Portable Garden evaluation


  • Tried to start the drawing on pippa the night before photographing to save time, but a lot of it faded and smudged over night. This didn’t happen when I did the test (even in colour) on maddy, and it was the same permanent markers, so it must be a difference in skin type that affects the staying power. It was annoying because I had to touch it up as well as add the colour, but also because of the smudging darkened the surrounding skin and I think possibly made the final design look subtly not as sharp and professional. Something to note for future: better to draw and photograph all in one session, and not leave time for smudging.
  • As expected, it was difficult to convert flat designs onto the human body as a canvas. I think I did quite well at improvising moving part of the designs (eg, moving the blackberries to fill the shoulder point gap between the 3 designs, adding forget-me-nots to fill gaps), but composition on the 3D canvas that is a person is definitely a skill that needs practice. I was glad I’d identified in advance components that could be moved or duplicated to fill gaps so that I had the tools to improvise ready. Planning the composition in 3 sections that could be stitched together once on a person was also helpful, rather than one big flat design which I really would have struggled to lay over an arm and front and back of the shoulder. You can see the difference between the flat plans and the real on-person design, especially with the autumn section, which is evidence of this improvisation.
  • I’m not happy with how a few items came out, especially the plum above the collar bone. I think this is primarily a size and composition issue, and therefore will improve with more practice at designing on people.

Spring (arm), Summer (back of the shoulder), Autumn (front of the shoulder)

I think the Summer set is my favourite in terms of composition, which makes sense as it was the second one I managed: my hand was in from doing Spring first, but it wasn’t as time pressured as Autumn. The blooms and fruits knit together, support each other, spread out harmoniously from the large central rose. But there’s also a looseness and freedom (freshness? From the green as well) that I like in the freer leaf-spans in Spring. (Autumn could have done with more work, and more practice on the tricky collarbone part of the body.)

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