Composition in Drawing
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Composition in Drawing

September 9, 2019


We’ll show you a simple tool that you can immediately apply to your sketches to make them look better. How? By knowing a bit about composition. Hey there and welcome back to Linescapes! We are almost at the end of our Basics of Drawing series. If you haven’t seen the previous videos of the series yet be sure to do so, so you don’t miss out on other tricks to improve your drawings. Link is, as always, in the description. And today we have a great one for you – composition! Why is it great if you learnt just the most fundamental basics of composition you can improve your drawings massively! Composition is a big complex subject. But we picked out the aspects of it that you can immediately apply to your sketches without much effort. Now, l et’s look at some background real quick. So you can understand composition better. What is composition? It’s an arrangement of elements (in our case in an image) that is pleasing to a human eye. You might have heard of the golden ratio, for example. It’s a form of composition that is very natural to our environment and thus very familiar to us. So if you manage to arrange the elements in your drawing in a certain way They will immediately look better and be easier to understand. Now, enough theory. Let’s look at three different tips how you can include composition in your drawing. Tip #1: picking a focal element. A focal element in an image is the element that stands out most and iImmediately draws our eye to it. If an image has no focal element, it can appear dull and a viewer will not spend much time looking at it. What can you do? The first step is to pick your focal element. It’s probably going to be something of interest to you. It can be a prominent building or a special element in a landscape. So how to make it stand out? You can do that by applying more detail to it make it contrasting to its surroundings with a different value by making it darker or leaving it lighter or even coloring it. That’s how you get a main focal point. that captures the viewers interest. Tip #2: Arrange your drawing according to a compositional principle. First principle according to which you can arrange your elements is the famous rule of thirds. It’s a simplification of the golden ratio. It’s easy to implement and it still works very well. To use it divide your page horizontally and vertically into three equal thirds. Now, if you place your focal point on one of the four intersections it will appear harmonious and will draw more attention to it Additionally you can position the horizon onto one of the two horizontal lines and if you have a significant vertical element, you can position it on one of the vertical lines. The second principle we want to show you is the pyramid or triangle. A composition of elements that fits in the pyramid has a clear structure and needs the eye to the top where you would normally place your element of interest. The lines on the side also effectively lead the eye to it. Okay, onto Tip #3: Balance out your drawing. An image is visually more pleasing if it is balanced. To check if your image is in balance you can roughly divide it vertically and horizontally. If it has a significant element on the right upper side, for example it makes sense to add the counterweight on the lower left side. It does not have to be one-to-one in size or color. Usually, a small counterweight suffices and keeps the image dynamic. So, let’s summarize: tip #1: always have a focal point, Tip #2: use one of the composition principles such as rule of thirds or a pyramid, tip #3: balance out your drawing. Guess what? you might have been doing some of these things intuitively already. It’s because such compositions seem naturally beautiful to us. Now, you can observe your sketches and do it intentionally. We really hope you learned something new and we have a question for you: would you be interested in in-depth video about composition? Let us know in the comments below. Our final practicing advice: a good exercise to get better at composition is to take some of your own sketches and redraw them applying some of these principles you just learned. Try it out! So, you know what to do keep on drawing and see you next time! Ciao!

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  1. Cape Woman?? Good show guys, ironically, we were taught during our LA design class that sketches of created landscapes always sold better to clients if your sketches followed many of the principles of composition that you outlined in this segment on drawing. I came to find out in actual practice that clients reacted more favorably to designs whose sketches were composed using these rules. Yes, you should do a more detailed and comprehensive composition video using all of the techniques you showed in this video. Good start to the new year, thanks.

  2. Would love a longer video on the"Pyramid" in composition. Wondering how to use it for drawings other than of towers, steeples etc? Thanks!

  3. this is great. I love the pace and amount of information and would love to get more in depth. Plus this is the first video of your and I will now watch more! Thanks

  4. Just found your channel. You are both so cute and I love your accent. Also thanks for these great lessons!

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