How to create successful compositions in drawings. Concepts covered include sketching thumbnails, positive and negative space, Plato's Rule, The Rule of Thirds, The Golden Mean, eye movement, and how to create focal points.
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This welcome to the 13th video and the secret to drawing video course brought to you by the virtue instructor dot com. And this video we’re going to take a look at composition in drawing composition refers to the way the elements of an image are arranged within the picture play much like a musical composer composes a piece of music an artist composes an image. The elements that I’m speaking of refer to recognizable subjects but also to the elements and principles of art including line space value color shape and form as well as balance proportion movement. In contrast the elements of composition that we’ll discuss in this video include the importance of sketching thumbnails and pulmonary work before you go on to your final piece compositional theories such as Plato’s rule the golden mean the rule of thirds and creating movement and artworks will also discuss positive and negative space and its relevance to composition. And we also take a look at a few ways that you can create focal points in your artwork. But let’s begin with thumbnail sketching thumbnails are basically small pulmonary drawings they’re done to help the artist plan the final image. It’s important to plan the final image because during the course of creating thumbnails you’re working out a lot of the compositional elements that are going to go in your final piece. You may be considering some of the compositional theories that we’ll discuss later in this video. So always create thumbnails before you go on to your finished piece. The first compositional theory we’ll discuss is positive and negative space positive space refers to the areas of interest within the picture plane of drawing negative space refers to the areas around the areas of interest in a drawing. It’s important to understand that positive and negative space work together to affect the overall composition positive doesn’t mean good and negative doesn’t mean bad. Let’s take a look at this image. Perhaps you’ve seen it before. If you’re seeing the white area in the middle as a vase then you’re seeing the white area as the positive space. The areas of interest and the black areas around it become the negative space. See how they work together to compose the image of a vase. However if you’re seeing faces the opposite is true. The black areas are the positive space in the white area in between is the negative space. If we reverse it the opposite is true. If you’re seeing a black face then you’re seeing the black areas is the positive space and the white areas is the negative space positive and negative space. Remember work together to affect the overall composition. And while there’s no rule to how much positive and negative space that you should use in an image you should always consider it. Here’s an example of an equal balance of positive and negative space and how it affects the composition . Here’s what that same subject matter might look like if we used mostly positive space in this case the dark areas of course are the positive space the white areas around it are the negative space. Here’s another way that you could use positive and negative space in this case the image is mostly negative space. Again with the same subject matter. Notice how it affects the composition. The next compositional theory will take a look at Plato’s rule. Plato said that in order to find a good composition you have to find variety within unity. Now if you know anything about the principles of our you know that variety and unity are different from each other variety deals with contrast and difference while unity deals with similarities. So Plato suggested you need to find similarities within contrast. Let’s take these three objects for example in this composition of a still life drawing we can see that they have a variety of different sizes. But in this case they’re positioned all close together. So definitely there’s unity but there’s no variety. In this case. We have excessive unity. In fact if a box is placed over the space that these objects occupied the picture plate we can clearly see this if we take those objects and spread them out from one another we see that now we definitely have variety. We have a little bit more interest to the image but the image seems subsect that it’s not harmonious and it has no unity. In this case we’re experiencing excessive variety. In fact if we take shapes and place them over the space that the objects occupied the picture plane we can see how disjointed they are. We’re missing unity almost completely. Now let’s arrange the objects in a third way. In this arrangement we can clearly see variety. In fact we have accentuated the variety that exists between the different objects yet we’ve placed him in a way that creates some unity. If we take shapes and place them over the space that the objects occupied the picture plane we can clearly see this. Now we have variety within unity and this is exactly what Plato was talking about when referring to composition. The next compositional theory is the gold meaning the Golden Mean can be a bit complex. The golden mean is basically a ratio that states that C which is a plus b is to a the same way that a is to B. Now how would we use this ratio. Well basically this ratio is a way of planning out special points in your picture planning. These are called golden points because they’re based on the Gold main. According to this theory placing objects in the golden points will result in a more aesthetically pleasing composition. You may have two important lines that intersect in this point. Or you may choose to put an important subject in one of the golden points. Let’s take a look at an example. In this example the artist has drawn a lighthouse. The artist just placed a lighthouse. In this case directly in the center of the composition the composition seems very boring and void. But if we take the same elements of this composition and move it to the area of the golden point. As stated before we can see that the composition is improved. It’s become more aesthetically pleasing more interesting and more dynamic than the composition was before a theory that’s related to the golden mean is the rule of thirds and basically with the rule of thirds a picture plane is divided by thirds. This produces lines and points where you can place objects to produce more aesthetically pleasing compositions . Here’s a look at the rule of thirds at work in our composition. In this case the tree is placed on one of the lines that has been divided according to the rule of thirds . The horizon line also exists on one of those lines. Another compositional theory deals with movement that refers to the way a viewers might move through a piece of artwork. An artist has the ability to manipulate the way a viewer may move through a piece of artwork by placing certain objects within the picture plane. For example if we look at this piece in this composition the artists present a very static composition . All of the objects are aligned vertically. If we were to take a line and draw it over at the top of these objects we would have an indication of what our viewers might do in this composition. Viewers might enter at the top of the picture plane and exit directly at the bottom. This produces a very static composition that’s not very dynamic. However if we arrange these objects differently on the picture play we can affect the viewers movement in a different way. We can encourage the viewer to see the entire picture plane and move through the piece gracefully. If we were to take a line and draw it over the top of these objects we can see that a viewer might be encouraged to enter the picture plane in the upper left hand corner moved downward to the pyramid and at the bottom via the cube. This is a more dynamic composition. We can take things one step further by adding variety to the objects that exist in the picture plane . We can still create that movement and create an overall aesthetically pleasing composition. Good compositions always have focal points focal points are the areas in our picture plane that we want the viewer to look at. They may be the subjects or areas of importance. We can create these focal points in a variety of methods. One method is through contrast contrast deals with difference. In this case the red triangle becomes the focal point because of difference is different in color. It’s different in shape as well. Because of this it becomes the focal point. Another way to create focal points in drawings is through convergence. Convergence deals with implied lines in this image by Mary COSAT convergence is used to make the envelope a focal point. The implied lines exist on the furniture the letter on the table the pattern in her clothing her fingers and her hands there looking downward. Another way to create a focal point is through isolation by placing one item away from other items. It naturally becomes the focal point in this example. The cone in the foreground is the focal point because it’s separate from the other forms that are further away. Still another way that you can create a focal point is by adding something that’s unusual or something that’s unexpected. In this case our eyes are immediately drawn to the alien because it is unusual or unexpected for this image. This may be an extreme example but something as simple as a change in pattern or texture could be considered unusual or unexpected. So what did we learn in this video. Well first we learned in drawing. Composition refers to the way the elements of an image are arranged within the picture plane. We also learn that composition refers not only to recognizable subjects but also to the elements and principles of art including Lohn space value color shape and form as well as ballot’s proportion movement and contrast. We also learned a few compositional theories that can be used to help ensure successful compositions in your drawings. We learned that skillful use of positive and negative space can lead to successful composition. We also learned by adjusting the compositional elements in a drawing we can create areas that are focal points in our drawings. This brings us to the end of this video. In the next video we’re going to look at specific drawing media and we’ll begin with the most basic drawing media there is Grafite
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