How Important The Composition In Your Art

In every art form there are concepts, without the knowledge of which it is difficult to move forward and develop. In art, the main such concept is composition. The term composition (from the Latin. Composition) refers to the mapping, the connection of parts into a single whole in a certain order. This is the creative process of creating a work of art from the appearance of the idea to its completion. To disclose the content of the picture, it is necessary to apply the laws, rules and techniques that serve the most expressive solution to the plan. The study of the laws of composition are devoted to classes in composition in art school.

Composition as part of the program in art schools

In all art schools the composition should be one of the main disciplines, because it gives the opportunity to explore the knowledge gained in the courses of academic drawing and painting.

Themes for composition in all classes are selected on the basis of observation and study of the works of old masters and nature: nature and its phenomena, anatomy and plastic expressiveness of human and animal figures; development of creative thinking when working with literary sources, work on memory and imagination.

The concept of composition in the artwork and its types

In order to create a good artwork, it is important to clearly understand what a composition is. The composition in drawing and painting is the arrangement of the objects in your picture. If we talk in a professional way, the composition is the distribution and balance of objects and figures in space, the establishment of the ratio of their volume, lights and shadows, spots of color and tone. If the composition in the artwork is correct, then all the elements of that artwork will be visually organically interconnected.

Compositional center as the basis of the composition

The compositional center is an object or area to which, according to the artist’s idea, the viewer’s eye should strive – the central element of the drawing. It is very important for an artist to be able to determine the compositional center and focus on it in his work. There are exceptions. For example, patterns (simple repeating shapes, colors, or objects), specific illustrations supported by a particular concept, may not contain a compositional center.

Contrasted compositional center

Contrast is a strong difference between light and dark. The trick is to counterpose the compositional center of tonality to the rest of the composition. That is, to make it so that the compositional center that you conceived was clearly darker, or clearly lighter than the other elements in the artwork. When using this technique, it is necessary to take into account some points: dark fills, visually reduce the subject, and light, on the contrary – increase.

Guide axles

To draw attention to the compositional center of your artwork, use the invisible guide lines. Guide lines can be straight or spiral, and there will be objects along those conceived guides in the composition. It is important to build movements, as a system of corridors, leading to one goal – to the center of your composition.

Sizes of objects and diversity their positions in the artwork

One of the simplest rules of composition is the larger the object, the more attention to it. Therefore, to make an object as main character – make it big. But there are important exceptions: if all the objects in the artwork are large and only one small – it will intuitively play the role of a “hook”, and the viewer will, repeatedly, visually return to it. Diversity – allows you to create space and depth in the image. To highlight the compositional center in your work, push it to the front, and all other elements to the back. Or do the opposite: mark the compositional center in the background, and unimportant elements – in the front. The most important thing is that the compositional center be the only element standing in the background or foreground.

Knowledge of rules of drawing, painting and composition is an artist’s power! So, knowledge, practice, experimentation and love of art are important ingredients that will help you succeed in this field and your work will only grow in terms of quality and professionalism.

Drawing Classes In Realistic Style As The Foundation For Visual Artists

Drawing as a type of human cognitive activity is a complex process that includes cognition, study and creation – the creation of a fundamentally new artistic image. During drawing, a person perceives, understands, studies reality, and gives an artistic image of meaningful reality in the form of a drawing. Despite the fact that knowledge and creation are always in close relationship, in the process of drawing, they flow in different planes. In one case, creation prevails, in the other, knowledge.

Thus, we note the differences between educational and creative drawing and determine the characteristic features of both educational and creative drawing. Of course, drawing is both an educational and a creative process at the same time. Just as in pedagogy, we argue that education and upbringing are a single inseparable process, and in drawing we also mean in this case the indissoluble unity of the educational and creative process.

There is one incorrect opinion that if a student draws, fully complying with academical rules and canons, there is no creativity here; in the same case, when a student draws at random, ignoring rules and laws, he is supposedly creative in his work, is looking for, and is not afraid to experiment. But if we consider creativity from this position, then we strongly risk all creative activity of a person, based on pure reason, reduced to mechanical.

To all the above, it should be added that the primary importance of art education has always been categorically not accepted by the so-called theorists of “free education”, especially at the initial stage of student familiarization with drawing. We conventionally share educational and creative drawings in order to identify the specific differences of both.
In order to evaluate all the specifics of academical drawing, it is first necessary to find out how academical drawing differs from creative one. Creative drawing is born on the basis of the totality of all the knowledge and skills acquired by the artist. In this case, the creative component prevails, leading to the creation of a previously unknown artistic image.

In the course of creative work, drawing as a technique for constructing an image is not studied at all, since it is already well known to the artist. And, on the contrary, within the framework of the educational drawing, a student has a weak idea of ​​how to build the image correctly. In the process of educational drawing a student only starts to study this process. The main thing in the educational drawing is the process of cognition, which includes the study of the construction of objects and methods of building an image.

Of course, the analytical tasks of educational drawing do not exclude any creative moments, but at the same time they are so insignificant that they can be omitted. The goals and objectives of drawing as an academical discipline are fundamentally different from drawing creative. While creative drawing is based on existing experience in order to create a radically new; in the educational drawing, the tasks of educational and analytical nature are of the first priority.

Educational drawing is systematic. The curriculum drawing course has a clear task – namely, to give students concrete practical knowledge and skills. The course should teach how to properly see and convey the environment on the plane, help to understand the principles of the structure of the shape of objects and correctly use these laws when working on an image. In the academical drawing students are given specific tasks of an educational nature.

