Tree Branch

Made by Talia Lesjack-Randall

Created: December 3rd, 2014


Step 1: I chose to think about Economy vs Intricacy.

Step 2: I chose to investigate a tree branch. Branches are often the same, dull, dark brown on the surface, but if you move closer you can see imperfections. Darker dips and lighter bumps. Bits of brown that aren't entirely the same. On a larger scale, a branch is composed of a collection of lines of varying thickness. The joints can be seemingly random or all come off at the same angle. Sometimes you have corners where it looks like one line simply bent, instead of splitting off into more. The larger, thicker lines tend to be more central and act as visual anchors, with the length and thickness decreasing as you move away, and the color getting lighter. The visual pull of the smaller pieces is less, because of this.


Step 3: For my economy composition, I took the main elements I found above and distilled them to their simplest form. Larger, thicker, darker lines are collected in small numbers in a central way. As you move away from the center, the lines get shorter, thinner, lighter, and more numerous. All of this still exists in this very simple composition.


For my intricacy composition, Dondis suggests that you use a technique of endlessly detailed additions to a basic design in order to soften the effect. To do this, I kept the same elements from before, but added in a recursive, circular structure to the piece over all. I also chose to add curved lines in order to help share the feeling of ornate and delicate features.


I really enjoyed my first composition, because there is a sort of whimsical feeling to the randomness. It also felt more like an exploration of the elements of the original concept than the other two did, either because it was first or because it had no other focus.

I think my second version was also pretty interesting to think about and to look at. The idea of taking those concepts that I had just played with and really distilling them was pretty interesting, and the result is still evocative of the original concept despite being made of only 8 lines.

The third composition was more difficult for me. Part of this is that I don't naturally tend towards intricacy, but part of it was also that I had just pulled everything down to its bare bones and liked the result, making it difficult to add anything new in without it feeling unnecessary. The result is still fairly evocative of a tree, but more from the top down or from the end of a branch looking in, but I don't think it is quite a successful at communicating the essence.