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Newberry
07-09-2006, 11:19 PM
Composition in One Easy Lesson.

Hello all.

Jay and Judi have very enthusiastically invited me to teach a short course here on Wetcanvas. I am looking forward to working with the many kind, talented, and energetic people here.

Composition can be extremely daunting, complex, and leave one feeling insecure about almost anything one does with it. To add to this complexity I see composition as a metaphor for the artist’s life: is it crammed with too much stuff? Is it unbalanced? Is it rigid? Empty? Or flowing, full, dynamic, and beautiful?

In addition to that there can be as many rules to composition, and valid ones too, as there are minutes in the day. All that can freeze one up and intimidate them from ever starting.

O.K., that is the problem. But I believe I have an extremely good and simple guide that solves more problems than you can shake a charcoal stick at.

Let’s start.

What I am looking to teach here is that if you create interesting shapes in your four corners you will solve most of the compositional land mines. Please review my tutorial on composition here: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/8254/701/

Assignment:

Using a soft charcoal pencil or Conde, they are quick and will show up clearly when you digitally photograph it, measure out and draw exactly 4 x 6" or 5 x 7" borders. These will be the edges of your composition. Its important that they are neat, tidy, and exact. This is important because the composition is about how things related to the borders of the paper or canvas.

Take 15-30 minutes to compose anything you like, making essentially a simple line drawing, just a sketch. My preference is for an interior or a still-life. Please don’t worry about exactness, proportions, or details. I am only looking for how your arrange things. Hint: make the corner areas interesting!

Once you have done that, photograph it and upload it here. I will then review the work and make praises and, if need be, further observations.

Here are two examples. The first is mine, a little sloppy on the borders, but I included it to show I am looking for very simple drawings. The second is from Lorrie, from a yahoo art group, she was much neater!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Jul-2006/8254-NsTHUMBtv.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Jul-2006/8254-lorrie.jpg

Looking forward to seeing your compositions!

Michael
New York, July 9th

Anita Murphy
07-09-2006, 11:25 PM
There are those corners again! Michael, thank you so much for doing this class! WIll draw up my rectangles tomorrow and get to work!

Mary Woodul
07-09-2006, 11:30 PM
Thank you Michael for doing this for the Drawing and Sketching forum. It is one of those opportunities that makes me feel priviledged to have it at my reach.

Judi1957
07-09-2006, 11:57 PM
Hi Micheal-four corners? i have no familiarity with them at all-so hence I NEED this Class. Thank you so much for taking us to what needs to be our beginnings!
I will review your link tomorrow with much eagerness and get right on it!

Thank-you so much!!!!!!:clap: :clap:

Robin Neudorfer
07-10-2006, 12:28 AM
I will see what kind of still life I can conjure up on my tray table. I have been known to have a bit of fun sketching in an airplane. Sure does pass the time.
This is going to be fun. Thanks Michael!

"J"
07-10-2006, 01:00 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/84176-comp_1.jpg

This isn't exactly what you asked for but...it does have the 4 corners

Anita Murphy
07-10-2006, 05:47 AM
I have a question, Michael! In all the images that you have in your article the pictures are quite busy. I'm a minimalist kind of girl - can you still keep good composition with less going on in the painting?

Fireman's kid
07-10-2006, 10:20 AM
I love the title of the class and sure hope there is truth in it! :D I have been so weak with composition I know ther is a lot for me to learn.

I'm off to do some chores then will be back to read the article. :wave:

Judi1957
07-10-2006, 12:55 PM
Wow Michael-
This was the most enjoyable lunch hour I have ever had. I am totally enthralled by the beauty of your work and the information you have on your sites!!! I cannot wait to get home today and start!!!!!!

Africanart
07-10-2006, 02:03 PM
Michael

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. My composition is at times a bit wonky and feel that I can learn more. Who would have thought 4 corners.....:D

This lesson came at the most convenient time as I want to get back into painting again and thought a simple composition would do for that, struggled a bit to find what I wanted but came up with this.

Obviously some prespective issues and detail is not at best, but as this had more to do with composition I thought best to concentrate more on it and then move to correcting others as I go over to my canvas.

Once again thank you

Mary

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/69011-basic102les5.jpg

Mary Woodul
07-10-2006, 02:34 PM
Michael, I really didn't want to post this because I made such a mess of it with the charcoal trying to put in the shadows because I thought they would be important for the corners and the scan is pretty bad too. Maybe the contè wouldn't be as messy. I didn't check for vanishing points and my perspective is terrible but I think you mentioned it didn't matter if it was off a bit in this assignment. I want to try a still life because architectural things are not my comfort zone.:)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/43096-102-4-1.jpg

Anita Murphy
07-10-2006, 07:35 PM
I did 8 of these little doodads - and found them incredibly hard to do. Apart from drawing so small I wanted to put in lots of detail and turn them into finished pictures! :rolleyes: It may not look like it but I used a set square to draw the rectangles :lol: :p
I find these corners very hard to do - my natural urge is for Japanese style empty space.

Here they are

#1http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/58769-comp1.jpg #2http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/58769-comp2.jpg
#3http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/58769-comp3.jpg #4http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/58769-comp4.jpg
#5http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/58769-comp5.jpg #6http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/58769-comp6.jpg
#7http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/58769-comp7.jpg #8http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/58769-comp8.jpg

Newberry
07-10-2006, 08:12 PM
Hey everyone,

Thanks for the warm welcome and I am excited to see the work already done, great start.

This is my first online class and I will do my best to give you a sense that you are taking a real class. In a real class of mine the set up for class critiques is as follows:

1. One student comments on the successful or the part they like the best about another student’s work.

2. The student comments what they like about their own piece and what they would change if they had more time.

3. Then I comment on what I think is successful, what I think is weak, and what you can do to make it more successful.

Because of the online nature of the class the critiques will probably not follow in that exact order, so we will improvise.

Later tonight I will be posting a critique, with visuals, of the works so far presented and answer your questions.

Cheers,

Michael

Newberry
07-10-2006, 08:14 PM
edited, twice posted.

Judi1957
07-10-2006, 08:18 PM
Jeeze Louise Anita-
Are you trying to make us all look bad?:eek:

I did one tonight and will work on more.
I found it a bit difficult too. I thought as I want sunlight as a part of the comp I could do a sunlight pattern streaming thru a window in the foreground-left side to the wall in the upper left corner and get some shapes that way.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/37258-post1.jpg

Anita Murphy
07-10-2006, 08:37 PM
Jeanne - I like your palm tree - it really appeals to my onesidedness.

Mary/Africanart - What I particularly like about yours is the box leaving the picture - on coming into it - depending on your point of view! :)

Mary/Moderator - this is really nice -draws you into the picture, lots of nice angles.

Mary/Moderator's particularly makes me feel like mine are very blocked. Hmmmm :(

Judi - I like your empty space :rolleyes: nice depth too.

What do I like about mine - :( em...... not sure I do. Think #6 is the most successful which incidently was the first one I did. I find them too cluttered, I am such a minimalist at heart so I think #3 appeals to me most.

"J"
07-10-2006, 09:20 PM
Looks like Mike is going to be verrrry busy tonight. Anita good work. And I felt good to get one finished.

Sorry but i don't see anything in any of them I would change. I guess I am not going to be a very good critic. My own, I would get a new subject. After seeing Anita's I have a better idea how to put it all together. Like all the other classes, I like seeing how everyone does their own thing. Several of the ones posted would not have occured to me. I am learning already.

"J"
07-10-2006, 10:13 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/84176-comp_2.jpg

"J"
07-10-2006, 10:14 PM
Posted twice. Had to delete one. Sorry.

Africanart
07-10-2006, 10:26 PM
OH BOY!!!!!!! this is going to be an interesting lesson :cat: I am going to try and give comments about my fellow "students" work, but jeepers you guy's your work is so good, it is going to be hard.

"J" - anything in my opinion can be put in a composition, learning to do it the right way is what we have to learn, and I guess that is what we are here for. I like the idea you have, I might just add something else to it to make it more complete, maybe a setting sun something to that effect ...

brother this is difficult ....

mlelevier - I like your's, it makes me want to see what is around the corner, can't see anything to change.

Anita - I like all of your drawings as well, I like the fact that some of you pieces goes of the "drawing space" gives me the impression that there is more to see.

Judi - Well your's is stunning and I can just imagine how great it would look as a finished piece, can't see anything there to change either.

Well I warned you guy's that this is going to be difficult for me, I tried :D

Now for mine...first of I would actually read the instructors assignment again and actually do the drawing in charcoal/conte, sorry Micheal got a bit distracted with the brats and forgot about the medium bit :) the other things I think I would change is move the whole composition up a bit, so that I can get a little bit more of the cloth in on it, then the wooden grinder needs to be wider, the right side needs to be at least right up to the edge of the frame. Other then that I do not see anything I want to change.

Thanks
Mary

Africanart
07-10-2006, 10:27 PM
"J" - I love your new drawing it looks great.

Mary

Newberry
07-10-2006, 10:34 PM
Ok. I will keep coming back to the theme of this lesson: interesting shapes in the corners. Interesting is the operative word here and what it means to me is that the positive and/or negative shapes around the corners must be my favorite parts of the painting!

I’ll start with Jeanne. I like the off centeredness of the palm and the flow of the fronds. Its is easy to imagine a swirling breeze in the empty space.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/8254-jeanne1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/8254-jeanne1mn.JPG

The two top corners are excellent. I have mixed opinions about the bottom two. The base of the palm leaves too much space between it the edge of the paper. The fallen frond is cutting too close to the right edge.

This is common mistake that shows up in some of the other drawings as well. Your object ends either inside or continues outside the drawing. When you cut it close it feels like your are stuffing the object inside the confines of the drawing. Another way to think about it is how close to the edge of a pool are you going to stand–either a little back from the edge or jump off it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/8254-jeanne1mn2.JPG

I made a couple of optional corrections: Lowered the base; continued the horizontal line behind the palm; and either brought the fronds inside or continued them outside the borders. You can mix that up.

Michael

Judi1957
07-10-2006, 10:37 PM
Jeanne-Really like the palm tree swaying in the wind-great idea to creat shapes in the upper right with the branches. I think the bench has great possibilities.

Mary/A I like it a lot-I think the birds alone would make a great pic on their own.

Mary-I would know your beautiful house anywhere. I love your angles and the light feeling.

Anita-I like all but I think I like the candlestick still life the best.

Did a second but I think I try to cram too much in here as perhaps the third too. I think that wall texture and shadows could do much more than doing it this way.
I will keep working on it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/37258-post_2.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/37258-post_3.jpg

Newberry
07-10-2006, 10:52 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/8254-maryaf.jpg

Mary-af, has a great composition right there before her eyes just a little off in the cropping.

One common mistake to look out for with the corners is that you do not want to draw a line directly into the corner. The edge of the cloth, in the upper right corner, was ending right towards the corner and faded! No fading please. Catty corner to that on the bottom left was happening the same thing, the edge of the band of clothe was heading right for the corner.

The positive and negative spaces of the birds are wonderful shapes. (For those of you starting, positive spaces/shapes/forms are the things such as the birds. The negative spaces are the empty spaces between objects, like the hole between the bird’s beaks and necks. Note: negative space in composition is just as important as the positive space.)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/8254-maryafmn2.JPG

I re-cropped the drawing giving the objects more space to breath and bring down the top of the page so that the birds had a dominate space in the corner. The cropping also got rid of the cloth edges going straight into the corners.

Michael

Mary Woodul
07-10-2006, 10:58 PM
Jeanne, I like you plam tree very much and I like the idea of the three leaves in one corner each and one with out a leaf.

Mary, I like the looseness and spntaneity in yours.

Anita, I like all of yours but I think I like no.2 more. I'm so bad at composition that iIcan't explain why but I feel that everything is in harmony.

Jeanne, I love this last one.

Judi, how I wish I could draw with the looseness you have in these last two.

I don't like mine because it is stiff and it is so hard for me to understand where my focal point is and how to direct the vision to it.

Hope I didn't forget anyone, I'll go check. Thank you Michael for this great class!

Newberry
07-10-2006, 11:06 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/8254-marymex.jpg

Mary from Mexico did a super job with her upper right! Wow, great shapes there. But the other corners have a similar problem with earlier drawings: 1. bringing an object to the edge, upper left, and 2, leading into the corners on the bottom.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/8254-marymexbmn.JPG

My correction was to lower the top edge of the image, so the ceiling edge went off the border. And extended the bottom so that base of the wall, left bottom, had some more interest in shapes. And on the right bottom I added a carpet! It seemed so empty after I lowered the bottom edge.

Michael

Newberry
07-10-2006, 11:17 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/8254-a1.jpg

Since Anita is a minimalist I would hate for her to be forced to become a baroque artist overnight! I like both so don’t worry.

I thought you were right there with the lamp, its only the sliver of shape at the top of the lamp that didn’t fit in well with the other big shapes. So I cropped it out, or extended it. Either brings the lamp shade in harmony with the other big forms.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/8254-a1mn.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/8254-a1mn1.JPG


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/8254-a7.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/8254-a7mnc2.jpg


With the chair, I didn’t think that corners had anything interesting. But simply cropping the work solved that easily.

Michael

Newberry
07-10-2006, 11:26 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2006/8254-judi1.jpg

I think this upper right corner is magnificent with the echo of shadow of the kettle. And I noticed that you cheat! You cannot write explanations on your drawings!!! :)

The idea of the light playing in the upper left, is excellent, like a Vermeer. But that can be done with some mid-tone atmosphere so that I get the idea. About the bottom corners, they just seem a bit blurry to me...if they were cleaned up I would have a better idea.

