Monday, 6 December 2010

Visual Composition

Right composition is something that every artist should know about. What’s that I hear you yell? “I am good artist, but don’t know what composition is?” Well pipe down and I’ll tell. Composition is the organisation of space…awesome. I was told in school that composition defines the path the eye takes when viewing an image. A focal point is a necessity in composition as it’s the first thing the eye is drawn to and starts the path that the eye takes around the image/scene.

To continue my poor explanation of this important rule I will move onto the rule of thirds with pictures and everything. If you took a canvas and divided it into “thirds” horizontally and vertically, you will end up with a grid that looks like a poor noughts and crosses layout. Don’t be fooled thought, where these magical lines cross it actually the “Golden Mean” or basically where you should stick your focal point to make the image look the best. This idea came from the ancient Greeks who decided one day to look for a reason why things look pleasing and sometimes don’t. So after working hard in the sun drinking wine, they came to conclusion that where these lines intersect on the grid would be now known as “PowerPoint’s” and whatever was placed on these magical points would become the focal point of the image.
Sticking a small army of lines across your canvas won’t guarantee you are going to produce a sweet end result there are a few other things you have to take into account.

Self portrait from last year

Framing – this is the use of objects placed around the side of the composition to help isolate the main focal point, this gives you a more focussed image that draws your eye naturally to the main focal point.
Depth- You’re producing a 2d representation of a 3d space that everything exists in. You can easily achieve a sense of depth by laying out clearly a foreground, mid-ground and background in an image.

Background- The choice of background is strangely important to the overall look of a piece. Too busy and you will subtract from the detail in the image and too bare and your image will look empty.

Symmetry and patterns- can make the most uninteresting objects into an interesting composition. Also by having symmetry in a composition and upsetting it by interjecting an object will give you an automatic focal point.

I consider myself to be pretty sharp and reasonably intellectual, but talking about why something such as composition works I have struggled on. I’m a very visual person and the lack of photo reference when in a word processor and led to me getting confused with myself and even bored. Hopefully I’ve conveyed I have a understanding of composition because I pride myself on my “artistic eye”, it’s what makes me unique along with the other thousands of artists in the world…

Shamefully I was unable to compile this entry completely of my own mind as I was suffering from a mind…. Block, I thought that was funny. Anyway I’d like to give credit to the below links for providing me something to write about.

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