Skip to main content

Studying Composition

I've been studying some of the old masters to get a sense of how they arranged multiple figures to create a sense of mood,atmosphere or indeed add to the narrative. Here are some of studies. I've been looking up Gustave Dore, Gerome, Russian Socialist painters, Repin, Shishkin and a few others.



The following is a breakdown of some of the studies. I find it really helpful to do this. Studying the shapes and the implied lines helps me to see how the eye is guided around the painting.



I also find it a really good exercise to experiment with abstract shapes. Designing big, medium and small shapes, contrasting the soft curvy shapes with the hard ones. Soft, round shapes and big S curves evoke emotions of calmness,stability whereas the harder, sharp ones bring out anger, unrest or danger. Molly Bang talks more about this in her wonderful book on composition. If you're working digitally, the lasoo, marquee tool comes in handy to quickly build up compositions. Later on, you can possibly use some of the more interesting arrangements and build environments or figures.


Comments

  1. Its really a nice and interesting subject you are studying. I also tried to study these art pieces and got some of the points clearly and figured out the way they wanted to change their mood.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Year of 50 Books- Part Three (35-50)

Here is the final part of the reviews. Please find part one here, and part two over here


A year of 50 books - Part One (1-15)

Illustrating the darkest black (aka the Gene Wolfe problem)

The brilliant and often underappreciated writer Gene Wolfe coined the world 'Fuligin'.

'Furthermore, the hue fuligin, which is darker than black, admirably erases all folds, bunchings, and gatherings so far as the eye is concerned, showing only a featureless dark.' - The Shadow of The Torturer, 1980.

The good people of Alzabo Soup in their commentary about the book talked about how the book covers failed to convey the concept of the darkest black - a shade so dark that it reflects no light. Here are two front covers of the book. One of them is more abstract than the other. In the more realistic illustration below, one can make out the dimensions and folds of the cloak. In doing this, the illustrator probably chose to represent the phemonemon of darkest black in more relatable terms and let the text guide the imagination of the reader.


In my rather crude paintover, I eliminated all the folds and presented the cloak as experienced by viewers. However, pursuing this option …