Joy deserted my heart, and for a long, long time I lived in doubt, anxiety and fear. Books lost their charm for me, and even now the thought of those dreadful days chills my heart. Anagnos, of the Perkins Institution for the Blind, was at the root of the trouble.
Can composition be learned? And if so, how? It seems to me that a good place to start might be to try to reach some conclusions on what makes a good composition, to try to divine some basic principles of composition that can be learned and practiced.
For a long time now, the subject of composition has harried at the edges of my thoughts about learning to draw and paint like a dog worrying at a bone. Thus far my overriding concerns have been largely technical and to do with translating visual perceptions convincingly in two dimensions: My approach to composition has been confused and incomplete, a picking up of bits from here and there and a largely random application of said bits without any guiding principles.
In reality, the answer is probably the latter, despite some haphazard and disorganised compositional experiments. After that, things can evolve under their own steam and will more than likely take care of themselves, with some ongoing assessment and adjustment.
I want this to be a place where visitors can feel able to join the conversation without judgement. All contributions are valid, especially on such a difficult subject. Please feel free also to add any thoughts you might have about composition in general, either in the comments or by email.
Happy Union Whenever I think about composition, this is the first painting that pops into my head. Something about the design of the whole, that great sweep down from the top left to the bottom right, and the interlocking and echoing shapes that cascade down through the main movement creates a sense of gentle harmony, entirely in keeping with the subject of the picture.
Nonetheless, something about the design of this picture strikes a chord in me, something indefinable maybe, on the edge of normal awareness.
Is that part of what makes a good composition? That it evokes a feeling in us whether we know why or not? I think that just as we can be moved by music without understanding the theory of harmony, we can be affected by beautiful design without understanding why. The grey sky in this painting and its companion pieces was painted with smalt, a pigment that fades over time.
Originally the sky would have been much more blue. No one hue dominates, and they all appear to be of a similar intensity. This is art from a very different culture of course, with a different tradition and philosophy, but still with a beauty of design perhaps not entirely unrelated to the Veronese.
It has an organic beauty, not based on any kind of geometrical foundation but with a natural sense of space and balance that can be felt without any detailed understanding of the tradition it springs from. The colour is very reserved here, but again very balanced.
The colours of the leaves and rock are only slightly higher in chroma than the background, just enough to make them stand out. This painting relies much more on value than colour for its design I think, and on the use of negative space. Xu Beihong is a particularly interesting artist because he painted through the cultural revolution in China and eventually developed a synthesis of western and eastern art, incorporating a level of optical realism from the western tradition and an understanding of western perspective.
One of the defining characteristics of our time I think is the availability of information. It puts us in a unique position, and is bound to result in a cross-fertilisation and perhaps what might be seen as a dilution of regional and even national characteristics.
But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.
Although the head is rendered with a more western approach, the two dimensional design, the off-centre placing of the figure, the brief contours that describe the body and the use of negative space are very much from the eastern tradition.
The spidery, wavering lines seem aptly to reflect old age and frailty. Both traditions are also evident in this beautiful Himalayan landscape by the same artist: This landscape by drawing Rembrandt shares many of the characteristics of Chinese brush painting I think. The tools are different, the culture is different, and the illusionary depth of field is very different from Chinese painting.
But it has the same sure-footed brevity, the same organic sense of design, the same balanced division of the two dimensional surface and a similar use of negative space.
Illustration I think some of the most beautiful and compelling compositions have been created by illustrators.Turnitin provides instructors with the tools to prevent plagiarism, engage students in the writing process, and provide personalized feedback. New + Expanded Edition: A Daily Creativity Journal: Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life!
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It seems to me that a good place to start might be to try to reach some conclusions on what makes a good composition, to try to divine some basic principles of composition that can.
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Truth-be-told, I’ve tracked body composition, lab work.