They assimilate information that has been accumulated and systematized for centuries, even thousands of years, but they themselves do not reveal new rules and canons, they do not engage in experimentation, but only learn, observing the basic methodological and didactic principles, well-known truths. The goals and objectives of academical drawing directly originate from the visual arts. The main, primary task of realistic art is the truthful, not distorted  display of life and the phenomena of the real world. Educational drawing with all its provisions, first of all, teaches the artist to correctly see objective reality, specifies effective rules and ways of its representation. The task of paramount importance in academical drawing is the desire to equip the artist with the necessary knowledge, to teach the basics of fine arts literacy, to teach him when working directly with nature, and to be able to create a truly realistic graphic image.

A true realistic image must be figurative and accessible to the viewer, without a clear imagery it is difficult for the viewer to realize the ideological plan of the artwork. In the drawing of a professional artist, every detail in its place, the constructive construction of the form is literate, which means that the drawing will give a convincing image.

The task of a teacher is to transfer the student’s attention from direct live observation to the ability to abstract, from the external form of the subject to the internal structure — proportions, nature of the structure, which together determine the main features of any form. When drawing from life, the student learns to correctly combine the results obtained by him as a result of lively contemplation and abstract thinking. Giving priority to one sensual data, and consciously underestimating the role of abstract thinking, we will come only to the formal accumulation of bare facts, and, consequently, to an incomplete, distorted view of nature.

But in turn, the restriction of the cognition of nature through abstract thinking, the complete or partial disregard of the sensory organs of perception leads to an unjustified image convention, dryness, i.e. to what academical drawing suffered in periods of decline. Only if the student will observe the unity of the internal and external analysis of the realized form of the subject, will there be a fullness, realism and correctness of his image.

There is an opinion that superficial observation is enough for an artist and that “immediate”, “naive” perception of nature is valued in art. Allegedly, scientific observation kills art as such and takes the artist away from the surrounding reality. Proponents of these views are deeply convinced that children do not need to be taught literacy drawing. They believe that children can be completely self-represented, since professional drawing education only spoils children. But this point of view is false. The transition from sensation to abstract thinking should not be perceived as a departure from reality into the domain of abstract concepts and abstract phenomena.

A serious, thoughtful, truly deep and truly scientific knowledge of nature cannot harm the artist, but on the contrary – will help to more accurately and vividly reflect the nature of the world in all its manifestations. The peculiarity of educational drawing from living nature is that the student consciously studies the peculiarities of the structure of nature and tries to accurately depict them in the drawing. The teacher controls the process and ensures that the future teacher conducts a serious scientific analysis of nature. And even if the drawing at any stage can turn out to be “dry”, then from a methodological point of view it is quite natural.

In an educational drawing, observation is very purposeful, conscious perception of the nature of the world; it is the collection of objectively accurate data about nature, which make it possible to identify and realize the laws of its structure, in order to competently apply them in image practice. Observation must take place according to a specific system. The process of knowledge of the surrounding objective reality by the artist consists in the knowledge of rules of drawing and application to the practical goals of art.

Comprehensive and deep knowledge of the academical drawing, its rules, is the main and most important condition for realistic art forms. Without knowledge of all the main rules of drawing, it is impossible to correctly understand and truthfully display your realistic-style artwork.

Constructive Drawing

In this article I’ll talk about importance and necessity of art classes with “constructive” drawing program. Drawing classes cannot be based only on observational skills of a student, moreover, every art school should teach a constructive drawing as a main core of a program. “Constructive” means drawing from three dimensional objects based on rules of measurement, sight measurements in art term. Every student has to be able to figure out perspectives and proportions of an object using rules of sight measurement.  That is why teaching realistic-style art classes has to be done from three dimensional objects, and with teachers who can clearly explain these rules along with hands-on demonstrations of different techniques.

Realistic-style drawing is the most difficult task for any student, but it is the foundation of your professional career as a studio artist, architect, sculptor, computer games designer or any other specialties in the design field. And, if you lucky enough to find a classically-trained artist, who also has talent to teach and explain step-by-step rules of constructive drawing, then you’ll have a very pleasant experience of learning realistic-style drawing.

Drawing from nature and three dimensional objects, involves not only observing the form, sizes and relationships of different parts of objects, color and tone, but also to be able to show it all in your drawing. In other words, what you see around you should be able to draw it in realistic-style. Besides giving a strong skill set to a student, this training is invaluable part of overall development of an artist, especially for children!

Those teachers, who are using only observational approach in their art classes, should be careful and concern of the correctness in development of their students. If students practicing only by copying an image from two dimensional materials like a photograph or a print, they will be unable to draw a realistic object in front of them without making many mistakes.

There are stages in every project students have to go through to reach the final result, when an object in your drawing looks and feels as close as possible to the three-dimensional object that you draw. These stages are composing, figuring proportions and perspectives, characterization and finally shading. I’ll talk about every stage in details by describing them in separate articles. In the mean time, I’d like to mention that, as many artists already know, it is a tradition in classical art schools or training in realistic drawing should start with learning how to draw geometrical-based objects. Geometrical object such as cube, sphere, cone and cylinder are the foundation of all aspects of drawing. For instance, to be able to understand how rules of perspectives work you must start by learning how to draw a cube from different angles. Or, let’s take a look at all symmetrical objects around us. Look at the vases, tea pots, cups and many other symmetrical objects, they all based on the cylinder. Even for the most difficult task for any art student, how to draw human head, or full figure, it comes to the same base, which is knowledge of constructive drawing of geometrical forms.