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.

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.