Michael

"J"
07-10-2006, 11:48 PM
Judy I love the table pix. I might have left off the jug on the floor and put a rug that went off the page and just under the table, and made the leaves of the left plant longer.

Thank you all for the comments about the bench and all.

Isn't it interesting reading Michael's critiques and actually seeing what he would do instead. I hadn't even considered running stuff off the edge. I was trying to fit it in the box. Makes a lot of sense tho. And makes it more mysterious. (Always leave them wanting more)

Thank you Michael.

Newberry
07-10-2006, 11:55 PM
First Day.

1. Keep the shapes interesting in the corners. Don’t run lines into them, don’t blur them.

2.Give shapes room to breath or have them continue off the page. (Don’t stand on the edge of the pool.)

3. Utilize cropping to cut out empty space.

Note: I didn’t mention this before but if you look back on some of the cropping I did, like on Anita’s, http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4786137&posted=1#post4786137post4786137

In the lamp drawing, notice how the negative space in the upper right corner balances with the shape of the table top in the bottom right. I did a similar thing with negative space behind the chair, upper right, with floor on the bottom left.

Note: About critiquing. I would like the comments to be focused on the successful compositional elements in the corner areas. That will help sharpen your eye and get a faster idea about how to achieve interesting shapes in the corners.

Note: About self-critique. When you post an image make a comment or two about what you think works well and what doesn’t based on what you have learned so far in this class.

You all will get the hang of it, just remember that you have to “wow” yourself by the shapes of the things in your corners and how they “play” off the other corners.

Michael

Mary Woodul
07-10-2006, 11:56 PM
Michael, thank you! The way you are teaching this class immediately made me see things that I had never thought of and your descriptive demos make it slow clear and easy to understand.:clap: :clap: :clap:

"J"
07-11-2006, 12:40 AM
Sorry, guess we don't read directions very good.

Striver
07-11-2006, 02:02 AM
Les is lurking
Great start
Les

Anita Murphy
07-11-2006, 06:06 AM
Les stop lurking and starting drawing! :D

Michael - great tips - off to do some more. I really like the positive self-enforcement!

I need to think more carefully about Negative Space!

IslanderNL
07-11-2006, 07:38 AM
As usual, I'm the last one in. Sorry folks. I'll play catchup now.

Here's my sketch Mike. And great that you're here and able to share some of your knowledge with everyone. :)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/67422-interior_corner.jpg

The elements I like about it are the bottom left corner where the chair goes out of the space. The top right corner has potential. I'm not sure if the picture frames add the to effect or if the image should be cropped down further for impact.

The bottom and top left hand corners aren't good. They would look better if cropped inwards and the space eliminated around them. So I've done a crop on the image after looking at it for awhile and think these changes might make a better composition.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/67422-interior_corner2.jpg

karstenbuch
07-11-2006, 08:33 AM
thou shall not be the last one. I don't know why but I like the composition better before the cropping Jeanette.

Here's my lighthouse. I kind of like the composition even though the upper right corner hasn't got many shapes.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/71908-lighthouse.jpg

Fireman's kid
07-11-2006, 09:25 AM
Hi everyone! I didn't get a chance to draw anything last night, had to pay bills and then got to caught up in Michael's beautiful website. :o

I started reading this morning and looking at the wonderful work done yesterday. BUt I stopped when I got to Michael's critiques. I read that he wants us to critique each others work to and I don't want to be influenced by what I read.

So I'm going to offer my own critiques now and then see what Teach has to say. I promise to be back with my own stuff for all of you to comment on. :D

Jeanne - I like your palm tree and think the upper corners and lower right corner have good interesting shapes. Maybe in the lower left add some texture or shadows/light.

Mary (africanart) - I really like yours. All of the corners are interesting and yet my eye easily goes to the birds which I assume would be your focal point. Nice job!

Mary (mlelevier) - I really like yours too! You have interesting corners and I like the pot peekig out of the lower right and the strong shadows in the upper corners. You guys are already raising the bar too high. I'm getting nervous.

Anita!! You did 8??? Couldn't you have let me pretend some were mine? :lol: OKay, my favorites are #1 and #5. I think they have the best corners. I am imagining some light/shadows in the upper corner of #1. #7 would be next on my list if there was some pattern or something on the carpet. In #2 I was bothered by the vertical lines that followed the left side of the page. I would vote for cropping that to just past the edge of the dresser.

Judi - I can't find anything I'd change about yours. I really like it and the written notes helped me see what you were seeing.

Jeanne - your second one is good too. The corners seem interesting, but I like the way some of the other people ran objects off the page and think it might be improved if you tried that.

Opps. Judi, I didn't see your second two. Were you hanging out with Anita last night? Of these two I like the second best. Both have interesting corners but the first one seems a little more busy, although I could see it being successful as a painting.

Jeanette, you're not the last one. Some of us haven't even broken out a pencil yet. :o Your sketch is very nice. I read your comments about the crop and see why you made that decision. I might have done something slightly different. I think I would move the round table to the left so it didn't line up with the coffee table. Then I would have cropped the left to crop off a bit of the round table. I like the top with the picture frames. It gives a feeling of space, so I think I wouldn't have cropped the top.

Can't wait to see what Michael says because I have no confidence in the critiques I'm giving. :D

karstenbuch - I like your sketch too and agree with your comments. Even though the upper right doesn't have many shapes I like the whole thing as it is.

Okay, so there are my comments for what they are worth. I hope my drawings go as well as all of yours did. :clap:

Fireman's kid
07-11-2006, 09:34 AM
Okay, I just read Michael's comments about everyone's work and WOW I feel like I am learning so much already. I was amazed at how simple changes made such noticable improvements. And seeing the changes really helped me understand.

This is a great class so far! Time to rate the thread. :)

IslanderNL
07-11-2006, 11:06 AM
My sketch isn't the greatest and the proportion isn't right either. However, I'll leave it to Mike to make the final call on composition.

Everyone has a different idea of composition, but there must be a certain theory involved as well, as to what works and what doesn't. That old Golden Triangle comes to mind.

I'll go back over other people's sketches and make comments, which to be honest, aren't fair, as I don't know what I'm talking about, I only know what appeals to me. I guess that's half of the solution.

cmwynn
07-11-2006, 01:49 PM
I am probably demonstrating how much I need this class. Looking at it, I think I tried to put too much in and did not really get interesting corners. I am not sure how much of the picture should be "corner". I don't have much experience with interiors and don't feel comfortable with this. Open to all instruction.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/29839-Interior_for_Compxm.jpg

cmwynn
07-11-2006, 02:09 PM
I have gone back and read all the comments and studied the drawings and think I should just start over. At this point I see why somethings are good but am not sure I can apply it yet.

Newberry
07-11-2006, 02:41 PM
Sorry, guess we don't read directions very good.

Jeanne, no you didn't get it wrong, I used a little trickery. I have asked for "interesting" corners but I haven't spelled out what they are nor have I mentioned all the "do nots". Its so much easier to begin a composition with one thought--to make the corners interesting than thinking about everything that can be wrong.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/8254-jeanne.jpg

I know your are making very quick sketches, great. The two right corners are excellent. I thought the bench was a little to symmetrical or rigid, both of the bench’s ends are equal distant from the bottom and side borders, so I simply cropped the left side, giving a variation to the two legs of the bench.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/8254-jeannemn.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/8254-jeannemnp.JPG

The square grid is also very generic...I don’t know if it a tiles on a wall, but I choose to see a trellis, and added some foliage, to break up the order and create interest. I also erased a little of the original bottom border so that one leg was higher than the other, that also creates more interest. The idea is to have different shapes and sizes but have them compliment and feel balanced.

Also to everyone, concerning plants and other vague fluffy stuff, make sure you give good silhouettes to distinguish the plant for the negative space...think of something like the shape of hair. So I took a little artistic license and strengthened the plant's profile.

Michael

Newberry
07-11-2006, 03:27 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/8254-jeanette.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/8254-jeanette2.jpg

Jeannette,

You have a lovely drawing, lots of things working. I think the two upper corners have a lot of interest, they have very nice shapes and balanced sizes of positive and negative spaces.

Your right the bottom left is awkward and I have trouble with the big chair for two reasons: one is that it is a monumental shape and you don’t have other monumental shapes in the other corners. The 2nd thing is that the arm is vague and it looks like the line of the arm is heading straight for the corner.

I did two variations to give you an idea.

One is I cropped out the monumental chair, darn I know you liked it, but I brought the size of it down and its now playing off the other sizes and shapes in the other corners.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/8254-jeanettemn.jpg


The other variation goes back to the original. I added more form to the chair, gave a back. And that shape seems to balance well with space surrounding the lamp, and size of the walls behind the other couch, upper right.

The table then became a problem...its was hovering a little too close to the edge, so I dropped the bottom boarder, and I extended the table out more to the left to fill up that corner area.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/8254-jeanettemnp1.JPG

An aside that doesn’t have anything to do with the corners, I circled the point where the end of the lamp shade meets the edge of the window sill. Slivers and touching points seem always to be a bit awkward and rarely make clear statements. I find it much more secure to extend things past the edge or keep it away from the edge. Same idea I have about how objects should interact with the borders of the canvas.

Michael

Newberry
07-11-2006, 03:50 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/8254-karsten.jpg

Karsten was right, is upper right was weak. But he nailed the 3 other corners, they rock.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/8254-karstenmnp.JPG

I did a really fun compositional trick for the upper right. I put a cloud up there but...I mirrored the silhouette from the bushes in the lower left corner. You can’t do this all the time, but no one is going equate the shape of cloud with the shape of a bush. For example if all your tree tops have the same shape then it becomes redundant, but if a rock and a tree top share a shape it will create a great deal of harmony–similar shape different thing.

Ah, I extended the top border just a little bit because the spire of the steeple was right at the edge. (Is that beginning to sound familiar?) Again, after a few more days of this you will all begin to really see and feel how shapes and sizes balance out and create interest.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/8254-karstenmnp2.JPG

Another aside, nothing to do with composition. The right inner corner of the lighthouse was off, the left side was bigger then the right. A very simple rule to perspective as objects get closer to us they expand, further away from us they shrink.


Michael

mmdm
07-11-2006, 03:53 PM
Darn! My email notification for this thread apparently isn't working (why do I keep having trouble with that?). Boy, I've already missed a bunch. I unsubbed and resubbed so maybe I will get the notifications now. I'll try to get a sketch or two done tonight. I've read everything up to this point and it is really helpful to see how you alter the compositions to make them better.

Newberry
07-11-2006, 04:02 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/8254-connie.jpg

Connie, you did a supper job with your too left corners. The negative spaces around the chair legs work great, and the window, its top, and painting (Picasso?) work great.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/8254-conniemnp.JPG

The problem on the right side is that you have sliver for the bottom of the bureau and a sliver for the side wall. I simply extended the borders of the comp giving a bigger size to the side wall and giving about the same size to the negative space under the bureau.

Michael

Judi1957
07-11-2006, 04:43 PM
Hey Class-How many stars for Michael???????:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Please take a moment to rate this top notch Class!

Striver
07-11-2006, 04:50 PM
Ok then after Mary coaxing me, just had a cuppa with the missus and took my sketchbook in, actually the room is not that interesting with these eyes, perhaps they will see more eventually.
A simple sketch of the corner opposite me, I took notice of lines pointing into corners and craftily avoided that, so the settee sits down low also the table, the picture also is below the corner and goes out, little point of interest in the top half but otherwise boring, nothing on the right apart from the corner line, so perhaps a crop is needed to just above the lamp, if so should be landscape not portrait.
Incidentally for my rectangle with corners I used a 6x4 matt I use for sighting in the sketchbook. Yes think I learnt something from just having a cuppa and sketch. Katherine what have you done!
No time for C&C, they all look good to me, out for the day now, also wife is in control tomorrow and two grandchildren here for w/e so my time is taken up hopefully I can quickly breeze thro again.

Newberry
07-11-2006, 04:56 PM
Hey all,

Great work and I am excited that you all are making drawings, each one of you has come up with an awesome corner, now how difficult can another three be?! Again, this is very hard work especially when it’s a different and new way of looking, but with just a little practice, you’ll really get the hang of it and see composition in a fresh light.

Throughout this course I may repeat myself several times. Its totally intentional, I don’t know how well that works online vs. a class, but in a class it works great, so bear with me.

I will again comment on critiques. I would like for you, if you choose to comment, to evaluate the success of the positive and negatives spaces near the corners of one work. (Not everyone’s!) That will take pressure off you and give another person an opportunity to make a comment on another work.

I will touch base again with you tomorrow.

Look for the fresh and interesting shapes in the corners.

Michael

mmdm
07-11-2006, 05:24 PM
Here's 2 tries. I like the first one the best. I think there are interesting shapes in all 4 corners. If I was to actually paint or draw it, I think I'd add a few more curved shapes somewhere to balance all the straight lines. I have a few, but maybe not enough.

The second one, not sure about the lower left corner. I kind of like the negative shape all along the left side, but don't know if that corner is interesting enough. Do all the corners need to be equally interesting?

I noticed that while trying to make all the corners interesting, I didn't seem able to also have an even more interesting main subject. Something to draw the eye to. You don't really want it to go to the corners, do you?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/9614-dryercomp.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/9614-roostercomp.jpg

mmdm
07-11-2006, 05:27 PM
I'll comment on Les's ( Hi Les :wave: ) since it is the one right before mine. I think both bottom corners have interesting shapes, but the top needs more interest. The painting over the couch could be made larger, or just moved over, to help the top left corner I think. Not sure about the top right, unless just some interesting lighting, or colors changes if we were working in color.

