Shaw Nielsen, Illustrator
Client: The Miami Herald

"For an article about how scientists are using full-sized 'smart homes' to test the effect of hurricane force winds on houses."
in Communication Arts Aug/06, p240

Shaw Nielsen: HomePage | Article | Facebook |

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

(look for elements and traits that repeatedly appear)
Curves, curves and more curves. All of the lines and all of the shapes are curved — wavey, or spirals or just plain arcs. (Do you see any straight lines? Any horizontal lines...vertical? They're very scarce here -- its a hurricane, after all!)

Most all edges are crisp and sharp (no blurred, fuzzy, textured or obscure edges)

Contrast between each shape is pretty high — only in the grassy area is constrast subdued to create a striped pattern on the grass, without breaking up the mass of the grass/land.

Colors are mostely cool (blues and greens) and the values dark.
Only the fiery red of the hurricane winds is an threatening, intense red.

(look for alignments, structures or groupings that organize parts into larger entities (gestalt))

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

Notice that the house has...or is...a face. It a bit humanized and anthropomorphic -- it is scared and a bit helpless, but seems rugged enough to maybe endure.

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 curves are quite varied and offer a lot of movement and energy. Many shapes are wispy spirals. The land and house offer contrasting masses.

The red of the storm winds is a contrasting, hot red.

The few geometric shapes/lines of the house and antennas offer contrast to the fluid wind-wave shapes. The man-made forms look a bit out-of-place — vulnerable to the powerful natural forces.

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


Relief Areas