Monday, 3 March 2008

Liz Berg: Elements & Principles of Design

Sorry I haven't blogged for such a long time - January brought successive illnesses - none major but unpleasant and one after the other which left me feeling flattened. I'd also signed up for various challenges and two classes which I'm now having to catch up on. Most of my spare time in the last few weeks has been spent on Liz Berg's class, Elements and Principles of Design.

This class has been very demanding and also very worthwhile. Though I found the first two lessons relatively straightforward, having done some design work as part of a City & Guilds class some time ago, lessons 3 and 4 (there are 6 in all) stretched me to the limit.

The earlier design work is done postcard-sized on paper, a useful way of working which produces fairly quick results without risking loads in materials. I chose for the most part to work in cut paper (I've loved cutting paper freehand ever since I did a C&G pproject on Matisse). Here are a couple of the more successful pieces, from a section on size (including relative size of different features of the design). The first is simple two-colour design:

At first I really disliked this design but it has gradually grown on me (it's also one of the ones Liz liked, which helped). The second is a similar exercise but using smaller high-contrast shapes against a dark background. I like this one because I think the contrast works well. The dark paper is painted with brusho; the light paper is the result of playing around in PaintShop with a photograph I took of mosses.

The third is from an exercise I found really difficult at first but eventually managed to get a grip of: the intention was to produce a design which moved the eye round the composition. Used the same paper as the second plus some cheap dayglo stuff from the kids section of my local supermarket.

Once the class is over I shall rework these and some of the other designs as fabric postcards - plus other ideas are already churning around in my head - enough to keep me going for some time! I've also gained a great deal of confidence (much-needed I assure you) doing this course.

You can find more details of Liz's class (also called Better Art by Design) on her website at

I'd really recommend this - it's really good value for money: though it may look expensive to start off with it's packed with so much that is valuable it's worth every penny.


Linda said...

"learning to work more playfully" sounds wonderful - I think working on your own for most of the time, as we do, makes learning to play really importnat. Can't wait to see what comes,longer term, from this class.

Cestandrea said...

Hi Sandra, I'm sorry you have been ill in January but I'm glad you are back now! All your experiments and the results here are just great! Thanks so much for sharing this all with us, it makes me want to go and to some collages too:)
Have a good day