"J"
07-11-2006, 05:52 PM
Thanks Michael, Everything you said makes sense. Just need to make that sense as I am drawing.

No way would I have ever thought about mirroring the shape of a bush in one corner and a cloud in the opposite one. Very interesting

Judi1957
07-11-2006, 06:17 PM
LOL Michael I didn't mean to cheat :eek: I am so used to writing on drawings all day long and I really had bad paper that did not erase the charcoal well. I have redone it :angel: in pencil and spent more time than I was to use. I have a bad habit of getting carried away with things:o. My name is Judi and I am a detail freak.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/37258-post4.jpg

Wow so many people have joined in today! :clap: :clap: I am going to go back and look more -though like most here I do not feel qualified to comment but will try.

Mary Woodul
07-11-2006, 06:34 PM
I don't feel qualified for this but I would like to comment on Melisa's first drawing. If I understand this correctly she has successfully balanced the negative spaces of her right top corner with the the left bottom corner as she has also worked similar negative spaces on her left top corner and her right bottom corner. To me the drawing looks well composed as a whole. I don't know if the verticle line of the wall close to the left keeps the eye from moving freely.

Edit because I said Michelle, sorry, I meant Melisa.

Judi1957
07-11-2006, 07:07 PM
Michael, This class is so-o-o needed and I know it takes time to do a class. It really is great that someone of your talent will take the time out of your busy schedule to share your knowledge to help out other artists.:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I like my comp for the most part but not too sure about the lace tablecloth on the left side. I think the sunlight pattern could be moved to the right more and then crop the left side of the drawing off a tad-ending not quite at the cloth. The shadow under the left side of the table needs to be darker to enhance the shapes in the lower left. I like the right lower corner. Not too sure about the pedestal either. Perhaps the cloth should drape over that area more.:confused:

Melisa :wave: I like your second comp best. I think if you made the roosters tail swoopier:D and kept it more in the drawing the upper right would be more interesting.
I went to an art show last evening and took notice to all the corners painted by the artist. The paintings that addressed the corners held more interest all in all. I don't think you will loose the center of interest at all. The corners shapes and patterns would not be drawn or painted with the intensity and detail of the focal point.

Anita Murphy
07-11-2006, 07:16 PM
These are both of the same walls - one showing slightly more - in my house.

I like the angles but am still struggling with the whole corner thing so don't know if they work or not! :confused:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/58769-comp9.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/58769-comp10.jpg

I think the second one is rather better than the first - I think! :rolleyes:

Anita Murphy
07-11-2006, 07:19 PM
Judi - I like yours but would like the table more to one side and maybe cropped at the bottom to lower the table level so the items on the table aren't quite so central in the picture. I love the shadow of the kettle on the wall.

Michelle - I really like the hairdryer picture, maybe with the right wall edge slightly more to the right so that the picture isn't divided quite so evenly into vertical thirds. The diagonal lines are great.

mmdm
07-11-2006, 07:21 PM
Melisa :wave: I like your second comp best. I think if you made the roosters tail swoopier:D and kept it more in the drawing the upper right would be more interesting.

Swoopier :) I like that! BTW, the rooster is a little carving that my Dad made.

Judi1957
07-11-2006, 07:31 PM
Judi - I like yours but would like the table more to one side and maybe cropped at the bottom to lower the table level so the items on the table aren't quite so central in the picture.

I agree with you Anita! Thanks.:thumbsup:

Melisa-Your Dad and JayD would get along great as he is a wood carver too.:)

Judi1957
07-11-2006, 08:08 PM
Anita-I like the second one better too. I think the shapes in the corners are better especially on the bottom. I really like the addition of the rug!

Striver
07-11-2006, 08:51 PM
back home for a quick visit & then out again. So time for a quicky here, have cropped my attempt.
See you
Les

Fireman's kid
07-11-2006, 10:35 PM
Okay, I managed to make two tries tonight. The first thing I learned was that this is much harder than it looks. :eek:

The first sketch is actually a redo of a sketch I did last week. Here is the original (which I really dislike) from last week...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/31442-WC_D102_L5_garage_window.jpg

And the redo I did tonight trying to implement all that Michael is teaching us.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/31442-WC_D102_L5_garage_window_redo.jpg

I definitely like the newer version better. The upper left corner is my favorite. The lower left is weak. And I don't think I balanced any shapes or negative spaces. Maybe it would have been better to crop midway through the planter?

Here is the second sketch from tonight...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/31442-WC_D102_L5_FRm_window.jpg

I had trouble filling all 4 corners and ended up not knowing what to do with the top left. I also realized when I saw it on the screen that everything is cut off. I don't show the full image of any object. I think it might have been better to show the whole window cutting off part of the right side of the curtain. This would allow more of the chair to show which might help balance the empty upper left?

Boy I really feel like I am guessing here. But the changes seems so obvious when I see Michael's suggestions. I guess like anything else it takes lots and lots of practice. :)

JayD
07-11-2006, 10:37 PM
Mike, I created a mock up of a piece called "Vampire" that I just started working on. I wanted to post it to get your opinion. The paper will be black and I hope to work entirely in negative shapes.

Striver
07-12-2006, 01:18 AM
Hi again, on looking at my attempt am thinking the lamp should move more central to the right and perhaps come forward a tad,
Hi Stacy, busy girl are'nt you, three goes wow.
Enjoy
Les

Anita Murphy
07-12-2006, 04:37 AM
Stacy - I like the second one - the use of shadows at the edge of the window and bird house work well.

Jayd!!!!! Hi!!! :wave: We've missed you!!

Anita Murphy
07-12-2006, 05:46 AM
I think I had a lightbulb moment! Will be interested to see if Michael thinks so too.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/58769-comp12.jpg
I like this idea but need to do it with real setup not out my head to get the shadow right.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/58769-comp14.jpg
Here I like the use of drapery to bring in the interest into the corner and the flow of that compared to the rigidity of the upright candlestick. I didn't mean to get the bottle kissing the bottom of the rectangle and would have to change that to either extend out of the picture of to pull back into it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/58769-comp13.jpg
I just like the shapes here.

Africanart
07-12-2006, 06:43 AM
Hi

Jeepers :eek: it is going to take me a while to catch up and comment on all's stuff here, but I am going to try, if I skip someone...SORRY!!!!!!!!!!


Judi - I like your comp. I think that having the table a bit of centre would make it a bit more interesting. Like Anita I like the shadow of the kettle on the wall.

Anita - which one to comment on, I think I will comment on the ones where you had a "lightbulb moment" as you say.... I like the one with the guitare, I think putting something more interesting in the bottom righthand corner, maybe with some negative space will help. The shadow looks cool. The second one is good as well, I agree with you on extending the bottle out of the rectangle that would help...the last one is :thumbsup:

Fireman's kid - I like the second attemp of your drawing. My suggestion is to maybe take some artistic lisence here and move the bench to the left bottom corner, move the birdhouse to the right hand corner with maybe a bit of a bush behind it, to mimic the top left. I like you second drawing I don't really know if there is any improvement....Michaell!!!!! HELP!!!!!, I am sure Michael will come up with great solutions, there.

Ok I think that is all. Now here are my three drawings.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/69011-basic102les5a.jpg

I am happy with this composition, I think I have accomplished all we where thought in this lesson.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/69011-basic102les5b.jpg

This one is a bit wonky for me, I like the concept but I don't think that it is there, something else needs to be added in there. My thought was to add in a drappery from the left hand side underneath the shoes going out at the bottom right hand (nope I know not the corner itself :D ) I think the boot needs to be lowered down a bit more.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/69011-basic102les5c.jpg

This one...well let's just say I feel semi satisfied with it. I like the top part but I am not sure if the bottom part balance it of so nicely.

Michael thankyou for your suggestions on the previous drawing. I see what you mean with all of your suggestions.

Everyone else thankyou for your good C&C on my previous drawing.

Well folks that is me for now.

Mary

cmwynn
07-12-2006, 09:28 AM
I am relieved that my last submission was not a complete failure. I see that extending the side and bottom improves the composition. You say how hard could it be to do three more? Obviously the drawing is not hard, since all these are fairly rough. But deciding what to use, how to arrange the pieces and checking the corners is not easy at all - in fact, requires THinking! Not something I do very much these days. But the smaller settings of the still life images work better for me. I even read the directions again and used charcoal this time.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/29839-Geraniums_vof_compxm.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/29839-Fruit_for_compxm.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/29839-Bottles_for_compxm.jpg

cmwynn
07-12-2006, 09:34 AM
For comment:
Billlie - the third drawing is the best, I think. It is hard to fill the corners without seeming contrived, but the folds of the cloth suit the subject and fill two sides well. The jardinaire is very graceful, but I might suggest bringing the fruit over more to the right, or adding more pieces to the bowl. The dark versus light shows up well here.

Anita Murphy
07-12-2006, 09:35 AM
Connie - I may be way off course here but you don't have to have something in each corner but make the shapes interesting - whether an object or negative space. I agree it takes serious thinking!

mmdm
07-12-2006, 10:28 AM
Anita - I think you've got exactly the right idea with the guitar sketch, unfortunately I'm pretty sure that if the guitar is leaning against the wall the shadow would go in the opposite direction of the way you have it. The head and neck of the guitar shadow would be behind and just to the right of the head and neck of the actual guitar and the base of the shadow would move away to the right. It might still work well as a compostion like that, though.

I really like the fruit one. All the corners look interesting to me, and you've repeated the 3s with 3 apples and 3 large objects.

Mary - I really like your first one. Great negative shapes in the corners and that cloth sort of leads your eye into the painting, I think.

Mary Woodul
07-12-2006, 11:13 AM
Wow, I can't catch up with you all.

Stacy, I feel has very interesting shapes in all of her four corners.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/43096-102-4-2.jpg

This is the original drawing but I noticed that the slant in the chest went straight to my upper right corner
and I purposely left the space at the bottom to decide how I was going to crop it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/43096-cropped_version.jpg

This is my cropped version but I still feel that my two corners at the bottom don't have much going on compared to the two upper corners.

Michael, I'm enjoying this class termendously and need it badly.:)

Newberry
07-12-2006, 06:35 PM
Melisa,

These are really wonderful compositions. You have a great eye for feeling of balancing forms. And they are different too. One plays with geometric shapes and the other with curvy forms.

If to nitpick on the first I would move the shower curtain rod left so the curve of it is more in the left corner area.

With the rooster and the other thing...you nailed all four corners but I think you have a very tough problem to solve with the bottom border.

It looks like the sculptures are on a shelf and that you doubled the edge of the shelf as the edge of the border, no? If so that is like bringing the corner of walls to the edge...I think it is awkward.

You asked:“Something to draw the eye to. You don't really want it to go to the corners, do you?”

Yes I do, especially for this lesson. 99 times out of ten artist focus on the face, or central object and don’t give proper consideration to the total composition. That is why I showed how the great masters do composition and they take great care to make all the corners interesting.

Michael


Here's 2 tries. I like the first one the best. I think there are interesting shapes in all 4 corners. If I was to actually paint or draw it, I think I'd add a few more curved shapes somewhere to balance all the straight lines. I have a few, but maybe not enough.

The second one, not sure about the lower left corner. I kind of like the negative shape all along the left side, but don't know if that corner is interesting enough. Do all the corners need to be equally interesting?

I noticed that while trying to make all the corners interesting, I didn't seem able to also have an even more interesting main subject. Something to draw the eye to. You don't really want it to go to the corners, do you?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/9614-dryercomp.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/9614-roostercomp.jpg

Newberry
07-12-2006, 06:46 PM
Les,

Wow, I was so happy to see that correction, I had thought of something like that.

But now you have a little problem with the upper right corner. Any ideas? One might be to elevate the lamp and move it to the right, that should make some great negative spaces.

Michael

back home for a quick visit & then out again. So time for a quicky here, have cropped my attempt.
See you
Les

Newberry
07-12-2006, 06:48 PM
hey all,

I am excited by what I am seeing. I am going out to dinner with a friend and collector tonight in Manhattan. So I will check in late tonight.

Michael

Judi1957
07-12-2006, 07:05 PM
Well did 2 more and not particulary happy with them as I am struggling with ideas. On the first one I bailed out finishing the candy dish-had too many facets. The second one-perhaps I should have added a larger bowl w/ more eggs. Didn't finish the back burners-to much perspective thought :lol: . Though I did consider making an omlet.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/37258-post_5.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/37258-post_6.jpg

mmdm
07-12-2006, 07:08 PM
With the rooster and the other thing...you nailed all four corners but I think you have a very tough problem to solve with the bottom border.

It looks like the sculptures are on a shelf and that you doubled the edge of the shelf as the edge of the border, no? If so that is like bringing the corner of walls to the edge...I think it is awkward.

Yes, I thought that was awkward too, which is why I didn't like that one very much. The rooster and other thing (bobble-head armadillo) are on my monitor and are above eye level as I sit so I coudn't show the top of the surface they are on and didn't even think to show the front edge instead of using the edge as the border. Of course, if I had I would then have a boring blank rectangle across the bottom which would mess up both bottom corners. So I think this one might take a lot of re-thinking to make it work. Actually, it would probably be better to stand up and sketch it so that I CAN show the surface they are on. I might give that a try and see if it works. Thank you for your help, Michael!

Anita Murphy
07-12-2006, 07:17 PM
Judi - I like the pan but I think you need to crop the top off - lose the tops of the salt and pepper shakers and maybe a smidgeon off the bottom. but then - what do I know???

