Fri 4th Nov

The brief asked to create a portrait using images I have taken. In the background was to be a pattern of an object (the object must relate to the person in the portrait) and the portraits sits in the middle. They had to align with each other and the colours had to work well.

Image 1

I started off by using a portrait I had taken of my boyfriend – he’s a Guardsmen in the Army so wears the bright red tunic. I thought that the colours are really bright and stand out. I photographed a bottle of Budweiser beer to use for the object in the background – obviously beer has a huge connotation to the army lifestyle.


I photographed a bottle of Budweiser then cropped it in Photoshop and began editing it.

After creating the pattern I began experimenting with how to place the portrait.


I made the background of the bottles pixelated as I felt it would make the portrait stand out a bit more. The colours work really well together; red is a really strong colour on its own. Even though the bottles are pixelated you can still tell what they are.


I added the red border around it as I felt it needed some separation between the image and the background. This is a much stronger image, however, I think the portrait needs to be smaller, it’s a little overpowering on top of the pattern.


I turned the image into grayscale but I don’t like it compared to coloured version. It doesn’t capture the essence of the portrait and the beer behind it.


Instead of having it all black and white, I just tried the background. I like it, it quite similar to the work of Barbara Kruger with the black and white and the red border around the image. The size of the portrait is much better, but by the background being in black and white you can’t really tell what the image is. This could be a good thing as it makes it more abstract, then again, it doesn’t show any relevance to the image when it isn’t in colour.



I like this final image. The colours all work really well and I think it’s a strong photo. It reminds me of pop art in the 70’s with the pixelated patterned background. The bottom bugs me a lot and it does need cropping so that there isn’t a small bit left.

Image 2

I wanted to try a completely different image so that I could use brighter colours. I had some portraits I had taken of my friends so I decided to use those. The objects I photograph a polaroid camera and some pink headphones which are stereotypically objects for girls so it would have a strong link to the image. I have brightly, patterned bedsheets so I photographed the objects on top of the bed sheets so there would be a brightly coloured background.


Pattern 1: Original images set in symmetry/patterns – no edit of colours.

Pattern 2: Experimenting with different colour combinations – making the objects brighter.
girlpattern5Pattern 3: After choosing a combination of colours, I doubled the pattern and tried to create like an optical allusion as if the objects were moving around. I like the effect of this; my eyes are drawn to one of the cameras in the middle where it is more still. I like the blue and green too I think they work well together.

Pattern 4: I tried this with the original colours but I don’t think it works as well. The green and blue are really strong and bright colours and even though pink and yellow are too, I don’t think they stand out enough on top of the pattern background so it looks a bit of mess as this kind of pattern.

Patterns with portrait:


Keeping the original pattern I made, I put the portrait on top using a similar approach to image 1 by having a border around the portrait. I like this because it separates the portrait from the background but doesn’t overpower either.


This pattern works a lot better with the image than on it’s own. The white in the portrait stands out a lot though, could do with darkening.


As well as having the background pattern distorted, I had a go at distorting the image as well. I like the image pixelated, it’s still eligible as a portrait, it just makes the image as a whole look a bit fuzzy and you’re not quite sure where to look – which I think is a good thing.


I like the colours in this and this pattern is my favourite of them all. I feel the image has a nice tone to it. However, again, the white is a bit too prominent and would work to be darkened slightly.

Using the original pattern, I used a different image which I thought would work a lot better. This portrait is colourful and has a warmth to the photograph which I think connects well with the patterned objects.

This portrait definitely works a lot better with this coloured pattern compared to the other image. My favourite is the image with the mustard yellow frame. All the colours work well together and it has a real warmth to it. I like that there is a lot of different tones of yellows within this.

Selected final two images:




Author: ellenreiddesign

First year Graphic Communication student at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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