Author Archives: Andre Jones

Andre Jones – Museum Visit

Edward Hopper, “Nighthawks”,  Oil On Canvas, 1942

(courtesy Google Arts & Culture, Art Institute of Chicago)

Obvious and Ambiguous.

Through use of shadow, Hopper creates clear foreground/background relationships in a deliberately simplified space. The presence of shadows always means there’s light. This light isn’t created – it’s implied

Texture and Pattern. 

While this may sound repetitious, Hopper’s brilliant use of shadow is what gives this piece it’s deep sense of dark nostalgia and introspect, so it’s hard not to talk about it. Not only does his use of shadow create clear figure/ground relationships, but also helps create textures that tell us that it’s nighttime, that there’s a corner, that there’s glass in the windows.

Motion and Emotion.

The focal point is obviously the diner, characterized by the stark contrast in colors suggesting electric light in an establishment. Grayscale (along with line), has it’s part in this piece, as it gives us the shadows that create the mood and establish clear figure/ground relationships.


What I really wanted to talk about concerning “Nighthawks” is the brilliant – yet subtle – use of color to convey mood. Color is what really this piece is all about. Color creates the obvious foreground relationships we see. Color is used to imply texture (I say “imply” because even as a modernist piece, it still nods at impressionism in terms of technique).

Look at how Hopper cleverly used color to also imply light and source. There are TWO lights in the piece – one inside the establishment and one outside the establishment. Though no light is actually depicted in the piece, we know where the lights are based on Hopper’s use of black mixed with color to create a sort of dampening of light in places where the unseen light source is actually directed.  You see it on the curb, in the shop doorway and window. You see it on the first man’s back. We know that at least one of those lights is off scene – perhaps across the street.  We know that shadows can always be traced to their source and Hopper shrewdly suggests a world outside of the scene.

Hopper uses a warm, analagous color scheme (yellows, oranges, and reds) to soften and humanize the interior and to lend personality to one of the figures, while using a darker analagous scheme for the exterior (contrast) and the other two characters. This reminds me of my analagous composition, which uses color to convey a dark, icey mood without actually using black.


Andre Jones – Project 5 (Deliver)

Old Harlem Typeface:

Process: This was originally taken from sided of my refrigerator (quite old). Zoomed in and contrasted heavily, I began to see letters similar to those in alphabet soup or old graffitti (if you look, you will see plenty of letters). The roughness of the shape reminded me of late 70s, early 80s graffitti. I called it the “Old Harlem” typeface because it seems like it would not be out of place for those times.

Schism Typeface:

Process: This was taken from peeled paint on my front door. The letters remind me of schizophrenic madness.

Venom Typeface:

Process: Honestly, I looked all over and cannot remember what this was a picture of!! All I know is that after using the processing technique from our previous project, some letters started to form. These letter forms immediately reminded me of a comic book character called Venom (anyone familiar with Spider-Man knows who this is). Though the fonts actually used for his name are different, I believe that my typeface more accurately captures the essence of who/what Venom is. The letters even resemble his features.


This project has really helped me to, not so much think outside the box, but to think WITHOUT a box.