Art Tutorials/General Concepts/Composition

Composition in Art is a personal achievement of balance and design, leading the eye into the picture and back out again to the viewer. The line that leads the eye to the subject matter at hand, tells the story along it's path, side issues are displayed in lines that circle the subject, or lines that emanate from it. Patterns appear useful, to depict spaces into which additional subject matter is delineated. These patterns are formed by the three geometric symbols available to all in their simplest shapes, such as triangles, squares (rectangles) and circles. They take form as cones, cubes and balls, made visible by a light source and shadow, formed from an arrangement of the underlying shapes inherent in their disposition. This is where an understanding of perspective comes into play. Before getting technical, feel your subject out, for gesture, character, action and willingness of place of importance. Take yourself as being one of the characters, perhaps the main subject, whatever and whoever that may be, and imagine your place, your stance, your reason for being, and ask yourself, where would the next character be in relation to the one you are now representing, and so on and so on, until you have thought out your groupings. Now do the same with various objects and elements, that as props in a play, have meaning and significance and take their part in your picture. That will be all for starters, but what comes next is just as important and critical. Where is the light to come from, is it a bright day or a somber situation, is it evening or fog, is it a happy occasion, or is it raining and howling like the wind, is it a sad affair or one of humorous jest. The mood you wish to impart to your viewer, will set the tone and temper the colors you use, it is sometimes identified as local color, but it is whatever color you make it. You are the artist, it is your composition, you are the God of the canvas, or at least the extension of whatever God you believe in, when you set sail to paint up a storm. The rules are like guiding stars, leading the way, to assist you on your journey. Study the Masters, their enlightened moments, show their passion and discipline, at achieving their true aim, which is to capture your interest in their story, even though it is the story sometimes of others. May you meet your own maker, in those moments where, when you are working, you are here, but not here. That is the moment when as a craftsman, the love of art, reaches it's highest exaltation. Be exalted, be dedicated and be sincere and you are sure to find your own reward. Peace be with you my friends. Randy Ranson