For the October issue of Hacker Monthly,
I was asked to illustrate "How to Read Mathematics"
by Shai Simonson and Fernando Gouvêa, a very interesting article.
Playing with the idea of Mathematics being a foreign language, I thought of an archeologist/explorer reading math symbols carved on ruins (#1). Other idea was a Math symbol teaching a school student how to read the Math language (#3). I had some other ideas with aliens, but unfortunately I didn't have much time to draw many characters, just keep the ideas simple. While skething those and reading the article again, I came up with idea #2.
The idea came from this quote from the article: "Mathematics has a reading protocol all its own, and just as we learn to read literature, we should learn to read mathematics. Students need to learn how to read mathematics, in the same way they learn how to read a novel or a poem, listen to music, or view a painting."
Here's a closer look:
One thing I've been learning about composition and color theory is you use a higher contrast on your areas of interest. In this case, our subject of interest is the painting rather than the girl.
This is the same image, greyscaled, so you can see the values more clearly contrasted:
If you look at the original image again, the colors on the girl lose saturation as we go to the bottom. Her sandals have almost no hue. In contrast, her bag and her hair are saturated; their purpose is to guide you again to the painting.