Melisa - I'm going back to check my guitar shadow and see if I can replicate that shadow IRL! :p

Fireman's kid
07-12-2006, 07:19 PM
I can tell people are excited about this class just by how many entries there are for today. I did another sketch but will have to post it later since my girls are waiting to have "famliy time". We are going to play Junior Pictionary. Do you think composition helps in this game? :D

For now I will offer my comments on a classmates drawing. I'm picking Judi's first drawing of the plant and candy dish. Judi I think this drawing is great! All of the corners are definitely interesting and there are no "arrows" direct ot the corners - not even on the plant. :thumbsup: I think the shapes of the top two corners correspond well with each other as do the shapes of the bottom two. Also there are a lot of interesting negative shapes. So basically I wouldn't change a thing.

Striver
07-12-2006, 07:34 PM
Hi again, breezing thro on a mixed up day.
Just wanted to say thanks to Michael, while i am not putting much in (time against me) you have got me thinking about the composition, corners and all A big plus for us.
Cheers

Judi1957
07-12-2006, 07:42 PM
Les- Like your comp and if you raise the lamp as Michael has said - I think that gets you so much closer. Perhaps a stack of mags or books on the bottom shelf would look more unified instead of two remotes.

Anita-I love all of them-but the guitar in particular-don't know why-but I do love shadows. Maybe a carpet fringe?
Love the fruit comp and all the shapes there-so classic.

Stacy-I like the second exterior window one but I think I would offset set the window and raise the bird house.
I love the window with the blinds-All the repetition of the shadows looks cool.

JayD-Cool silhouette!

MaryA-I love the first one the most-maybe a lil Miracle Grow on the plant to add to the upper left.

Connie-Love the gardeners comp! I think you have great shapes going on. The only thing I don't like about it is the spout is in the center.

Mary-I love the vases in your comp-I think that the larger vase could come forward and I would play with the shadows for drama.

Judi1957
07-12-2006, 10:09 PM
Did one more of the eyebrow window upstairs but it was so hot-I quit so the shadows and shading are not quite done.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/37258-post_7.jpg

Fireman's kid
07-12-2006, 11:32 PM
Just remembered that I still had to post my latest. I set up this still life on my kitchen table. I was happy with the drawing but then mucked up the shading trying to use charcoal. I need to go back to the last class, can you tell?

Overall I'm pretty pleased with the composition although I am sure it can be improved. I have interest in my corners but it doesn't feel as forced as some of the other drawings I've posted.

Anyway, all comments are welcome. Here it is...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/31442-WC_D102_L5_Fruit_Salad.jpg

Night all! :wave:

Taurus41
07-13-2006, 01:00 AM
Veeeeeeery interesting! Comp is my weak spot.

Lurking and looking.

Feeling very shy.

Tz

"J"
07-13-2006, 03:04 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/84176-comp_3.jpg

Problems with this one - Perspective is off, I got some activity or non activity in each corner. Problem with the right upper corner. The dark part is supposed to be the ceiling. Doesn't show that.

robynsin
07-13-2006, 04:46 AM
Michael - I hope it's not too late to join in. I spent a lot of time looking at your work yesterday. Lovely - and I think I learnt a lot just looking at your composition. This is a fascinating thread. My first still life, a year ago, I showed to a graphic designer friend. He said very nicely done but you have a problem with composition. I fear I still do:o.

The compositions that have pleased my eye in the most recent posts are Judi's 'frying pan & eggs'; Melisa's 'hairdryer 'and Stacy's 'still life with fruit'.

I have sketched a corner of the living room, just framing what was there so, in fact, that lamp is probably too central. I do like the divan & cushion at bottom left - so I hope that is right.

robyn
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/66219-comp1.jpg

Anita Murphy
07-13-2006, 06:14 AM
Tereza - come and join us! Its fun and Michael is a fabulous teacher!

Newberry
07-13-2006, 09:45 AM
Judi wrote: “I like my comp for the most part but not too sure about the lace tablecloth on the left side. I think the sunlight pattern could be moved to the right more and then crop the left side of the drawing off a tad-ending not quite at the cloth. The shadow under the left side of the table needs to be darker to enhance the shapes in the lower left. I like the right lower corner. Not too sure about the pedestal either. Perhaps the cloth should drape over that area more.”

Judi, your comments are right on. Ditto to everything you said. And, perhaps drop the top border a bit. And try to “neutralize” the pedestal, in other words, make it less distinct and strong so that it fades back under the table. That should render it feeling right and then it won’t compete for the corner areas.

Good job.

Michael


LOL Michael I didn't mean to cheat :eek: I am so used to writing on drawings all day long and I really had bad paper that did not erase the charcoal well. I have redone it :angel: in pencil and spent more time than I was to use. I have a bad habit of getting carried away with things:o. My name is Judi and I am a detail freak.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/37258-post4.jpg

Wow so many people have joined in today! :clap: :clap: I am going to go back and look more -though like most here I do not feel qualified to comment but will try.

Newberry
07-13-2006, 09:49 AM
Anita,

For the second drawing you hit a bulls eye! Interesting forms in all four corners and they play off each other beautifully.

Michael


These are both of the same walls - one showing slightly more - in my house.

I like the angles but am still struggling with the whole corner thing so don't know if they work or not! :confused:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/58769-comp9.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/58769-comp10.jpg

I think the second one is rather better than the first - I think! :rolleyes:

Newberry
07-13-2006, 09:58 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/8254-stacymn.jpg

Stacy,

Great improvements.

You nailed three of the corners in the last drawing.

Note about cropping: When you crop, knock off two birds with one stone. I cropped your piece bringing down the top border. The idea is that if you crop, you find the right amount to crop when BOTH corners look fantastic.

If you crop but can’t make both corners great then you have to draw one of them differently.

Michael


Okay, I managed to make two tries tonight. The first thing I learned was that this is much harder than it looks. :eek:

The first sketch is actually a redo of a sketch I did last week. Here is the original (which I really dislike) from last week...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/31442-WC_D102_L5_garage_window.jpg

And the redo I did tonight trying to implement all that Michael is teaching us.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/31442-WC_D102_L5_garage_window_redo.jpg

I definitely like the newer version better. The upper left corner is my favorite. The lower left is weak. And I don't think I balanced any shapes or negative spaces. Maybe it would have been better to crop midway through the planter?

Here is the second sketch from tonight...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2006/31442-WC_D102_L5_FRm_window.jpg

I had trouble filling all 4 corners and ended up not knowing what to do with the top left. I also realized when I saw it on the screen that everything is cut off. I don't show the full image of any object. I think it might have been better to show the whole window cutting off part of the right side of the curtain. This would allow more of the chair to show which might help balance the empty upper left?

Boy I really feel like I am guessing here. But the changes seems so obvious when I see Michael's suggestions. I guess like anything else it takes lots and lots of practice. :)

Newberry
07-13-2006, 10:04 AM
Hey Jay,

Interesting piece. I like it.

For this class I would suggest you HINT at shapes in the other corners, just suggest with a very dark gray. But that may not fit in with your idea of making it out of negative shapes.

Michael
Mike, I created a mock up of a piece called "Vampire" that I just started working on. I wanted to post it to get your opinion. The paper will be black and I hope to work entirely in negative shapes.

Newberry
07-13-2006, 10:18 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/8254-anitamn.JPG


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/8254-a2.jpg

Anita,

I like the guitar piece because of how you used the casted shadow as a compositional form, that all works great–even if the light isn’t right. :)

The shape of the rug is too monumental for the other medium sized shapes.

The bottle piece is good, except the top of the bottle is touching the border, either on or off.

I like the last the best. It works all around. The negative space might be a smidgen small.

If any of you are composing for 9x12 or 12x16" panels, your frame will take up 1/4" and that will affect your composition–so with the borders be absolutely crystal clear that on object is well inside the borders or its absolutely obvious that it goes off the edge.

Michael
I think I had a lightbulb moment! Will be interested to see if Michael thinks so too.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/58769-comp12.jpg
I like this idea but need to do it with real setup not out my head to get the shadow right.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/58769-comp14.jpg
Here I like the use of drapery to bring in the interest into the corner and the flow of that compared to the rigidity of the upright candlestick. I didn't mean to get the bottle kissing the bottom of the rectangle and would have to change that to either extend out of the picture of to pull back into it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/58769-comp13.jpg
I just like the shapes here.

Newberry
07-13-2006, 10:35 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/8254-mary2mnp.JPG

Mary,

This drawing has lovely line quality but your focus on the quality of the objects doesn’t help the focus on composition. When I do composition for my works, whether they will be life sized nudes, or sketches...I never make them neat, perfect drawings; I am only looking for interesting balances of shapes and sizes in the corners. That gives me, and it will to you, a tremendous amount of freedom to play with composition.

Then once I have a interesting composition I am then free to work out the details–I find it very rewarding to work that way.

Again with fluffy stuff of plants, clouds, bushes, etc, for composition’s sake, its important to give strong silhouettes to the plants, etc.

I cropped the left, and where I circled in green, I am matching, tweaking and playing off the beautiful profile of the iron stand and negative space of the cloth.

Michael

Hi

Jeepers :eek: it is going to take me a while to catch up and comment on all's stuff here, but I am going to try, if I skip someone...SORRY!!!!!!!!!!


Judi - I like your comp. I think that having the table a bit of centre would make it a bit more interesting. Like Anita I like the shadow of the kettle on the wall.

Anita - which one to comment on, I think I will comment on the ones where you had a "lightbulb moment" as you say.... I like the one with the guitare, I think putting something more interesting in the bottom righthand corner, maybe with some negative space will help. The shadow looks cool. The second one is good as well, I agree with you on extending the bottle out of the rectangle that would help...the last one is :thumbsup:

Fireman's kid - I like the second attemp of your drawing. My suggestion is to maybe take some artistic lisence here and move the bench to the left bottom corner, move the birdhouse to the right hand corner with maybe a bit of a bush behind it, to mimic the top left. I like you second drawing I don't really know if there is any improvement....Michaell!!!!! HELP!!!!!, I am sure Michael will come up with great solutions, there.

Ok I think that is all. Now here are my three drawings.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/69011-basic102les5a.jpg

I am happy with this composition, I think I have accomplished all we where thought in this lesson.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/69011-basic102les5b.jpg

This one is a bit wonky for me, I like the concept but I don't think that it is there, something else needs to be added in there. My thought was to add in a drappery from the left hand side underneath the shoes going out at the bottom right hand (nope I know not the corner itself :D ) I think the boot needs to be lowered down a bit more.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/69011-basic102les5c.jpg

This one...well let's just say I feel semi satisfied with it. I like the top part but I am not sure if the bottom part balance it of so nicely.

Michael thankyou for your suggestions on the previous drawing. I see what you mean with all of your suggestions.

Everyone else thankyou for your good C&C on my previous drawing.

Well folks that is me for now.

Mary

Newberry
07-13-2006, 10:50 AM
Connie you nailed the four corners of the drawing with the water can. In fact I can see you thinking about them! Well done.

Now I tweaked your drawing, it looks like a did a lot but really is very little. I erased the dark outline of bottom glove finger, so that it wouldn’t rest on the border. And gave just a touch more size to ridge of the can, mirroring the size of the gloved fingers...a little like the clouds and the bush from the lighthouse drawing. And I simply “neutralized” the center, making it softer and accenting the silhouettes of the plants in the corners.

Michael

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/8254-conniemn.JPG


I am relieved that my last submission was not a complete failure. I see that extending the side and bottom improves the composition. You say how hard could it be to do three more? Obviously the drawing is not hard, since all these are fairly rough. But deciding what to use, how to arrange the pieces and checking the corners is not easy at all - in fact, requires THinking! Not something I do very much these days. But the smaller settings of the still life images work better for me. I even read the directions again and used charcoal this time.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/29839-Geraniums_vof_compxm.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/29839-Fruit_for_compxm.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/29839-Bottles_for_compxm.jpg

Africanart
07-13-2006, 11:00 AM
Michael

Thank you for the notes with regards to my drawing. I can see what you mean and I am going to keep on trying to actually just get the composition going and adding in line detail later. I did not actualy thought of adding subjects like plants, clouds in as solid silhouettes but will remember that and practice it in future.

I hope to get this drawing and the birds transfered on to canvas in the near future....as in soon. I also want to rework the shoe concept and see if I can come up with something better.

Thanks for taking the time to give this lesson, it was very informative and I enjoyed it tremendously. Eventough I am seeing composition everywhere I am going :D

Mary

Newberry
07-13-2006, 11:02 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/8254-marymmn.jpg

Mary,

I like how your thinking and, like you, the bottom didn’t do much for me. So I cropped it thinking to “knock off two birds with one stone”, i.e. solving two corners with one crop.

So I cut of the bottom! Seems obvious, doesn’t it after it works...;)

Then I cleaned up the silhouette’s of your shadows and integrating them as major players in composition.

Michael

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/8254-marymmnp.JPG

Wow, I can't catch up with you all.

Stacy, I feel has very interesting shapes in all of her four corners.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/43096-102-4-2.jpg

This is the original drawing but I noticed that the slant in the chest went straight to my upper right corner
and I purposely left the space at the bottom to decide how I was going to crop it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/43096-cropped_version.jpg

This is my cropped version but I still feel that my two corners at the bottom don't have much going on compared to the two upper corners.

Michael, I'm enjoying this class termendously and need it badly.:)

Mary Woodul
07-13-2006, 11:16 AM
Thank you, Michael! It looks so simple and obvious, why didn't I think of that?:o ;)

Everyone of your critiques is a wealth of learning for all of us.:)

Newberry
07-13-2006, 11:22 AM
Judi,

Your frying pan is wonderful, A-. Actually I love that composition, very inventive and powerful. The theme of diagonals is great. The only tiny issue is the closeness of the iron pot support on the bottom left...I would then move the left border more left to give that a little room to breath...but then bowl above would move a little left too. And I see you cropped that bowl beautifully. Very well done.

