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Composition in Art, tips and technique for artists, illustrator, mangaka

Composition in Art, tips and technique for artists, illustrator, mangaka

What is Composition?
In the visual arts — in particular painting, graphic design, photography and sculpture — composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art. It can also be thought of as the organization of the elements of art according to the principles of art.

The term composition means 'putting together,' and can apply to any work of art, from music to writing, that is arranged or put together using conscious thought. In the visual arts, composition is often used interchangeably with various terms such as design, form, visual ordering, or formal structure, depending on the context. In graphic design and desktop publishing, composition is commonly referred to as page layout.

Composition can be defined as a means of selecting appropriate elements and arranging them within the picture space to communicate the artist's ideas, and feelings effectively to the viewer. Placing elements you have selected within your painting is very important. Composition can create either a strong and interesting piece of work, or a weak and confused piece.

You want to have your composition to combine *forms and space to produce a harmonious whole and meaningful statement.

When you see a really great piece of art…it didn't just happen. It was not the result of throwing together objects, or filling the background with detail. It is the result of careful planning, without that, the viewer could be left feeling confused and unsatisfied. A well-composed picture will leave the viewer feeling satisfied, and create an urge to see more.

Tip #1: Simplification (don't over thinking it.)
Images with clutter can distract from the main elements within the picture and make it difficult to identify the subject. By decreasing the extraneous content, the viewer is more likely to focus on the primary objects. Clutter can also be reduced through the use of lighting, as the brighter areas of the image tend to draw the eye, as do lines, squares and color. In painting, the artist may use less detailed and defined brushwork towards the edges of the picture.

More to come:

Related posts:
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-Basic Color Scheme for Artist, Monochromatic.

New tutorials:
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-Character Design Tutorial: Dark Valkyrie

** If you have any basic questions or specific please looked up Q/A section. Most of the time your questions has already been answered in Q/A.

If you need any help or support you can
-post questions or comment on the post (seems to be the fastest way to get response)


Luca said…
thanks man...very useful tips as always!! I'd like to ask you one you ever end with no ideas in you mind, where you don't know what to make- I have a lot of things in mind but have no idea on what should I do! I buy magazines to get some ideas but sometimes they're still useless.
What do you usually do (if you ever get this sensation)??
Thanks for the post of yesterday Chris!
Chris said…
It's no problem.

I know I'm not Xia, but I'm gonna put my oar in anyway, as an extra opinion can't hurt, and it might help out. I think running out of ideas or indecisiveness is something that happens to us all as artists.

With what I usually do (fine art sculpture), when I get stuck I thumb through art books, browse the web, or I stick on some music and let my mind wander and do lots of little sketches. Doesn't matter what they are. Eventually something comes to me. It's also a good idea to go do something else for a bit (maybe even draw something from life) and take your mind off it, then when you come back fresh you might get a spark.

If you have too many ideas or don't know how to accomplish them, just quickly sketch those out too. I often find by doing this you get a clearer idea of what you want or what works and it naturally progresses. Failing that atleast you have a record of what's in your head and you can stick it in someones face and ask them what they would do, and again, something might spark from that.

I also find that if I don't know what direction I want to go in I give myself an ambiguous or vague title, subject or brief to work from i.e. "Generators" and then think of everything I can to do with it, as obvious or distant as I want. Then you can also research the subject, see what others have done and so forth.

Or perhaps for concept work something more focused like "futuristic gun", "desert enviroment", "barbarian", "cave dweller" and so on. Maybe even refine that further to help with ideas - "it's got to have big eyes, claws, clammy skin" etc. Then sketch as many ideas as you can.

Usually I think most of the time you would have to work to some sort of brief anyway, and I would think that in your portfolio if you could show the kind of ideas you would come up with when given a brief, it's gotta look good.

I apologise for the length but I know how frustrating it can be when you're stuck.
Surely this has to be the longest comment yet on the site?
Luca said…
thanks chris for you long but useful comment- now I know that this thing does not happen only to me!! I will try to do what you said since this week I'm quite poor regarding to ideas! Thanks again man! Also Xia I thanks you for this opportunity to share our ideas- I am also willing to read your comment to my question!
XIA said…
Chris> Well written and well thought out. I agree. :)

PS: If I blog post about this, I hope you don't mind if I quote some of your context?

Luca> I understand what you mean. That's why we do thumbnails. We might have 50 ideas about one particular topic, but how do we know which one has to potential to be the best 5 out of those 50 ideas.
Thumbnails are the best way to filter your art work and select the best idea to work thru and present in your final collection.

PS: I should blog post about this.
my two cents,

Chris said…
I don't mind at all! Use whatever you like.
XIA said…
Thanks brother!