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Composition Starts Here

You are learning how to make a picture by applying the fundamentals of composition. You will learn how to combine subjects and or objects to form a whole drawing. The picture area is where all the action takes place.

The Picture Area is the first of four basics you need to understand in creating composition. What is the picture area on my paper and how can I define it? If you have ever taken a photograph with a camera you have worked with a picture area. The area inside the frame is the picture area. It is the flat surface that we draw or paint inside the picture frame.

I doesn’t matter if it is a camera or a piece of paper, you are in control of the picture area. Artist train their brains to observe life. It is like looking through a viewfinder of a camera storing information in their brain until they need it. They use a piece of paper or canvas to record their thoughts.

To use the picture area effectively you must decide where you place the subjects or objects and what size they will be. Depending on how much detail you want the viewer to see on may determine the size you chose. The larger the image, the more detail. Just as a cameras zoom lens bring things closer in your view finder it also shows you more details.

You have a choice where you place the objects, by doing rough drawings to find the image that reflects what you have in mind for your picture area. Take one object draw it different sizes and in different places on your paper. Do as many as you want until you have the best representation of your vision.

When you have more than one object the main focus or center of interest determines what size the objects around it will be. When there is only one subject or object it is the center of interest. When we add objects to the picture area we need to establish a direction that the eye will follow.

This is where size is most relevant. One thing to remember is that just as size dominates in real life it also dominates inside your picture area. When you draw an object or subject in the foreground you are establishing its dominance over smaller ones. Drawing objects on the same eye level and size will give them equal value. Whenever possible when using objects try to pick different sizes to create more interest.

The possibilities are endless. The size we make things and where we place them is what will dominate the picture area. Choosing how you represent the items in picture must be done carefully depending on the effect you want to achieve and how you want to represent the objects or subjects inside the frame.

The exercise that will give you a better understanding of this is to draw rough drawings. First use one object or subject vary the size and change the placement inside the picture area. Next add another element and do the same. Keep adding more elements until you’re comfortable with the picture you want to create. You can group them, change the sizes add interest and make choices that have a purpose.

Focus on the vision you have for the elements you chosen. After a while you will be able to look any subjects or objects and arrange a size and placement in your mind giving you a clear path to the illusion you want to create. Every time you record your thought do it with a sense of purpose.

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