Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Composition is everything

"Turner & Jake" ( as proofed )
"Turner & Jake" ( updated )
This last month I have been discussing the elements and principles of design. When starting on a portrait I find that "composition" is all important. How we crop an image, what is going on with the negative space, and overall movement has to be considered. Some images are easier than others and sometimes our clients give us input that really helps. I usually do not like to do pets in hard profile because I like to see both eyes. The other issue with pets in profile is that our eyes are going to go in the direction ( hard left or hard right) that they are facing. In this portrait for Turner & Jake the original position of the pups did not work as well as the client's request to flip them to face in the other direction. Our eyes read from left to right, and in the 1st image proof we start reading the image ... we see the dogs and our eyes just keep on going in the direction they are staring, right off the canvas. In the 2nd composition our eyes stop at the right edge of the print and come back into the piece to gaze on the pups again. This is a great example of a client providing really important design input that improved their portrait 100%.

Turner & Jake ( original photo)


Melissa & Emmitt said...

HI Rebecca!
Wow! You are a great teacher! This example is just perfect.
Great portrait of Turner and Jake!

Manon Doyle said...

Hi Rebecca,
Thanks for teaching me something today. Your so right about having the right composition. I often worry about that in my own paintings.
Love Turner and Jake!
Hope you feel better!

Rebecca said...

Thanks so much ladies. In addition to thinking about composition I was really wanting my artist pals to appreciate how intuitive our clients can sometimes be about design and how important it is for us to be open to their input. I often get really tired of being micro-managed on commissions, but this is a great example of how client input can open our eyes to a better solution. That has been happening a lot for me lately.

And thanks, I do feel much better. I am at the late night coughing stage now.

Jamie Pflughoeft said...

Wow, you just articulated something for me that I always knew but never understood why! Maybe it's because I was raised by a working artist, whose studio I would visit after school. Or maybe it's in my genes?

And yes, I agree with your comment about being open to client input. I'm finding with my photography lately if I just shut up and listen they come up with the most brilliant ideas.