his silk screen prints and paintings. Experiment with his transfer of photographic portraits onto canvas that form the basis of a variety of different applications of materials.

Research and take photographs of elderly people, looking closely at their hands and faces to capture the wrinkled skin and any imperfections.

Develop a range of techniques such as:

• developing photographic images on to different surfaces, especially fabrics

• using encaustic painting on different surfaces

• exploring textual surfaces that represent aged skin, using paper, fabric and any other found materials

• applying a variety of materials such as oil paint, crayons, inks and resin to create textures and imperfect layers.

Explore aesthetic qualities such as shape, colour, texture, direction, movement that express the ideas of beauty in imperfect surfaces.

Evaluate, annotate and select a range of potential solutions that have been developed during the design process.

* Taken from ‘Artisan’

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