Color Style Kyle

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Archive for January 3rd, 2009

Leonardo da Vinci Drawings at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco with Kids

Posted by Kyle Design on January 3, 2009

Artists throughout time have produced works that feature the human face, such as Kyle's "Faces in Profile" stain glass night light.

Artists throughout time have produced works that feature the human face, such as Kyle's "Faces in Profile" stain glass night light.

My husband and I took our kids (11 and 9) to see the San Francisco exhibit Leonardo da Vinci: Drawings from the Biblioteca Reale in Turin (Italy) at the Legion of Honor. It was a real treat to be able to see the drawing (under glass) very close up. The museum even supplies magnifying glasses for use for those who’d like the extra help with really seeing all the details. Many of the drawings were done in metalpoint, a technique that uses a metal stylus to sketch on specially prepared paper and which results in particularly fine details.

Unique Business Card Holders for professional artists, painters and designers. Perfect for geniuses, too!

Unique Business Card Holders for professional artists, painters and designers. Perfect for geniuses, too!

Leonardo da Vinci had four main areas of interest that he explored throughout his life: the human face (and how it ages), the human body, horses and flight. These themes appear again and again as he studied these subjects. In any one codex (hand-written manuscript) of his, the pages often contained  both images and text, sometimes right on top of one another or completely surrounded within the body of text.

He truly understood the musculature and how little changes or movements affected the results. You can see this extensive knowledge coming through in his work. I was struck by just how well he portrayed the power of the figures and horses, by really seeing the fine detailing of shadow and line. The pieces are powerful.

Wild Mustang Christmas Ornament is the perfect gift for horse lovers. May be engraved, too.

Wild Mustang Christmas Ornament is the perfect gift for horse lovers. May be engraved, too.

When leaving the exhibit and seeing other works by other artists from about the same time period (Francesco Pesellino, d. 1457, for example), it is stunning just how exceptional da Vinci’s work is. A point that I easily made to my children by comparing the works on the spot, who then really got it, because they could immediately make the comparison and appreciate the work of this true master.

Da Vinci (1452-1519) was a contemporary of Michael Angelo (1475 – 1564), and apparently felt somewhat threatened by the fame and attention the younger artist was receiving. Da Vinci apparently didn’t finish much of his work – too many ideas, too little time perhaps, or it is likely he was just seeking knowledge for its own sake – which affected his career at the time. But if this competitiveness helped spur him on, then lucky for us – his works are a gift to mankind.

Sea Turtles are a popular image for both children and adults - depicted here on a silver vitamin box.

Sea Turtles are a popular image for both children and adults - depicted here on a silver vitamin box.

On an amusing note, one of the informational signs at the show provided background on the Biblioteca Reale (Royal Library), mentioning that it holds works by Rafael, Leonardo da Vinci and others. So what does a nine-year-old tune into? The fact that Rafael and Leonardo are both names of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I’ll take it.

The show ends tomorrow, so hurry! November 15, 2008 — January 4, 2009 at the Legion of Honor.

Click on any of the photos above to see more of my Artist Gifts, Faces Gifts, Horses Gifts or Turtles Gifts or visit Kyle Design for more unique business card holders, night lights, holiday ornaments or vitamins cases.

Posted in art, Business Card Cases, business card holders, Christmas Ornaments, Gifts, Night Lights, Shopping | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Glass and Metal Inlaid Wood Memory Boxes for Men and Women – New at Kyle Design

Posted by Kyle Design on January 3, 2009

Handsome inlaid wooden boxes for men and women have it all - design, color and style!

Handsome inlaid wooden boxes for men and women have it all - design, color and style!

New today at Kyle Design: Gorgeous mixed media wooden boxes that are inlaid with decorative metal etchings, bright glass and iridescent film color accents in the center. These stunning boxes are available in 100s of gold or silver designs and 9 different color systems, so you can totally customize the look and feel of the boxes to suit the recipient. We can even engrave a metal plate inside the lid or on the side front of the box to express your sentiment, message of thanks or the dates of a special event.

This is one of those new items mentioned in yesterday’s post about New Years resolutions. I had the parts for this box ready to go back in October, but never quite got it together. Why? Often, there are just too many decisions about how I want to present an item, what options, what photos. (Perhaps closer to the truth – I love starting projects and exploring all my ideas but don’t enjoy following through on all the details quite that much.)

Anyway, here’s why I got bogged down on this item. A sample case:

The Photos: I photographed the original boxes with two in the image, but after cropping the photo into a square each box was so small that you couldn’t even tell what design was in the middle. Therefore pointless. I was hoping to give the impression that there are more than one color/design available but obviously hadn’t figured out how to do that effectively yet. Had to set up the shots and rephotograph. Again. Then process/crop/adjust the digital images. Again.

Soft, smooth colored glass provides a beautiful backdrop to the hard-edged metal designs and the handcrafted textured film.

Soft, smooth colored glass provides a beautiful backdrop to the hard-edged metal designs and the handcrafted textured film.

The Color Choices: Most of my items are available in about 40 colors, whether iridescent film or anodized aluminum. For these boxes we have an added degree of complexity with the glass colors used in combination with those colors. Question: do I allow customers to create whatever combination of glass and color accent they want? Which at this point would be 40 film/aluminum colors times 9 glass colors equals 360 color combinations. In either silver or gold, so multiply that by two to get 720 metal/color combos. You really could create your own look. Match your wedding colors, tie in with company colors, use someone’s favorite colors.

But there are risks…. Allowing customers complete control could potentially result in some really ugly match-ups. Here in the studio we can see what the true colors really look like with each other and would know when something just wasn’t right. Perhaps too daunting. (Limit colors!?! I’m an artist! I love colors! It just goes against my natural instincts to limit colors!)

But – if I do, how many color combinations do I offer? Do I keep them neutral or go for more wild combinations?

Must…make…an…executive…decision. Final decision: Start somewhere. Nine color combinations (for now) that stay within a color range.

Option Groups: With that decision made (whew!), it was back to the drawing board regarding how to present the color combinations and how to format them. Do I just show a chart of the glass colors and a chart of the film and aluminum colors and, when is comes to how the two look together, just let the customers use their imaginations?

Perhaps too challenging. Alternately, If I match up the colors, how do I photograph them – just the piece of glass and a piece of colored film together? Or displayed with a metal design for a more realistic look? Do I show a real design or would that be confusing to customers when they believe they have selected another pattern? If I use metal in the photo, do I use the silver or the gold or both? Worn out yet?

This memory box features a man and a woman with upturned faces and makes a beautiful gift for a couple starting a new life together.

This memory box features a man and a woman with upturned faces and makes a beautiful gift for a couple starting a new life together.

And so on and so forth. Not to mention just getting the materials and size descriptions correct, listing the features of this particular box that distinguishes it from the others on my site, and using keywords and terms that will help those looking for such an item find it in the search engine results.

Finally, I settled on the box arrangement in the top photo above which hints at other colors and shows the gold metal finish in the corner. I cropped a color system photo that displays a portion of a design with both glass and film in it. I used silver for all the images. I built a drop down menu for the color option group on the website. I measured the box, updated the text, checked my links and finally,

I put my Glass and Metal Inlaid Wood Jewelry Boxes in 100s of Designs on the site.

Whew! Check out the final results and tell me what you think. Thanks in advance!

Posted in Artistic Gifts, Engraving, Gifts, Unique Gifts, Wood Boxes | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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