Thursday, 12 April 2012

Understanding Composition

Hey Guys,

Man It's been a while since I posted anything! Or done any work but keep that on the down low... So I thought I'd do something a little more, 'scholarly'.

As well as trying to get back in the swing of writing because I've still not touched my essay! At all! Aw man, hate essays...

Greig Rapson an artist that I admire, recently (maybe not so recently now) posted a piece of work called "In The Hills" that I felt had some solid composition and intelligent use of colour and I thought I would share with you my understanding (or lack of understanding) of composition with you.

To the left here you can see the image as the artist posted, and below you'll see how I 'dissect' the digital painting with a series of overlays showing you my thoughts and realisations.

In the first image you can see the armature of the rectangle in which the image is 'sculpted'. I have used dashed lines and solid lines where the composition is more appropriate. First we see the strong and dynamic 'Baroque' diagonal running along the dragons back from the bottom left corner to the top right corner, not only grouping the figures below it but also balancing the positive and negative space within the image. We can also see how these lines 'relate' to each other and predict where certain elements of the image will lie such as the position of the girls back leg, also the height and position of the character's eye level's. There are strong diagonal's running through this composition interlocking and arranging these character's in a confident and pleasing manner. The artist has used lots of diagonal's in order to subconsciously affect the viewer, you can feel the impending action and tension, their eye's alert and transfixed.

The second image allows you to see specifically the arrangement of the character's themselves, it is this method of 'organising' the individual elements within one another and so forth that you can create images that are easily read and satisfying to look at, your brain isn't fighting the mess on the page. Here you can see also how the girl's pose holding the sword directly mirror's the dragons right leg, this bold statement adds strength and unity to the character's. Serving to direct your eye as well as understanding the emotion of the character. Symmetry is a very powerful tool when used correctly. In animation you should try to avoid 'twinning' or having things move at the same time, but if used intelligently you can make strong statements.
And finally the third image, here it's all about the rhythms. Not only can this image be broken down 'mathematically' using divine proportions but it also inherit's beautiful s-curve like flows or 'arabesques'.  Achieving these in any image always serves to intensify your work. This holds true for all the arts. But here you can see how these run through the entire piece, from the dragon's wings and horns as well as entire group of figure's themselves. These serve to not only add harmony and tempo to an image but here also it aids in leading your eye through the image, I have also indicated a line in which the characters heads fall in a pleasing arc, all these tricks are imperative to strong story-telling.

I would like to say, that all of this can be achieved through studying the human figure from life, it is proportionate to the golden section and has its own fundamental rhythms. It's how you manipulate these to your advantage which allow you to say what you want to say, subtly affecting the viewer.

Anyways thanks again for looking, I wonder how many actually read all that! Haha quite intense, but hopefully it will start you on your own path of understanding composition.


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