Finding Compositions

Due Date: Tuesday 9/16

This assignment is about composition. With quick sketches you might not be conscious of your composition, but when designing a work to be completed there are many “rules” to consider.
From the book Design Language by Tim McCreight:

…Here are a few of the rules of composition:
• symmetry tends to promote stability
• diagonals are more active than horizontals
• proximity creates tension
• sameness is frequently boring
• regularity creates rhythm
• contrast exaggerates and effects
• equal amounts of figure and ground confuse the eye

1. Please make both a 1.5”-2” square and a rectangular viewfinder (I will show you how) and make them a “home” in your sketchbook with an envelope and tape.

2. Page One: Using your viewfinders, look through magazines and find interesting compositions by sliding the “frame” over the page. Please try to look for compositions that are more about shapes, colors, and textures, not about specific objects. Most of your cut-out compositions should be almost unidentifiable. When you find one you like, lightly trace the frame, slide a cutting board under the page and cut it out. (or throw caution to the wind and just cut without the board…!) Arrange these small compositions in a grid to fill your sketchbook page. You may choose to use the square or rectangular or both frames. A glue stick will work or you might choose to use thinned-down Elmers or Sobo, which are paper glues.

3. Page Two: Please make a page of “successful” compositions by looking through magazines or newspapers and finding images that you think show the artist/photographer was really paying attention to how the image’s elements were pulled together. In this part of the assignment you should NOT use your viewfinder—you are considering the composition that has been designed by another. You might try to find images that are smaller than your sketchbook page so you can fit a few on the page.