Saturday, 1 November 2008

Space doll and V&A workshop

The futuristic designs in this sketch wasn't intentional at first, but as the figure was laid down I realised that it couldn't hurt to brush up those scifi sensibilities since I'll be co-running a workshop on the theme of 'future' later this month.

Scifi is not really a genre I'm very invested in (being more of a fantasy-person) so there's not much I can say about the designs. There are enough second skin suits out there for inspiration.
To get something useful into this post, I'm looking at the composition instead. These are two ways in which I think this composition works.

The first one is global and similar to how you would plan a comic page - the path of the eye. The positions of the elements in the image form a smooth path from the top left corner of the image, brings the eye across the figure and down to the bottom right corner, so that the entire image is swept. At the same time, the dome on the right hand side of the girl forms a stopper which keeps the eye on the page.
The central figure rests in a compositional valley. Just like a ball set to roll between two hills, the eye will tend to return to the valley.

Another example of the same compositional trick. This landscape painting is hanging in the Irish National Gallery in Dublin. It's possibly by George Barret, but I'm not entirely positive. The shrubbery forms stops on either side of the painting and brings your attention to the woman on the road.

The second composition has to do with the figure at rest. The pyramidal structure speaks of stability. There's a good reason the Egyptian Pyramids have withstood the sands of time!

The workshop I'll be co-running with my house mate, the talented Faye Yong, is on the 22nd of November in the V&A museum, London. We're doing two 40 min workshops, one at 11.30 and another one at 15.30.
The event is called 'Big Create, The Future' which features a whole day on the theme of 'future', with other workshops as well apart from ours. It's a free drop-in session so there's no reason not to check it out if you're around London and have the spare time.


aqws said...

Wow, composition always slightly overwhelms me. I usually try and work out the focal point, movement throughout the drawing and golden section- but there are a million little tricks you can do, most of which I don't know :( Triangles for stability, for example, I hadn't thought of that! (and yet, now it seems totally obvious. *facepalm*)

nana said...

Haha you're probably doing it without thinking about it. Most often my composition is intuitive, like when you're looking for something that just looks 'right'.
Knowing a thing or two about composition would probably help in those situations. :)

Ahh I've never used the golden section... I'm not sure how to use it actually. Does it have to do with where you place elements with relation to each other, or to the edge of the image?

aqws said...'s a picture frame division- approximately thirds on both axis. It's like a way of determining where you should place objects to make them sit properly- or where you should divide the image with a vertical or horizontal line (tree, lamppost, etc) It's very stiff and conventional though. Good artists come up with better compositions naturally. :)

nana said...

Ah, haha as simple as that, maybe the rule of thirds is a rough approximation to that then. I remember reading an issue of ImagineFX where they had a very complicated looking spiral, drawn using the Golden Section which was supposed to help your composition. It got me very confused...

aqws said...

Spiral? O_o well, that's news to me! I may have it all wrong though!