Composition (video workshop)

most some a littleA strong composition is the backbone of a successful drawing. In addition, creative composition will open alternative ways of seeing a subject and give you new and exciting avenues to explore in your art. Composition is not hard to master and with a few basic principles under your belt you will see a dramatic improvement in your landscapes, page layouts, and photography. In this workshop you will learn ways of visualizing and analyzing your artwork that help you create strong compositions in a single drawing or on the fly as you combine elements on a page. Also learn how to do post-hoc composition to fix the layout of a page or a single sketch.

6 thoughts on “Composition (video workshop)

  1. Nanci says:

    I learned more in this one video than I could have from trying to figure it out by trial and error over the years.
    I had an “aha” moment towards the end when you were talking about playing and experimenting….the nature journal is a means to an end (“notes” for a later artwork perhaps) and also an end in itself (rewarding and fun in it’s own right whether or not any “final” work comes from it. Wow.

  2. Dale Combs says:

    I love your videos. But not as much as being with you, hearing you, and sharing the experience with others in a group setting. That type of emotional experience really opens my ears.

    Another thing, so special that I felt the need to share, is hearing this year’s version of last year’s presentation. Last year, the composition emphasis was on contrast and gradation near and far, detail near and far, placement on page to communicate depth. Last year and this year’s presentation pair so well. I have more confidence that I will be able to quickly implement the concepts presented this year. Last year’s concepts are still a long term goal.

    Your ability to shorten the distance between audience and artist is the elephant in the room. You were with me, 10 am on August 7, at Bearpaw meadow. Opaque gouache had just transformed a sketch. Fat trunks dark and close, on the outside. Thin trees in the distance, out in the light. It was my first sketch that started with the intent to compose. Instead of the eye-hand polygraph needle technique I usually employ. I kicked over my coffee and you were there laughing with me.

    The Long Version of Thank You,

  3. Dory Rice says:

    Hi John,
    Great youtube video on composition! Thank you!
    You show a few examples from a recent trip to Rwanda (lucky you!) at the end. I wondered if being that far from home base you took any different materials with you than you would normally use, and if you had any further thoughts about a field kit for that kind of travel?

    It didn’t look like your sketchbook was a Komtrak, was there one that worked well for that kind of field use? I assume to fit so much on a page, it must be at least 8.5 x 11. Did you change your watercolor kit at all?
    Would love to know your thoughts post trip.

    Take care,

    • Thank you Dory, You are right. I usually use a Komtrak. This time I had a Stillman and Brin Alpha series book- and I loved it. I may have found my new favorite hardbound sketchbook. No modifications to the palette. It is just that there were so many bright birds in Rwanda that I got to use lots of saturated colors.

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