© 1998, 1999, WetCanvas!
|TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS (and get to the theory later)
Let us assume we are faced with the situation where the following picture must be cropped to fit a particular frame. How should it be done?
You probably have quite definite ideas about your preferred option ... and if I said the majority of people preferred No.2 you may decide I should seek serious counselling or some other form of professional help.
Without explaining the complexities of physics, calcalus or harmonic proportion (of which I forgot as soon as I gave up a promising career as a rocket scientist when I ran out of chalk) I have found the following guidelines helpful for the humble painter.
1. For primary accents - within the center rectangle.
Try and counterpoint a dominant accent with a two secondary or some minor accents (mostly outside the rectangle).
Remember everything is a balance with the relationship of all the parts to each other as they are sympathetic to the whole. Extra accents could lie in the second rectangle as shown below.
Remember the diagonals are powerful lines in any composition (below).
Spirals and curves can also assist in forming the basis of compositions.
An example- one of my most difficult design tasks was to construct a painting to form the frontpiece of the tryptic (a three paneled paining) in gallery one. I was faced with a square to be split down the middle upon which I wanted to place a single portrait and I did not want the figure to look as if it were cut in two by and axe.
1.The diagonal forms the main element of the composition.
2.The triangle forces a relief to the diagonal and is the principal construct of the figure.
3. The green and red circles are counterpoint highlights equidistant about the split just like you would balance weights on a seesaw (fulcrum).
With enough counterpoints we can almost create pattern ...