Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Compositional Troubles

Going downtown, looking for trouble!

The elements we have been blogging about have all been presented in a positive manner:  what to do to succeed with your compositions.  Take a break from that, and apply a critical eye to see what may be causing you compositional troubles.  Loriann Signori makes us aware of the following post by Robert Genn:  Six compositional boo-boos.

Go read Genn's thoughtful list of 6 common pitfalls that trip up artists whose technical abilities are otherwise squared away.  They are:

  1. Weak Foreground (poorly constructed, blah!)
  2. Homeostatic Conditions (unintended patterns, tree growing out of a head)
  3. Amorphous Design (no design or composition, lack of intention)
  4. Lack of Flow (no pathway into and within the picture)
  5. Too Much Going On (opposite of simplicity)
  6. Defeated By Size (big, but not organized or composed)

May I add the following observations about common pratfalls?

Negative space with no intention.  Too big and/or unwarranted negative space.
Weak areas - places within the picture plane that are poorly executed or forgotten.
Lack of unity.  Will the viewer ask how many people painted your picture?  Color is a prime way to create this mistake: is one part composed of colors not comprehended by other parts of your picture?  Another way is to have directional marks that don't comport with the flow of your picture.

I don't want you to approach your art without confidence.  Be aware of the dangers, but go forth with courage!

1 comment:

Linda Roth said...

I am usually guilty of number five: too much going on. I sometimes think I should have been a pattern designer. I do love colors are intertwined with one another--i.e. crowds of people with multi-colored clothing. Compositional simplicity has been on my mind. Helpful post Casey.