You all are probably picking up I like clear cut and strong compositions even if you are working with airy things like delicate plants.

For radical demo, I took a hatchet to still-life with flowers. I brought the left border in to cut through the crystal dish, and to knock off the side of the plants as well.

And I took out a daisy! I three is a wonderful number, but the third daisy was resting on the same horizontal line of the dish...so I broke up the rhythm.

The strongest forms of the plants were the leaves so I ended up cropping the top border way down, to accent their positive and negative shapes.



Michael

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/8254-judimn.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/8254-judimnp.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/8254-judimnp1.jpg



Well did 2 more and not particulary happy with them as I am struggling with ideas. On the first one I bailed out finishing the candy dish-had too many facets. The second one-perhaps I should have added a larger bowl w/ more eggs. Didn't finish the back burners-to much perspective thought :lol: . Though I did consider making an omlet.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/37258-post_5.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/37258-post_6.jpg

Newberry
07-13-2006, 11:24 AM
Stacy,

Wow! Right on the money.

Michael

Just remembered that I still had to post my latest. I set up this still life on my kitchen table. I was happy with the drawing but then mucked up the shading trying to use charcoal. I need to go back to the last class, can you tell?

Overall I'm pretty pleased with the composition although I am sure it can be improved. I have interest in my corners but it doesn't feel as forced as some of the other drawings I've posted.

Anyway, all comments are welcome. Here it is...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2006/31442-WC_D102_L5_Fruit_Salad.jpg

Night all! :wave:

Newberry
07-13-2006, 11:26 AM
Jeanne,

I think you nailed this. Excellent shapes all around. Well done.

Michael



http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/84176-comp_3.jpg

Problems with this one - Perspective is off, I got some activity or non activity in each corner. Problem with the right upper corner. The dark part is supposed to be the ceiling. Doesn't show that.

Newberry
07-13-2006, 11:29 AM
Great job Robyn.

You got the idea and flew with it. All your corners have interesting shapes and balance.

The only thing I would change is the side of the sculpted head is touching the edge of the border, inside or off is my way to go.

Well done.

Michael

Michael - I hope it's not too late to join in. I spent a lot of time looking at your work yesterday. Lovely - and I think I learnt a lot just looking at your composition. This is a fascinating thread. My first still life, a year ago, I showed to a graphic designer friend. He said very nicely done but you have a problem with composition. I fear I still do:o.

The compositions that have pleased my eye in the most recent posts are Judi's 'frying pan & eggs'; Melisa's 'hairdryer 'and Stacy's 'still life with fruit'.

I have sketched a corner of the living room, just framing what was there so, in fact, that lamp is probably too central. I do like the divan & cushion at bottom left - so I hope that is right.

robyn
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/66219-comp1.jpg

Newberry
07-13-2006, 11:46 AM
Yep Melisa,

We are thinking along the same lines.

Michael



Yes, I thought that was awkward too, which is why I didn't like that one very much. The rooster and other thing (bobble-head armadillo) are on my monitor and are above eye level as I sit so I coudn't show the top of the surface they are on and didn't even think to show the front edge instead of using the edge as the border. Of course, if I had I would then have a boring blank rectangle across the bottom which would mess up both bottom corners. So I think this one might take a lot of re-thinking to make it work. Actually, it would probably be better to stand up and sketch it so that I CAN show the surface they are on. I might give that a try and see if it works. Thank you for your help, Michael!

Africanart
07-13-2006, 11:58 AM
Hi

ok I have rework the shoe concept. Shoot you know Michael it was hard to just put it down and work on the composition and not to get to much into the detail, everytime I found myself wanting to concentrate on the lines and detail I had to force myself to work on the comp. and not the details...I can add the details later, but darn it was difficult. I am used to doing the drawing right from the beginning, don't know why that is. Anyways here it is. I have cropped it a little bit on the left side but not sure if I should do it more or leave it as is.

Here it is.

Thanks
Mary

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/69011-basic102les5b.jpg

Actually now that I look at; should I bring it down a bit more and have more space at the bottom then at the top?:confused:

Judi1957
07-13-2006, 12:14 PM
Hi Michael :wave:

Thank-you so much for reviewing and critiquing! I am learning so much from your input on all the Class work. :clap: :clap:

Do you have any advice on the subject matter as well, or do we all struggle to find just the right objects?

Mary Woodul
07-13-2006, 02:03 PM
Hi Michael :wave:

Thank-you so much for reviewing and critiquing! I am learning so much from your input on all the Class work. :clap: :clap:

Do you have any advice on the subject matter as well, or do we all struggle to find just the right objects?

Judi, I'm glad you brought that up. Good question!

Everybody is really getting the hang of this and I love the sketches.

Michaels way of teaching is first rate.

Newberry
07-13-2006, 03:34 PM
Judi asked: "Do you have any advice on the subject matter as well, or do we all struggle to find just the right objects?"

Nope. If I did I am afraid that I couldn't call this class composition in one easy lesson. :)

Michael

Robin Neudorfer
07-13-2006, 06:25 PM
Ah... come on Michael, fit it all in one easy lesson. You can do it.
You are doing a fabulous job. I enjoy sneaking by the open door and peaking in, as I am on vacation. The work is definitely raised up a notch. Can't wait to jump in.

Mary Woodul
07-13-2006, 08:04 PM
Well, I tried another one but I was tempted to darken the body of the lamp but then the shade that forms a triangle looks kind of bare. Maybe I should have put in some kind of tapestry like shade.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/43096-IMG_6579.JPG

Anita Murphy
07-14-2006, 06:10 AM
Michael - Thank you for the encouragement - I think I am finally beginning to see the light or should that be the corner?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jul-2006/58769-comp17.jpg

The line that seems to cut the pot at a right angle was thoughts on cropping. Not sure about this - like it but think there are weak spots - such as the top left corner.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jul-2006/58769-comp16.jpg

Hmmmmm now I see it here, I'm not sure!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jul-2006/58769-comp15.jpg

This street is what I see from outside my windows - The corner building is a 24 hour store and on my sleepless nights I have often looked out here and liked the curve of the building lit by the street lamp and thought of painting it. Does it work?

Michael - a question here - being a minimalist and not wanting huge numbers of objects in my pictures, can you use variations in tonal values/colour as part of for your composition?

robynsin
07-14-2006, 08:47 AM
Anita - I think all three of these are really good - Both your bowls of fruit have been been. I think there is great drama in the lover right hand corner of your streescape - be interesting just to focus on that for a painting IMHO ;)

Michael - You gave me a great boost! Thank you - and then when I tried to come up with another composition I started to think the first one was just a lucky accident LOL. I enjoyed doing the still life but wish I had placed the right hand peach a little lower in the frame. I'd like to crop some of the bottom and some of the RH side. What do you think?

robynhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jul-2006/66219-comp2.jpg

Fireman's kid
07-14-2006, 09:30 AM
I love looking at everyone's sketches and reading all of Michael's comments. I feel like I am starting to 'see' so much better.

Michael, you wrote this to Mary (mlelevier)...
So I cut off the bottom! Seems obvious, doesn’t it after it works.. If it said 'top' instead of 'bottom' it would be exactly what I thought when I read your comments on my interior scene. :lol: How did I not see that change for myself? :rolleyes:

However this comment...
Wow! Right on the money. for my fruit really made my day!! :D

I wasn't home much yesterday so I didn't get any new drawings done. Hope to do one or more today. Whoever said they are now studying compositions wherever they go, I am doing the same thing! :)

Taurus41
07-15-2006, 08:30 AM
Hullo Michael. Thank you for your time and tutorial.

Here are my efforts. Medium is black conte pencil on white typing paper. Size 7 x 5 inches, but reduced for computer.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_001.jpg
On Monday this drawing was done. On Tuesday it was transfered by hand onto canvas, 35 x 23 inches. The furtherist lily was turned to point inwards.
The back ground was filled in with dark blue acrylic. It did not look right.
Wednesday morning I found this thread on Composition. Turned canvas to the wall till such time as problem can be sorted out. Something is just not right about it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_001b.jpg

Here is what I would do. Cut off the left side so that arum 1 extends out.
Take off some of the top of the drawing to lessen the open area.

Top left will be sorted out with colour, making this a lighter blue of an iregular shape.

Bottom left put in portion of another leaf over laping from the front of that line falling out the picture, lifting a line to bo up and past behind arum 1.

Top right looks ok. What do you think?

Bottom right drop far right leaf to over lap left 2, and darken that area.

Am also not happy with all the curves of leaf two. Smooth out those lines as in leaf one. Drop top end of leaf two to below arum up three center. Apex between base of leaf 1 and 2 should be painted green and not blue as already the picture looks too busy without making sense.
May I show you the painting as it stands, Michael?

With the next three drawings I will stick to commening only on the corners.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_002.jpg
Again arums, this time seven of them. Would like do a painting of this one.
There is far too much empty space. Am not shure about it... it might look good if the back ground was filled with lights and shadows of blues. ???
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_002b.jpg
Somehow this cropped version looks mean. The bottom left line needs to go, the bottom right has a shape that moves upwards. If the base and leaves are glazed dark the corners might look more intersting. Again with the top corners a play with clours, like reflections of light might make them more intersting?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_003.jpg
Sleeping dog. Love the shape of the sleeping dog, but an awful blank space above the table.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_003_b.jpg

This looks better, cuting off the top area. But the table should be fuller, like a half moon shape to echo in reverse the shape of the dog. Above the table,and extending out I would put an oval mirror, just half of it showing. Or perhaps a vase of flowers on the right of the table. The folds of the net take care of the top left corner.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_4.jpg
I think of all four this one has the most posabilities. The top and bottom right corners look ok, but taking away that corner line by the two fruits.
The left side needs cropping to about a third into the fruit stand.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_004b.jpg
Or maybe it should be croped like this. And swop the two fruits to the left,and fill the top left corner with more plant leaves.

Hope I did this properly. Hi Anita!!!

Tz

Newberry
07-15-2006, 09:54 PM
Hey all,

I am jazzed by the works being posted.

Today I have been signing off some oil sketches and I am on a deadline to get out my monthly mini-tutorials (emailed), either late tonight or early Sunday morning. Then I have a model in the A.M. and immediately after that my painting class, in which, your own RobinN is attending.

But don't let my short absence stop you from making outrageously interesting shapes in the corners and knocking off two birds with one chop. (weird pun). :) When you crop do it if both corners end up looking great.

I will check in with you all tomorrow night.

Cheers, and keep up the good work.

Michael

Judi1957
07-15-2006, 10:33 PM
Hey All-been absent for a bit here. Having knee trouble and been on pain medicine so I haven't felt like drawing much but did tonite a bit. Going to have a lil surgery but it sounds like it could be fairy minor. Need to wait for the MRI report on Tues-Wed to see how bad the damage really is. sigh.

Michael-you have the life we all dream about as an artist!

I like parts of my comp here but not liking the lil incense burner and sticks I chose. I did not detail all the wood grain here but the objects are sitting on a wooden wine box. Perhaps detailing the grain would make it look a lil less top heavy.
I think I would actually like to use the box with different objects with it other than what I have here-I will look for new objects and maybe even a different vantage point tomorrow.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/37258-post_8.jpg

Fireman's kid
07-15-2006, 10:46 PM
Tereza, welcome to the compostition class! I see you've been busy. Good crop on the sleeping dog sketch! I actually like the eggs on sketch #4, but agree with a crop on the left side.

Judi, sorry to hear about your knee and the possible impending surgery. Hope the surgery can be avoided or is very minor and quick to recover from. I can tell you are on pain meds...otherwise you never would have drawn that larger vase kissing the top of your paper. Quick, crop it before Michael sees. :D

Michael, tell Robin we say "Hi!" and that we miss her here. Lucky girl to be attending your class. By the way, today I was looking at a painting I did - it was one that I never really liked but didn't know why. Well today I finally realized why. BORING corners!! :eek: I'm going to see if it is possible to crop without losing the parts I like.

Judi1957
07-15-2006, 10:54 PM
LOL- Stacy-that is actually a bad scan I did-It doesn't kiss the top at all actually. Here is a better one. :D
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/37258-post_8a.jpg

Anita Murphy
07-16-2006, 09:32 AM
Judi - apart from the kissing objects one thing really stands out to me is the two vases being so side by side. Does that make sense? I do like the diagonals of the surface! diagonals are so punchy!

Judi1957
07-16-2006, 12:00 PM
Judi - apart from the kissing objects one thing really stands out to me is the two vases being so side by side. Does that make sense? I do like the diagonals of the surface! diagonals are so punchy!

Nothing good here but the box I guess so it is scraped Anita.:( I am doing another with different objects and looks like it is junk too. Practice-practice-practice.:rolleyes:

robynsin
07-16-2006, 01:00 PM
Tz - I actually really liked your very first drawing of the lillies - is that why I'm having trouble with composition?!:lol: anyway great work and lots of it - you deserve to find the perfect composition for your painting (which I hope we are going to see). I like the still life with fruit too but I can't help you with your crop - I couldn't figure mine out either:o

Judi - So sorry to hear about your knee. It must be the pain killers because I have never before seen you post anything less than wonderful. I do love that box - I've got one just like it. I was going to store paints in it, hadn't thought of drawing it. The vase on the right looks familiar too - is this some strange time/space warp?:lol:

Anita - I re-read my last comments on your compositions. Apologies for all the typos (i.e. 'lover' instead of 'lower') - I think it's the heat! When I said all the drama was in the lower right hand corner of your streetscape, I didn't mean the composition wasn't good. I just got carried away by the lighting and what I saw as a suggestion of a lonely figure on the street.

