Ana Zdravic

arts lover & cognitive science Master's student



Painting Music, Color Harmony


This is my project...

Thank you, Ms. Sabina, for a wonderful class! I learned a lot and enjoyed mixing color. 

I must add that it was a challenge to depict music because a picture is stable and defining, while music is perpetually moving and changing.

The song I picked was Getting Better by the Beatles. I'm not sure why I went with this song. Maybe because it was the most recent download I made... Anyways, Getting Better is a great song from the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. 


 The words that I identified were: cheerful, hopeful, and contempt. I wanted to pick something slightly more challenging than "happy" 

Cheerful: The presence of a promising future and optimism have a positive, cheerful effect.

Hopeful: The essence of 'getting better' is in itself hopeful. 

Contempt: The contempt can be found in an aspect of the musical composition/production and in the lyrics ("I used to be an angrier man...You're holding me down... Filling me up with your rules") but this contempt is hidden within the bright chords and melody! This contrast was created due to the songwriting, containing duality, of McCartney and Lennon. 




My color-palette is predominanely Orange and Yellow-Green (venturing and meandering into a few earth-tones cool-colors). By omitting Magenta, I decided to make contempt a smaller player in the visual representation and prioritized to focus on the optimistic nature of the song. 

The harmonizing color, the hue in common, is yellow. Interestingly, orange contains red, conveniently the opposite color of green which is being used in the mixture to depict the adjective 'hopeful'. 

I like watercolors. I worked with a contrast between muted and saturated colors (to depict the juxtaposition of the lyrics) and enjoyed the watery and runny quality of the medium. 


The above image is the underpainting. 

I went for it, no pre-sketching. I can't explain how the forms and composition developed. It was automatic, in a sense. But, the approach was definitely trying to create concrete forms. I felt this was a little limiting because the song is about movement, motion, and progress (not about still shapes). 

Editing the image in Photoshop made the image more dynamic because the multiple layers and opacities created the illusion of space. 


I like dots and circles because of their repetition, being simultaneously shape and the building block of line. I also like science, so I tried to suggest molecules very passively by overlapping shapes. I like how this came out and I was really surprised and was not expecting anything like this as a result! 

I wanted to approach the underpainting in a different-manner, so I make a non-representational gestural version where the brush moves with the song while using the same color palette...


I went with the same approach while photoshoping this underpainting, focusing on contrast and creating space through repeating dots with various opacities. 


There is no must in art because art is free. -Wassily Kandinsky


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