Illustrator: Catalina Estrada
Project/Client: Illustrations for Microsoft Zune Zodiac MP3 players (designs etched on the back of player cases)
in Communication Arts Aug/06, p197         Catalina Estrada site | Estrada's Zune Portfolio | Microsoft/Zune Exhibit | More | More2

Catalina Estrada: Home/Portfolio | Google Images | Recent Projects |

UnityDescribe the forms that contribute to the unity of this composition.

(look for elements and traits that repeatedly appear)
Dominant Shape/Line: Curves, cUrls and circles and spirals clearly dominate -- they are used everywhere, many variations on mostly simple spiral and circle shapes.
Line/Edge Quality:
clean/sharp/crisp edges define the contours of all shapes. However, there is a sort of blurring...several edges/shapes of similar colors create a quick rhythm or transition along some edges...but all have a smooth, clean, untextured line/contour.
Dominant element: Shape. Everything is treated as a bold, flat-colored, clean-edged shape.
Dominant principle: Rhythm or Pattern. Shapes are predominantly curling, spirals and circles -- mostly of similar size, often aligned, with evenly spaced intervals, not overlapping. Thus, a prominent playful pattern dominates the visual field.
Limited Color Palette: the scheme is built on a narrow range of analogous cool hues -- blue, blue-green, greens (and a bit of violet).
Prominent Direction/Movement: Mostly vertical alignment and direction... forms tend to pull us downward
Dominant Value: Dominating dark value, and dominating blue hue.   The chromas a generally quite rich/high.

(look for alignments, structures or groupings that organize parts into larger entities (gestalt))
Structure/Balance: the composition is carefully balanced left-to-right along a vertical center axis.
The image has several distinct areas or regions — from top to bottom are several bands or regions of shapes that extend from left to right -- some geometric zig-zags at the top, then spirals, then tear-drops, then more spirals. From left to right the tear-drops, the face, then more tear-drops. This organization is regular and feels quite planned/intentional.
Space: the entire design is arranged in a very shallow, almost flat space. There is almost no overlapping ocurring and the color within each shape is constant, thus flattening the composition. Image is within a very shallow, contained space in which all forms are flat, parallel to the picture plane.

Impact Concept — How does this piece aim to get the viewer's attention?


VarietyDescribe the forms that contribute to the variety and dynamism of this painting.

(look for contrast of any and every kind. Look especially for similar forms that are varied in some way. Look for anomalies — patterns or norms that are broken.)


the image relies on bold-contrasting values. Every shape is juxtaposed with a markedly contrasting field.
though all the hues are cool, the violet, blue, blue-green and green colors offer an enjoyable variety.
Most shapes are circled/circles/spirals, but several straight and zig-zag shape contrast with the curves.
the major figure is a broad shape (the face, neck and torso), contrasting with the predominant linear-shapes (long narrow shapes.) The dots also provide a distinctly different type of shape.
Most of the shape are arranged into horizontal bands, but above the tear-drop/rain-drops are dots alligned into vertical lines.
the flattened forms have several planes or depths apparent.  The figure/face is nearest, with some ornaments and hair features closer still.  Other decorative forms are overlapped by the figure, and so recede into a farther plane.  The rain-drop series are smaller, as well as being occasionally overlapped, and so these recede even deeper in the composition's shallow space.
Varying Contrasts:
While most of the shapes offer rather bold value contrast, those around the forehead become soft and subtle contrasts.

Focal AreasWhat areas are focal areas?
Describe the forms that contribute to their graphic emphasis?

The Face/Head/Hair region

The Hair

The Face

The chest/shoulders area

Relief Areas

The entire composition is active with pattern, so relief is a relative matter — areas with the least bold and busy pattern provide relief from areas with the most active pattern.

The left and right side, midway up the composition, are effectively background -- they feel both more distant and more calm than the upper, lower, and center regions of the composition due to smaller motifs being distributed more widely than elsewhere.