Okay - come back Michael. RobinN, we are all :envy:!
ciao
robyn

Judi1957
07-16-2006, 04:23 PM
Judi - So sorry to hear about your knee. It must be the pain killers because I have never before seen you post anything less than wonderful. I do love that box - I've got one just like it. I was going to store paints in it, hadn't thought of drawing it. The vase on the right looks familiar too - is this some strange time/space warp?:lol:



Robyn-thanks.:) The box is full of not so wonderful drawings.:lol: I love storing them in it as it is portable, light and a good size. I got it at a garage sale for 2 bucks and Pat took the bottle supports out.:thumbsup: I told Pat I want to go garage saling in Italy but I would probably find a lot of things there that say MADE IN USA.


Please no judging perspective here :D I can see the lettering in the lower left slope is off as well as the box in some areas :eek: . I am so used to drawing at my desk-I have a hard time on the couch. That is my excuse and sticking to it.

Edit-I am going to work on this one some more.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Jul-2006/37258-post_9.jpg

Striver
07-16-2006, 06:03 PM
Judi, If only I could!
Les

Robin Neudorfer
07-16-2006, 09:39 PM
Traveling home tomorrow.
I had the time of my life. This is one talented artist folks.

Newberry
07-17-2006, 08:36 PM
Hey all,

Had a wonderful though very busy weekend. Met Robin for real. And she is vivacious, talented, and a quick learner. She made quite a beautiful oil sketch, which also had a wonderful composition with absolutely no input from me! It’s a shame she can’t commute; she was a marvelous addition to the class.

I would still like to hammer the idea of “interesting” four corners home. I haven’t mentioned: weight. You will want your negative and positive spaces to have weight.

Perhaps, lets try this exercise: weighty and interesting negative spaces in the corners.

Michael

Newberry
07-17-2006, 08:44 PM
Mary,

You draw beautifully; with a delicate yet strong line and flow of form. But looking at your last drawings you seem to be hit and miss with your negative spaces. They don’t have nearly the beauty of your objects.

Those shoes are all screaming, a least at me, to have equally as fascinating negative shapes as the shoes themselves. I know you will get blown away when you begin to concentrate on that aspect, and I am curious what you’ll come up with.

Michael

Hi

ok I have rework the shoe concept. Shoot you know Michael it was hard to just put it down and work on the composition and not to get to much into the detail, everytime I found myself wanting to concentrate on the lines and detail I had to force myself to work on the comp. and not the details...I can add the details later, but darn it was difficult. I am used to doing the drawing right from the beginning, don't know why that is. Anyways here it is. I have cropped it a little bit on the left side but not sure if I should do it more or leave it as is.

Here it is.

Thanks
Mary

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/69011-basic102les5b.jpg

Actually now that I look at; should I bring it down a bit more and have more space at the bottom then at the top?:confused:

Anita Murphy
07-17-2006, 08:57 PM
Michael - could you explain more about weighty negative space? Pretty Please! :cat:

Newberry
07-17-2006, 08:58 PM
Hey Mary,

Do you recall that scene in Back to the Future in which Fox is playing the guitar in a 50's style and then gets warmed up and starts going totally ballistic, playing, I think, acid rock?

I worry I might be doing that with this crop of mine. So accept it only as a kind of wild suggestion.

Your composition here was correct but missed something for my eye. When I thought of cropping it I saw how the triangular shape of the pillows could really play off the triangular shape of the lamp shade...so the crop accented that.

Michael

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jul-2006/8254-mmexmn.jpg

Well, I tried another one but I was tempted to darken the body of the lamp but then the shade that forms a triangle looks kind of bare. Maybe I should have put in some kind of tapestry like shade.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2006/43096-IMG_6579.JPG

Robin Neudorfer
07-17-2006, 09:06 PM
Hello everyone. I am home and I did these sketches in my book with this class in mind, however I had no way to posting them. So I am jumping in late here....
Going east:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jul-2006/30341-sketch_7:10:06-3.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jul-2006/30341-sketch_7:17:06-3.jpg

It was actually fun to work with limited objects and come up with a compostion.
Coming home:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jul-2006/30341-sketch_10:17:06-1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jul-2006/30341-sketch_7:17:06-2.jpg


By the way... Michael makes a delicious cup of coffee.

Newberry
07-17-2006, 09:11 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jul-2006/8254-maryafp.JPG

Michael - could you explain more about weighty negative space? Pretty Please! :cat:
Hi Anita,

Sure.

Going back to Mary’s shoes.

Notice how “weighty” the blue negative space is compared to the relatively light green negative space. And compare that to the even smaller negative spaces between the shoes.

I might be too demanding here...but if you keep to quick line drawings, 15-25 minutes, it’s a really good exercise to think about how the negative spaces compliment the positive forms.

BTW, though I am not an abstract painter I think it is really important to bring a strong quality of abstraction into representational painting and realism. Being able to accent strong and interesting negative spaces is a great way to do this.

Michael

Anita Murphy
07-17-2006, 09:17 PM
Ok - I get it and it is right up my alley. Thank you! I had this awful feeling I was going to need lots of objects but if I can use the negative space like this I can get away with just one????

Africanart
07-17-2006, 09:37 PM
Hi Michael

Thanks for tips on drawing, I am not sure if I am getting this but I will keep on trying. Should there be the same amount of negative space at the top of the shoes as well as the bottom of the shoes. I don't know if you have noticed at the bottom where I have mentioned that it might look better if I include the bottom shoe completely in the drawing instead of just cutting it of halfway, after posting it I looked at it again and thought that that would look better...:confused: ...is that what you mean. I did not have much time this weekend but hopefully tomorrow I will be able to sit down and rework this one and try and set up a different one. Also with a concept like this would it be better to leave it just like that and play more with light, shadow and color as a background, or could you work in some drapery there. I have tried to work it in at the bottom of the left boot, but it does not do anything for me, I am much more inclined to leand toward the light/shadow/color concept. Just your thoughts on that.:D

Thanks
Mary

Mary Woodul
07-17-2006, 09:40 PM
Michael, yes, I remember that and don't worry about wild suggestions because I am more an abstract painter than a realist, only I don't know anything about composition, so I love what you did with it.

Robin, what great sketches, you have always been good with composition but I can see Michael's teaching in these.

Newberry
07-17-2006, 09:59 PM
Anita,

These three drawings have all excellent stuff going on.

Your crop on the lemons would be very good, indicated by your crop marks.

Though, I really love the rhythm of the two shadows: the bowl’s and the jar’s. It might have been fun to make it a series of three shadows, moving the bottom lemon around until some really cool play happened. Then you would have had the problem of the two other corners...

The lone jar is totally solid in comp.

The street scene is quite good as well with one major correction. In the bottom left corner you have cut off your corner with a diagonal line. Its crucial to break that up, perhaps with a shadow, but with anything so long as you don’t have a “cut off” corner!

The reason for that is that there are millions of people who cut off corners...and with just a few seconds or minutes thought you can turn it into unique area that will add a great deal to the total work.

Michael


Michael - Thank you for the encouragement - I think I am finally beginning to see the light or should that be the corner?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jul-2006/58769-comp17.jpg

The line that seems to cut the pot at a right angle was thoughts on cropping. Not sure about this - like it but think there are weak spots - such as the top left corner.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jul-2006/58769-comp16.jpg

Hmmmmm now I see it here, I'm not sure!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jul-2006/58769-comp15.jpg

This street is what I see from outside my windows - The corner building is a 24 hour store and on my sleepless nights I have often looked out here and liked the curve of the building lit by the street lamp and thought of painting it. Does it work?

Michael - a question here - being a minimalist and not wanting huge numbers of objects in my pictures, can you use variations in tonal values/colour as part of for your composition?

Newberry
07-17-2006, 10:18 PM
Mary asked: "Also with a concept like this would it be better to leave it just like that and play more with light, shadow and color as a background, or could you work in some drapery there. I have tried to work it in at the bottom of the left boot, but it does not do anything for me, I am much more inclined to leand toward the light/shadow/color concept. Just your thoughts on that."

Mary,

If I understand your question correctly, you are asking if you can fill out the composition later with light, shadow, and color, no?

For this class, if you can indicate, with simple lines where the shadows and lights will go that will be good for this exercise.

But I do wonder by your question if your having trouble with the concept of negative space? For example when you set up the shoes really spend a lot of time judging the distance/negative space between the shoes.

Michael

Newberry
07-17-2006, 10:24 PM
Yes, Robyn,

Your thoughts are right on about lowering the peach and cropping a little off the bottom. I really love the casted shadows on the right side, would hate to see them go...I think the comp looks great keeping them in.

Michael

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jul-2006/8254-robynp.JPG



Anita - I think all three of these are really good - Both your bowls of fruit have been been. I think there is great drama in the lover right hand corner of your streescape - be interesting just to focus on that for a painting IMHO ;)

Michael - You gave me a great boost! Thank you - and then when I tried to come up with another composition I started to think the first one was just a lucky accident LOL. I enjoyed doing the still life but wish I had placed the right hand peach a little lower in the frame. I'd like to crop some of the bottom and some of the RH side. What do you think?

robynhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jul-2006/66219-comp2.jpg

Taurus41
07-17-2006, 11:54 PM
Am chewing my nails wondering what Michael is going to say about my over long post and simple drawings. Everyone is doing such detailed and finished sketches. Where have I gone wrong? :(

But what lovey pictures you are all showing. Well done. I dont feel fit to comment on anything, but dont worry, I have been looking in everyday.

This is a realy great thread.

Tz

Anita Murphy
07-18-2006, 07:15 AM
Michael - I added a shadow to the street scene to break up the corner cut and made a huge difference!

Today - only one to show. Trying to think about the weight of negative shapes. My jacket hanging off the edge of the ironing board.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2006/58769-comp18.jpg

mmdm
07-18-2006, 09:43 AM
Am chewing my nails wondering what Michael is going to say about my over long post and simple drawings. Everyone is doing such detailed and finished sketches. Where have I gone wrong? :(

Tz

Don't worry about that, Tereza. Michael actually instructed us to make simple line drawings with charcoal or conte' and not detailed drawings, so I think you have done exactly the right thing. I think the idea is that is it kind of a pre-sketch thing. Once you get the composition correct, you can do a more detailed drawing if you want.

Africanart
07-18-2006, 12:35 PM
Michael

I meant the color and stuff for when I transfer this to a painting, not so much for this class, this class my aim is to work on the composition. That is why none of my drawings had serious shading and so forth.

You know with this drawing I only plonked the shoes down on the table in there various angles that I found interesting, then I started drawing trying to cover the corners. Only later on I thought that I should have added the bottom shoe completely into the drawing and not cut it of. Thinking about it I don't look at negative space, if somebody asks me to draw a negative space I can do that, but I am finding it a bit hard to look at the space when I set up something, not sure what I can do to help me look at that space...mind you I don't even know if I make sense while I am writting this :( hope you understand what I am saying.

Regards
Mary

robynsin
07-18-2006, 12:48 PM
Mary - I know what you're saying - there is so much to consider. It would be nice to have a solid year just to study composition, wouldn't it? I've had a heck of a time coming up with something. Then I was having a glass of wine and I thought......
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2006/66219-DSC02979.JPG
And then I thought, if I make this any way realistic, I'm going to spoil my negative space :(

ciao
robyn

Africanart
07-18-2006, 01:03 PM
Hi

I am baaaack.... :evil: me and my shoes :lol: , sorry but I really want to get this, I did it over and really only did this in 15 min (I have to pick up my son from daycare and wanted to do this before I go) so this is really rough Basically all I did was just move the whole thing up. I feel better about it, but we shall see....

Robyn - Love the glasses - I think we did a double post here he-he. It is difficult, you know I always have done stuff on instinct (sp) and inspiration, or how I see it in my mindseye so I never really sat down and considered all these things from the beginning. I would just sit do it and do it untill I get something I am happy with, so this is tough for me.

My brain hurts

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2006/69011-shoes.jpg

mmdm
07-18-2006, 01:05 PM
Robyn - Love those negative spaces. I don't think doing it realistically would spoil the negative space, but a more graphic style would probably accentuate them more. I like it just as it is, myself.

Newberry
07-18-2006, 01:55 PM
Hey Tereza,

No you did exactly what I wanted...almost everyone else got carried away with drawing the shadows and details of things! And I am trying to make life easier for them. :)


Your crop for the dog table was right on. Perhaps if you stand up and move in closer you can see more of the top of the table, that was you can give it more curve to match the dog's.

Ok, about the flowers...I did something different than what you thought of...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2006/8254-tereza2mn.jpg

I brought the top down and cut the left side. Can you see now a rhythm happening with the stems of the flowers? And now all the negative spaces are more balanced and complimentary.

Michael

Hullo Michael. Thank you for your time and tutorial.

Here are my efforts. Medium is black conte pencil on white typing paper. Size 7 x 5 inches, but reduced for computer.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_001.jpg
On Monday this drawing was done. On Tuesday it was transfered by hand onto canvas, 35 x 23 inches. The furtherist lily was turned to point inwards.
The back ground was filled in with dark blue acrylic. It did not look right.
Wednesday morning I found this thread on Composition. Turned canvas to the wall till such time as problem can be sorted out. Something is just not right about it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_001b.jpg

Here is what I would do. Cut off the left side so that arum 1 extends out.
Take off some of the top of the drawing to lessen the open area.

Top left will be sorted out with colour, making this a lighter blue of an iregular shape.

Bottom left put in portion of another leaf over laping from the front of that line falling out the picture, lifting a line to bo up and past behind arum 1.

Top right looks ok. What do you think?

