Post-Hawk Composition

Often I am so busy sketching that I completely lose track of page composition. I lose myself in observations and then look down at the page and think “hmm, what can I do with this?” By adding, titles, boxes of written notes, areas of tone or color, and expanding some sketches with habitat or as part of a landscape, you can pull a collection of sketches into an interesting composition.

compositon rectanglesAs you sketch, if you have a little bandwidth left to consider composition, vary the size and spacing of your drawings. Some big, some little, some close together or overlapping, some farther apart, and some blocks of blank space. With that, you will have the raw materials to create your page composition after the bird has flown.

Remember that the purpose of taking field notes is not to make a pretty page. If page composition feels like just one more thing that you need to keep in mind, ignore it until you are ready for the challenge. It should feel fun and playful. When looked at this way, it adds to your experience of keeping a journal and gives you another source of positive reinforcement.

Click on the first image to start a step by step slideshow.