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Art Fundamentals - Chapter 1

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Date Added: 10th June 2014
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Your main focal point should not always be on the intersection of the power lines. When considering your composition remember that contrast is important. It helps you to make areas stand out even though they may not be near a power point.

Contrast can be achieved in many ways. The easiest is light and dark, followed by material contrast, contrast of hue or saturation, tension or balance and contrast of shapes, round or square etc. In Fig.03 I kept the ship and huge structure close to the power points because, from a story standpoint, it was very important to show the direct connection between them. Then for the lower power points I left the environment where the action takes place.

Another easy trick I used in this image, which can be used for any aspect ratio, is provide a big foreground. Because we are used to reading from left to right, this pulls the viewer in and leads the eye more easily into the image providing a grounding point for the whole frame.

This leads to another simple composition trick, which can result in very beautiful images and that is very commonly used on book covers (Fig.04). It's based on having a frame for your image - in this case a big L - that leaves the rest of the image in focus and easy to see. It's a great and easy way to make things stand out and can help give monumentality to your image.

Fig. 04

When using this rule, make sure you don't fall into a trap and follow it exactly. This can make your images boring and dull. Keep to the grid at first, but get rid of it as soon as possible so you don't start to repeat a few generic compositions.

In composition even a small change can have a great effect on the final image. Changes such as tilting your horizon line are a great way of making your image look more dynamic. In Fig.05 ? 06 the story was all about suspense, thrills and action. So tilting the horizon made all the difference; it adds more narrative to the image and depicts drama and action, which gets different reactions from the viewer.


Simple compositions can sometimes be the most effective. Sometimes less is more (Fig.07). For example you can use your perspective to lead the viewer into the picture and directly to your focal point. Now the power lines are your perspective lines. Use whatever objects you have in your scene to point at the focal point. You can also use a technique used in films, paintings and photography vignetting, which is basically darkening the edges and corners of your image so that the eye doesn't escape. It's very effective when dealing with quick sketches among other things.


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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Rocku on Sat, 12 July 2014 3:44am
Exelente. Muchas gracias.
Ademir Silva Gomes on Tue, 10 June 2014 5:01pm
Good tips, will help a lot in my paintings from now on. Thanks for sharing.
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