Bottom right drop far right leaf to over lap left 2, and darken that area.

Am also not happy with all the curves of leaf two. Smooth out those lines as in leaf one. Drop top end of leaf two to below arum up three center. Apex between base of leaf 1 and 2 should be painted green and not blue as already the picture looks too busy without making sense.
May I show you the painting as it stands, Michael?

With the next three drawings I will stick to commening only on the corners.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_002.jpg
Again arums, this time seven of them. Would like do a painting of this one.
There is far too much empty space. Am not shure about it... it might look good if the back ground was filled with lights and shadows of blues. ???
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_002b.jpg
Somehow this cropped version looks mean. The bottom left line needs to go, the bottom right has a shape that moves upwards. If the base and leaves are glazed dark the corners might look more intersting. Again with the top corners a play with clours, like reflections of light might make them more intersting?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_003.jpg
Sleeping dog. Love the shape of the sleeping dog, but an awful blank space above the table.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_003_b.jpg

This looks better, cuting off the top area. But the table should be fuller, like a half moon shape to echo in reverse the shape of the dog. Above the table,and extending out I would put an oval mirror, just half of it showing. Or perhaps a vase of flowers on the right of the table. The folds of the net take care of the top left corner.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_4.jpg
I think of all four this one has the most posabilities. The top and bottom right corners look ok, but taking away that corner line by the two fruits.
The left side needs cropping to about a third into the fruit stand.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/60853-composition_004b.jpg
Or maybe it should be croped like this. And swop the two fruits to the left,and fill the top left corner with more plant leaves.

Hope I did this properly. Hi Anita!!!

Tz

Africanart
07-18-2006, 03:40 PM
Hi there :wave:

So here is another chicken scratch done in 15 - 30 min :D . I really tried to do it quickly and not to overthink and to try and apply what you have tried to pound into my head the last couple of drawings. Whether I achieved anything I am not sure, went into one of my little zones when I did this :lol:

Here goes

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2006/69011-statues.jpg

Newberry
07-18-2006, 07:56 PM
Hey Judi,

Hope your ok and I hope you’ll be up and running like normal soon.

I like your drawing very much. The corners are quite good, nice weight with the negative spaces.

I added a drawing/poster/painting in the upper left.

Two problems:

I think the incense is overwhelmed by the size and weight of the other objects and negative spaces; they get lost.

The second problem has nothing to do with composition:
Subjects that include other paintings, graphics, and lettering are to be avoided. Or, rendered abstractly so that we comprehend what they are but cannot identify them in detail.

The problem is this. When one paints a vase, we are trying to make the vase feel believable to everyone, to have it have a sense of shape, light, and shadow. Graphics in drawings or paintings register very quickly as being real, more real than the objects you are trying to make.

For example I remember once seeing a painting which, I think, was a self-portrait. The face and hair were slightly blurry. In the background of the painting on the wall was a Vermeer portrait. The problem was that the Vermeer image looked much more real than the image of the woman in the painting. The solution for this portrait would have been to have to abstract the Vermeer painting so much that it would be barely recognizable and then we would be freer to examine the portrait without this strange distraction.

Michael


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2006/8254-judip.JPG

LOL- Stacy-that is actually a bad scan I did-It doesn't kiss the top at all actually. Here is a better one. :D
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2006/37258-post_8a.jpg

Newberry
07-18-2006, 08:16 PM
Hey Robin,

Excellent work. I think all of these are very good compositions just a few points.

Like I mentioned in my last post to Judi be weary of recreating graphics in art–I prefer Rembrandt’s method, take perspectives or use shadow to only hint that there are graphics but don’t make them crystal clear or they take all the attention away from your forms.

Drawing 1...I don’t know where the borders are...

2. Like this drawing very much. But your round object is “kissing” the top border. So I add more space but then that upset the space on the left corner so I threw a wall in there.

3. Is excellent, I just added a few more of the round things at top to go off the edge.

4. Is a great composition. But I am nit picking about something, not concerning the corners. Its awkward that the straw (?) meets the edge of the paper and the edge of the line through the paper, I would move the straw up from there just a bit. The second thing is similar...the shadow casted on the top of the paper...its too small, either more shadow or remove it.

Michael



http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2006/8254-robin3.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2006/8254-robin1p.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2006/8254-robin2p.JPG
Hello everyone. I am home and I did these sketches in my book with this class in mind, however I had no way to posting them. So I am jumping in late here....
Going east:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jul-2006/30341-sketch_7:10:06-3.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jul-2006/30341-sketch_7:17:06-3.jpg

It was actually fun to work with limited objects and come up with a compostion.
Coming home:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jul-2006/30341-sketch_10:17:06-1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jul-2006/30341-sketch_7:17:06-2.jpg


By the way... Michael makes a delicious cup of coffee.

Newberry
07-18-2006, 08:22 PM
Hi Anita,

I not sure this drawing works that much. The negative spaces seem too monumental for the relative busy forms of the ironing board and the coat.

BTW, concerning this drawing you will get a kick out of my upcoming tutorial, Vaginal and Phallic Symbols in Art.

Michael


Michael - I added a shadow to the street scene to break up the corner cut and made a huge difference!

Today - only one to show. Trying to think about the weight of negative shapes. My jacket hanging off the edge of the ironing board.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2006/58769-comp18.jpg

Newberry
07-18-2006, 08:32 PM
Mary,

Wonderful job. Now I feel that you are getting the idea of the negative spaces. The only correction I added was at the bottom left I steered the line away from landing smack in the corner. Also I accented one of the cloth forms a bit, giving just a little more line weight to compliment the negative spaces along the top border. They all look great.

Aside from the comp, I don’t quite “get” the square shape stick among all those curving forms...I can’t quite see what forms it is complimenting.

But aside from my few comments, you did a wonderful job...exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to get across.

Michael

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2006/8254-maryaf2p.JPG


Hi there :wave:

So here is another chicken scratch done in 15 - 30 min :D . I really tried to do it quickly and not to overthink and to try and apply what you have tried to pound into my head the last couple of drawings. Whether I achieved anything I am not sure, went into one of my little zones when I did this :lol:

Here goes

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2006/69011-statues.jpg

Judi1957
07-18-2006, 08:34 PM
TY Michael-That is great advice on the graphics-now it really is jumping out at me like wham! Also the incense burner:thumbsup: I like the wall picture add you placed there.
I will remember these items as well as the advice you gave to all. I am learning so-o-o much here.
I am working on a commission at this time and your 'four corners' really helped me to crop it. TY! Don't know what decision I would have come up with otherwise. :eek: :D


I have redone it with new objects-LOL-the lettering is still there-but my self critique-Hmm-abstract the lettering?:D

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2006/37258-post__9b.jpg

Newberry
07-18-2006, 08:37 PM
Robyn,

This was a fun idea. And excellent negative and positive spaces in the central area...I really like the drawing but...I don't think there are interesting shapes in the corners. One of the problems is that the tops and bottoms of the glasses are on the same horizontal lines--breaking them up would lead to interesting shapes in the corners.

Michael


Mary - I know what you're saying - there is so much to consider. It would be nice to have a solid year just to study composition, wouldn't it? I've had a heck of a time coming up with something. Then I was having a glass of wine and I thought......
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2006/66219-DSC02979.JPG
And then I thought, if I make this any way realistic, I'm going to spoil my negative space :(

ciao
robyn

Africanart
07-18-2006, 09:27 PM
Michael

Thank you, I think what I did with the other pieces was overthinking instead of just going with my feeling. I threw the candle in there to see if I like it, one: I think it is to small, the scale is off
two: I think I should make it cylindrical

Once again thank you for your tips and avice, I feel way more confident about my composition skills.

Mary

Anita Murphy
07-18-2006, 09:33 PM
I not sure this drawing works that much.

That was being kind. When I checked in earlier I thought " :eek: wish I could edit that post and remove that!" What looks good at 4 in the morning isn't quite so good in the clear light of day!

Robin Neudorfer
07-19-2006, 12:05 AM
Michael - I am curious if you are able to address each of your compositional problems while setting up the composition, or if you do sketches and then drawings and work it out at this stage?
I find I can analyze the composition much better when in the 2D phase, but I don't always see the obvious when it is in the 3D stage.

Taurus41
07-19-2006, 12:24 AM
Hullo Michael.

Thank you for your crit. Yes, your crop of the lilies is great. I think I can start to do a painting of the croped version.... one small thing though... there are 4 lilies in the painting, I am going to have to add another somewhere to make it an uneven number.

Will figuer out something and start a new painting.

By the way... I love what you did to Mary's chair and lamp!!! Its almost an abstract!!! My kind of thing. Just love it Mary.

Micheal, may I present more of thise simpel compositions for crit? I dont want to take too much advantage of your time as I know you are a busy person. How long are you going to keep this thread going???

Thanking you again

Tz

Newberry
07-19-2006, 01:06 AM
Robin,


I kind of toggle it all; sighting a bit of the image in an imaginary window, a little cropping, little adding and taking away. But its important to know that simple conte drawings only take minutes...you do not want to find out that if you had only taken 30 more minutes of cropping and sketching would have saved you a 3-month unnecessary struggle.

Michael


Michael - I am curious if you are able to address each of your compositional problems while setting up the composition, or if you do sketches and then drawings and work it out at this stage?
I find I can analyze the composition much better when in the 2D phase, but I don't always see the obvious when it is in the 3D stage.

Newberry
07-19-2006, 01:11 AM
Thanks for the comments Tereza. By all means submit your works now and in the coming days. I will critique through July 23rd.

Michael

Hullo Michael.

Thank you for your crit. Yes, your crop of the lilies is great. I think I can start to do a painting of the croped version.... one small thing though... there are 4 lilies in the painting, I am going to have to add another somewhere to make it an uneven number.

Will figuer out something and start a new painting.

By the way... I love what you did to Mary's chair and lamp!!! Its almost an abstract!!! My kind of thing. Just love it Mary.

Micheal, may I present more of thise simpel compositions for crit? I dont want to take too much advantage of your time as I know you are a busy person. How long are you going to keep this thread going???

Thanking you again

Tz

robynsin
07-19-2006, 06:29 AM
Michael - I've fiddled with the wine glasses (below) but feel it is too contrived. I had a go at another composition and have cropped it to what I think is a nice balance of positive and negative space. Thanks for your patience and time.
robyn
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2006/66219-DSC02986.JPG
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2006/66219-DSC02983.JPG
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2006/66219-DSC02985.JPG
Ummm.... I could probably lop a bit more off the bottom.

Anita Murphy
07-19-2006, 07:11 AM
Robyn - great bottles!!

I started out with a rectangle about twice the size of what I ended up with - nothing like mad cropping! I'm trying to minimize the number of objects but find it hard to do so and not lose the corners completely. Any tips here Michael on minimalistic composition?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2006/58769-comp19.jpg

robynsin
07-19-2006, 07:28 AM
Anita - Thanks. Your fruit bowl and drape are very pleasing too. And I know how beautifully you'd paint that drape:thumbsup: I'm not sure if the table corners are too distracting. This is SO hard.

robyn

Anita Murphy
07-19-2006, 07:45 AM
Robyn - I think you are right about the table edge - maybe just lose that. I know what you mean - brain ache!!! But worth it - having just started a painting that then needed completely redoing after I was about 1/3 of the way through! Comp was so bad it was laughable!

robynsin
07-19-2006, 09:06 AM
Anita - I've just been admiring your Scavanger Hunt sketches - they are beautiful.:clap: I certainly didn't recoil at the lack of composition.:lol:
robyn

robynsin
07-19-2006, 01:51 PM
P.S. I'll be doing the Spelling class right after the Composition class:o

Anita Murphy
07-19-2006, 02:21 PM
P.S. I'll be doing the Spelling class right after the Composition class


:lol: :lol: :lol:

Thank you for comment on the scavenger hunt - its quite fun to do and good for sketching skills. The second hunt has just been posted.

Robin Neudorfer
07-19-2006, 02:44 PM
Michael - even before this class was offered, I was on a quest for understanding composition. So I have been reading as much as I can on the subject. Of course there are many different "rules" and yet a few basics that I am finding. Perhaps you can throw a few suggestions into a discussion for all of us. I am searching for what makes interesting objects, and how to know when you have a winner.
Stories behind the actual objects make interesting subjects, because it makes the art more personal.
Size relationships are good to work with (such as varying the sizes)
Similar shapes, which sets up a rhythm (you discuss this in one of your tutorials on your site)
Differences in textures, (or perhaps similarities?)

...am I just running myself into circles? Is there really a method to this madness, or perhaps multiple answers to the same question.
I think I would like the last answer the best.

Newberry
07-19-2006, 04:11 PM
Hi Robin and all.

A great metaphor for composition is that the paper or canvas is your Universe. Is the world within your universe balanced or unbalanced? Beautiful, dull, or ugly? Ruthlessly symmetrical or organically interwoven? Is all your interest in life one-sided and weighed heavily in one area or are your interests varied and spread out?

You may not know it but you are answering those questions by how you compose.

So to answer your questions. Think about the way you compose is the way you live.

On another front, all of you have come up with good compositions but I am missing that you are “in love” with the shapes in the corners. Try to make a corner that “rocks your world”. If you don’t feel that coming from the work then, simply, scratch it and try something different. But you all should be “in-tune” to how you feel, listen closely to all the different feelings you have while your drawing–but what you should be seeking out is joyful feeling that it “clicks”.

Of course if you are making mundane objects that you don’t really care about them that will affect you as well. And like I said earlier this class is limited to composition. Nonetheless I would like to see the focus on some incredibly interesting and beautiful shapes in the corners that rock your world.

