Sharing thoughts and ideas about art, be it my own art or in general -- Sharing my own work and experiences as a professional artist/illustrator/graphic designer, as well as answering any questions of same.... Is the general purpose here. Whether you are a fellow artist, an art appreciator, or a friend -- All are welcome.

My Gallery Website is --- http://www.wonderments.com/

About Me

College: * The prestigious Art Center College of Design'73 * BFA, Towards work in Art Direction, Illustration, Graphic Design, Fine Art. I pursued free-lance illustration for many years in the SF Bay Area, where my work was used by publishers and in advertising. During that time, I was asked to teach illustration at the SF Academy of Art, which I did part-time for five years. I was a member of the SF Society of Illustrators, participated on the board of directors, was a show juror, and a contributor to The US Air Force Art program where three of my resulting paintings were inducted into the Air Force Art Collection in Washington D.C. Throughout my years as an illustrator, I pursued my fine art painting as well, and in the late 80's began my switch fairly completely over into that field. I made my living exclusively as an artist for many years in both the commercial and fine art ends of it. Art, design, and the creative fields have been my passion in life with regards to work and study. My paintings have been sold to individuals both in the USA and some overseas.

*Note -- A busy-busy world, and where many people hesitate in reading much anymore. Yes… in order to offer more than just short generalizations on some of the topics, I’ve taken the time to delve into things more deeply than just doing “sound bites”.

Whether you are a pro, beginning artist, one who does it as a hobby, or simply a person who likes art even if you are just starting to learn about it -- Feel free to comment and/or ask questions.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What Makes a Good Composition/Design?

A good composition is a particular
arrangement of the elements making up it’s total, where it would matter to the aesthetics of the viewer if it were otherwise.

And here is where it really gets fascinating - The ‘elements’ are everything from each mark, shape, or ‘passage’ of paint, large or small, and also the first element actually being the shape and dimensional boundaries of the composition itself.  The boundary, meaning the ‘picture plane’, such as the canvas size or watercolor paper size chosen.  This too is a shape, and will also be integral to the composition.  Every element is in itself designed, in numerous dimensions of design.  The size and nature of its shape, color (which also has multiple dimensions), the value (tone) of the element, whether it is thick or thin, it’s edges sharp or blurred or both.  And each element must relate to and support every other element within the composition total.  Each element has an aesthetic interplay with the others, and to the composition/design.  It is much like a symphony orchestra, being made up of many instruments each playing their own composed part, all supporting the whole which is the composition being played. 

Going further into what becomes a challenge, and exciting -- When the art is of a more representational genre (meaning ‘realistic’ in the rendering of light and forms), from very tight styles to more impressionistic -- Where all of the above must be accomplished with the ‘raw’ design elements of the composition…. But at the same time that each element is a representation of form.  An incredible juggling act, where elements stand on their own as designs, at the same time being supportive and cohesive of one another, at the same time becoming the successful whole (the composition), and last but not least -- at the same time being two dimensional representations of light and form using the medium chosen.  For the artist, along with many other things such as medium and materials choices, the composition is a series of choices and decisions pertaining to each element, while also functioning in the total of the composition.  Adjustments to any and all, can number into the thousands, or less, depending on size, medium, and ‘how the particular new composition has come along’.  And I haven’t even talked about yet another dimensional element that can be included - The communication, story, or emotion strived to be a part of it all.  Composing each new individual piece is an adventure and challenge for the artist. A culmination of so much for viewers to enjoy, if they choose.

Wayne Snyder -- 2010

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