At the beginning of ‘Unspoken’ each first year Illustration student was randomly assigned a painting from the Impressionist room at the National Gallery of Scotland. During a visit they were asked study it carefully and later do more research into the story behind their painting and how it relates to the artist who created it.
Based on this research, students developed a wordless sequential narrative in 4 panels, to be submitted as a high-quality digital prints at the end of the project. It was important to be imaginative with the storytelling and interpretation of any research material and to create many recognisable links to the original painting, for example through brushstrokes and colour choice.
The project also served as a first introduction to Photoshop and explored the merging of traditional mark-making and digital applications. The results are wonderfully painterly and deceiving in that they don’t look that digitally-generated at all!
Our final crit took place in public, right in front of the original artwork, and with an unknown audience of gallery visitors. This would be a good reason to be nervous, even for the most experienced of artists, but our first years managed just fine.
So can you guess which paintings our students were looking at?