Development of Main Piece

Here I have started layering the foundations of the subject. I have already blocked out the rib area, and have then started mapping out the proportions of the facial features. I must not lose sight of the symbols and overpower them.




Subliminal Messaging

There is an interesting suggestion that authority uses subliminal messaging to control or rather contain society. This is something that I want to explore in this piece. Surely it’s relates to Foucault‘s theory of the prison-like panopticon society we live in. This is an interesting video about the effects and potential effects of subliminal messaging.

Sketchbook Painting of Subject

Here are a few studies of the subject just to get a better idea of what I am painting and how to approach this piece. This is using acrylic paint, however in the main piece I want to use a combination of oil and acrylic, the oil being in the most prominent sections.



Under layers of paint will prove very important, however I must take more risks then I normally do at the same time.

Preparation for Main Piece

After deciding my subject matter and the construction of my main piece I chose to use A1 paper and a piece that I had previously worked upon. I feel this non-related under layer will give the piece more depth and more instability in a sense.



The next step was to arrange the hypnotic symbols with an ordered structure in mind. Drawing influence from Mark Bradford’s piece ‘Receive Calls on Your Cellphone From Jail,’ and it’s panopticon theme.


This orderly construction of the hypnotic symbols being a statement on our society. I was considering having many different hypnotic signs, however I felt restricting this aspect makes the piece more powerful in terms of suggesting a union amongst us. Individuality being a very rare thing.






I have then applied a couple layers of diluted acrylic paint. I realised from experimental work a lighter color works better on the whole, however I added more depth with the second layer of black. Once the symbols were painted upon their power were immediately drained, however their presence is still there, they are now much more easy on the eye. I left some sections of the hypnotic signs bare in a bid not to overpower them.





Idea for Main Piece

I want my main piece to have many layers which cover something up. Going on from the idea of creating something to calm and distract, I want to create something that brainwashes to a certain extent.

I have found a disturbing portrait that I am going to use as the main subject. It is an album cover that has many layers and is quite a graphic and frightening image. I am aware that people may be put off by this, however I want to create a brainwashing device which in turn will prevent them from averting their eyes. I am going to do this by layering an ordered selection of hypnotic symbols onto a page. This ordered sequence relates to my previous work in the sense that it is representational of a prison scene, authority and order.

The final outcome will be quite a confusing piece, that maybe quite difficult to look at for a prolonged period. However hopefully the underlying hypnotic symbols will provide something to fixate upon.  I am interested in the idea of society being controlled by subliminal messaging from fields such as advertising. This trend becoming all the more possible with David Harvey‘s theory on space and time.

Change of Subject Matter

I wanted to change the direction of my work on some level. With the introduction of the hypnotic symbol I want to shift my idea of a calming piece and transform it into a piece that conceals something, a form of brainwashing some could say. I want to have something that is quite off putting and grotesque, however the hypnotic symbols underneath still pull you in. I have chosen to go with an album cover I found on the internet. What attracted to me was this horrifying visual element and this aggressive statement, ‘smash your head against the wall.’  It reminded me of subliminal messaging and this is something I am interested in and something that has influenced me with this upcoming piece.


Hypnotic Symbol Documented with Paint



I have attempted to paint the hypnotic symbol and it has proved very difficult. It is hard to imitate the proportion and I feel this digital representation is much more powerful. I feel this isn’t going to be an effective use of the hypnotic symbol.