Composition in visual arts

June 27th, 2018 / Graphics Basics, Illustrations Basics
Admission word…

Whether in painting, in drawing, or in photography, or in graphics, one of the most important features of an image memorable is the right composition. Put simply – the arrangement of individual elements presented in a photograph, drawing or picture.

A well-composed illustration catches the eye and guides it as the artist wished.Bad – causes the viewer to not know what he is looking at, and the eyes are jumping from one element to another.

Since this is such an important aspect and repeating in so many areas of art, how to create a work well composed and pleasing to the eye? (At the same time, the “work” can even be the graphics on the advertising leaflet of the local pub) We will answer this question in this post. The principles discussed in it are of universal nature and will apply to all visual arts, as mentioned in the title.

ways of attracting / guiding eyesight

The viewer’s eyes can be attracted and guided in various ways:

  • weight of elements – elements of the composition have a certain visual “weight”, eg. dark objects have more weight than pastel objects. A large, angular inscription in a gloomy color can overwhelm / dominate, for example, the composition of a poster or leaflet. You should be aware of this. The vision will certainly be the first one to look at him.
  • line – we can use it to perfectly guide the viewer / recipient. The human eye naturally follows the lines drawn on the pictures. They can also be an implication, they do not have to be outlined. We can use this by drawing, for example, an “S” shaped road.
  • color – as I mentioned in previous posts, you can achieve a lot with colors (eg. cold colors seem more distant from the viewer than warm ones). We should also take into account the symbolism of color. Images in a cooler tone will seem more elegant, a bit calmer, sadder. Warm colors – just the opposite. We will emphasize the message that we want to include in a given illustration. Using contrasting colors (opposite each other in the color wheel), we will also direct the viewer’s eyes.
  • chiaroscuro – elements in the light will automatically attract attention and the first will be eye-catching.
  • perspective – we will first focus our eyes on the elements located closer to the viewer, on the second elements next.
  • center points – such can be, for example, eyes. One of the first things photographers learn is focusing on the eyes. There is something in the saying that the eyes are the mirror of the soul. In painting, the dominant point is the most eye-catching point.
Types of compositions:
  • open – fragments of the image most often used in landscapes. They smoothly go beyond the line of a card / canvas, and their continuation of the viewer is supposed to imagine / add,

open composition Turdus Concept

  • closed – all elements of the composition are within the picture,
  • static – presents static elements. As a perfect example, we can give any still lifes,

static composition Turdus Concept

  • dynamic – presents elements that are moving. Skewed lines are often used because they best reflect dynamics and movement,

dynamic composition Turdus Concept

  • symmetrical – this is the composition when elements of the same weight composition are symmetrically located on both sides of the image,

symmetrical composition Turdus Concept

  • asymmetric – in contrast to the composition above, in this system we have, for example, one dominant element of greater weight and several other complementary elements arranged – as the name suggests – asymmetrically,
  • in-line – the oldest known way to the depth of humanity (the line composition was used for the first time in rock drawings). Objects further away from the viewer are shown in higher rows,
  • diagonal – elements are concentrated in such an image around a diagonal line,

diagonal composition Turdus Concept

  • horizontal – elements are concentrated in such a picture around a horizontal line,

hotizontal composition Turdus Concept

  • rhythmic – the elements presented are rhythmically repeated,
  • central – the most attention-grabbing element we have depicted in the middle.