Michael

Michael - even before this class was offered, I was on a quest for understanding composition. So I have been reading as much as I can on the subject. Of course there are many different "rules" and yet a few basics that I am finding. Perhaps you can throw a few suggestions into a discussion for all of us. I am searching for what makes interesting objects, and how to know when you have a winner.
Stories behind the actual objects make interesting subjects, because it makes the art more personal.
Size relationships are good to work with (such as varying the sizes)
Similar shapes, which sets up a rhythm (you discuss this in one of your tutorials on your site)
Differences in textures, (or perhaps similarities?)

...am I just running myself into circles? Is there really a method to this madness, or perhaps multiple answers to the same question.
I think I would like the last answer the best.

Robin Neudorfer
07-19-2006, 05:04 PM
Thank you Michael. You put it beautifully. I think I will stop reading and searching for the answers now. They are within. Somehow I knew that all along, but did not trust myself.

Judi1957
07-19-2006, 06:28 PM
Wow- that is really nice what you wrote Michael.

I love pretty and graceful things.

The objects in the first drawing here are not tight to the corners on the top but I didn't want to cut off the scallops of the metal pedestal dish. But all in all I like this comp-though it is much prettier in person.:o I think an improvement to make would be to lay out the ribbons a bit better and take the ends of some into the lower left. That is a wire wound with ribbons and flowers set over the lil pitcher.

Just for giggles here is a quick sketch from work. I think I would remove my nap pillow :D from the lower right and replace it w/ rolls of drawings and crop the right side in. Though for sure I would never want to ever seriously draw this.:eek:

Edit to say: Perhaps a solution would be to add draped fabric in the bg-similar to Anita's last post-which I really like Anita!!!! Robyn-the bottles are wonderful.

Robin Neudorfer
07-19-2006, 07:25 PM
Judi - I like the second one, but my eye starts at the tallest item, swoops down the spout of the pitcher up over the handle and off of the page. Perhaps if the pitcher was turned or it switched places with the bowl ...
It does create some interesting negative spaces. I also really like the texture of the ribbon.

Robyn - Your bottle crop and angle is really gorgeous

Anita - I agree that the table edges are not heping your set up. A beautiful subtle design on the fabric would most likely be all you need. I can not believe that you have anything left that isn't packed, to draw. Let alone that you find the time to draw.

Anita Murphy
07-19-2006, 07:53 PM
Robin - only about 1/4 of the way through the packing! :eek: but boy do they do a beautiful job!!! I have sculpted furniture - the way they have packed the chairs, tables, sofas it looks like furniture made of cardboard!

Robin Neudorfer
07-19-2006, 08:09 PM
Now that might make an interesting picture. Quite futuristic

Anita Murphy
07-19-2006, 08:10 PM
Would make a great contemporary art sculpture piece!

mmdm
07-19-2006, 08:26 PM
Judi - Lovely arrangement of items. I am guessing it might be a little better if you either switched the candy dish and the pitcher with each other, or moved the candy dish down and the pitcher up, so the pitcher is higher than the dish. Just a thought. I love the desk sketch!!!

Judi1957
07-19-2006, 08:41 PM
:crying: :crying: I guess I am just not getting this-I thought the eye went over the tops-down the handle to the flower ring to the ribbons and around again. Well perhaps better in the first one. Thanks ladies-maybe someday I'll get it right....sigh. I will see what your suggestions do.:) Back to the drawing board.

Edit to add-Anita-so glad they are packing you up well-that must be such a headache-I hate moving.

Newberry
07-19-2006, 09:46 PM
Hey Judi,

I think the main interest in this piece is the center stuff...an idea is maybe to think about getting away from the center and moving your favorite objects outwards so that they expand out to the ends of your universe?!

Not going to re-draw your piece I opted to crop it quite a bit, added a casted shadow bottom left...I like all your casted shadows...accented the silhouette to the plants.

Strictly speaking about composition you make it harder on yourself the more detail you put in the drawing...after doing all that work you won’t want to move anything around...I know all the tricks. This is a wily group.

Michael


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2006/8254-judimnp.JPG
TY Michael-That is great advice on the graphics-now it really is jumping out at me like wham! Also the incense burner:thumbsup: I like the wall picture add you placed there.
I will remember these items as well as the advice you gave to all. I am learning so-o-o much here.
I am working on a commission at this time and your 'four corners' really helped me to crop it. TY! Don't know what decision I would have come up with otherwise. :eek: :D


I have redone it with new objects-LOL-the lettering is still there-but my self critique-Hmm-abstract the lettering?:D

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2006/37258-post__9b.jpg

Newberry
07-19-2006, 09:53 PM
Robyn,

In this drawing you are making it very symmetrical, I think it is too rigid. So I asked how can break up the expected and create interesting corners.


About the bottles I had to add a fiddle. You didn’t have anything in the upper left...so I put up some dried herbs–doesn’t wild oregano grow everywhere there? Gave some more negative space to the left, more space for the tops of the bottles and more weight on the right...and added some cloth to fold over the bottom edge.

Michael

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2006/8254-robynGlassmn.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2006/8254-robyn2mnp.JPG


Michael - I've fiddled with the wine glasses (below) but feel it is too contrived. I had a go at another composition and have cropped it to what I think is a nice balance of positive and negative space. Thanks for your patience and time.
robyn
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2006/66219-DSC02986.JPG
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2006/66219-DSC02983.JPG
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2006/66219-DSC02985.JPG
Ummm.... I could probably lop a bit more off the bottom.

Newberry
07-19-2006, 09:57 PM
Anita,

I found the two bottom edges together too much the same, simply took one of them out. The silhouettes of your fruits was vague...same with the cloth in the upper right, cleaned that up a touch.

Michael

BTW, a minimal piece is easy, four interesting corners. ;)


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2006/8254-anitap.JPG


Robyn - great bottles!!

I started out with a rectangle about twice the size of what I ended up with - nothing like mad cropping! I'm trying to minimize the number of objects but find it hard to do so and not lose the corners completely. Any tips here Michael on minimalistic composition?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2006/58769-comp19.jpg

Newberry
07-19-2006, 10:02 PM
Judi,

Your going to think I am malicious on purpose! Ahahahahah, I had a great teacher who said “don’t hold something so precious that you don’t do what is better for the whole work!” But with me it is more simple, if you love it make sure it is prominently displayed in the corner then you would be safe!!!

Michael


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2006/8254-judi2mnp.jpg



Wow- that is really nice what you wrote Michael.

I love pretty and graceful things.

The objects in the first drawing here are not tight to the corners on the top but I didn't want to cut off the scallops of the metal pedestal dish. But all in all I like this comp-though it is much prettier in person.:o I think an improvement to make would be to lay out the ribbons a bit better and take the ends of some into the lower left. That is a wire wound with ribbons and flowers set over the lil pitcher.

Just for giggles here is a quick sketch from work. I think I would remove my nap pillow :D from the lower right and replace it w/ rolls of drawings and crop the right side in. Though for sure I would never want to ever seriously draw this.:eek:

Edit to say: Perhaps a solution would be to add draped fabric in the bg-similar to Anita's last post-which I really like Anita!!!! Robyn-the bottles are wonderful.

Judi1957
07-19-2006, 11:18 PM
Judi,

Your going to think I am malicious on purpose!

Well-no-not on purpose.:lol: :lol:

I am not learning slow on purpose either-:D

Next time hopefully better:o

I really love the crop you did here and I can say I would like to do a pastel of it someday.:thumbsup:

Your teacher taught you well and must be quite proud Michael.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2006/8254-judi2mnp.jpg

Anita Murphy
07-19-2006, 11:27 PM
BTW, a minimal piece is easy, four interesting corners.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2006/58769-30872-laugh.gif You are too funny, Michael!!!!

Newberry
07-20-2006, 12:09 AM
Robyn,

I have three little still lifes to finish up but when I am done with them I think I am going to steal your idea of the wine glasses, hahahahah, I love the crop I did on your drawing! Don't sue me or send the mafia my way when you see it.

Michael


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jul-2006/8254-robynGlassmn.jpg

Robin Neudorfer
07-20-2006, 12:18 AM
You are one funny guy?

robynsin
07-20-2006, 04:56 AM
Michael - Be my guest! Would you like me to fill your glass?:lol: Seriously, I think it is a beautiful crop and I've learnt a huge amount from it. I'm going to try to do something with the bottles too. I haven't seen any wild oregano here, I know they have it in Greece - heaps of rosemary though, maybe I'll try that. Thank you:thumbsup:

Judi - I really love your sketch of your work space. I think it would make a delightful painting, probably a watercolour, and there should be a law that everyone have a nap pillow. ;) I always had one in my office.

Anita - I know exactly what you mean by the mummified furniture! I saw some very expensive Italian dining chairs the other day that are wrapped in coloured 'bandages' - I think that's where the designer got the idea!

robyn

robyn

robyn

Anita Murphy
07-20-2006, 07:55 AM
I saw some very expensive Italian dining chairs the other day that are wrapped in coloured 'bandages' - I think that's where the designer got the idea!

When I read this, Robyn, it reminded me of where I had seen wrapped stuff before - of course that was builidngs, not furniture - Christo! Do you know his work? I wrote an essay on him in art school. Apart from wrapping (http://www.jca-online.com/reichstag.jpg) he does amazing things with umbrellas (http://utip.info/images/artists/christo_umbrellas.jpg) and yellow flags (http://www.mccullagh.org/db9/1ds2-4/christo-and-jeanne-claude.jpg) too.

No drawing for today yet - but I am going to do some today while the guys are packing more of my stuff.

robynsin
07-20-2006, 08:26 AM
Anita - I do remember - He wrapped up a whole beach in Australia once. I hadn't seen the umbrellas - love that. While I'm off topic, perhaps I can ask where you are moving to. Sorry Michael - I'll now go and sit in an interesting corner:)

robyn

Fireman's kid
07-20-2006, 11:30 AM
Sorry Michael - I'll now go and sit in an interesting corner
:lol: You're funny Robyn!

Sorry I haven't been in class. Life is interferring, but I desparately want to post at least one more sketch so I will try my best. I had one good sketch so I need to prove to myself that it wasn't a fluke and I am actually learning. ;) Everyone else seems to be doing so well. Keep up the great work!

Judi1957
07-20-2006, 12:53 PM
I refuse to give up on this Michael! I like this one actually-though that doesn't mean didley squat for me in this class :lol: .
I see I missed the minute hand in my haste (hey-less than ten minutes!:D and no detail) and I think the pendulem should swing to our right instead of out left. Any better? (inserts hopeful smiley)

Newberry
07-20-2006, 12:59 PM
Judi, Bravo!

Give me a little more clarity on the silhouette of the plant, a little more clarity with the steps in either corner and I will give you an "A".

Michael

P.S. very pleased.

I refuse to give up on this Michael! I like this one actually-though that doesn't mean didley squat for me in this class :lol: .
I see I missed the minute hand in my haste (hey-less than ten minutes!:D and no detail) and I think the pendulem should swing to our right instead of out left. Any better? (inserts hopeful smiley)

Judi1957
07-20-2006, 01:37 PM
Yippee! TY-I am pleased too!

Hope this is what you are asking for. The plant is more detailed and it is a scraggly grass w/ curliques and straight blades as well-pretty cool actually-I just picked it up last week and it has a lot of interest. Definately out of the norm.

mmdm
07-20-2006, 01:56 PM
Oh Judi, I love that one!

Anita Murphy
07-20-2006, 01:57 PM
While I sat and watched the guys packing up my kitchen I played with this - I could be passionate about this, Michael! I wanted to have sunlight coming through the window. I did have a window in the wall above the table but took that out and am now worried about that one corner. I do like the idea though, especially the tip of light hitting the corner of the tablehttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jul-2006/58769-comp20.jpg ! :rolleyes:

Anita Murphy
07-20-2006, 01:59 PM
Judi :clap: :clap:

Robyn - Saudi Arabia. I like the umbrellas too!

Newberry
07-20-2006, 10:36 PM
Really happy with this one Anita.

Re: minimalism, you still have to think of monumental forms, or find them. Like the wall behind the table is a big shape but its not matched anywhere else, the rest are mid-sized forms, so I added a frame for the upper right corner. If the other forms were much bigger you could leave that off. For example, if there where no shadow, no window just a wall there, and no table it might have all worked.

Good luck with your move...enjoy your apple tea, carpets, window views...I am reminded of my studio in Rhodes, in an old Turkish house, had magnificent views of the medieval town and the sea, the studio room was originally the women’s room, 2nd floor views of everything going on outside, but then they couldn’t go out...

Michael


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jul-2006/8254-anitap.JPG


While I sat and watched the guys packing up my kitchen I played with this - I could be passionate about this, Michael! I wanted to have sunlight coming through the window. I did have a window in the wall above the table but took that out and am now worried about that one corner. I do like the idea though, especially the tip of light hitting the corner of the tablehttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jul-2006/58769-comp20.jpg ! :rolleyes:

Newberry
07-20-2006, 10:38 PM
yep you got it Judi, well done.

Michael

Yippee! TY-I am pleased too!

Hope this is what you are asking for. The plant is more detailed and it is a scraggly grass w/ curliques and straight blades as well-pretty cool actually-I just picked it up last week and it has a lot of interest. Definately out of the norm.

Mary Woodul
07-20-2006, 10:55 PM
Robin, Robyn, Anita and Judi, your sketches show the work of the teacher. I love what you all have done.

Michael sorry I haven't posted anything but life has gotten in my way. I hope to post one tomorrow.:)

Newberry
07-20-2006, 11:23 PM
Robyn,

I thought walk-abouts lasted only six months!? Not two years in a villa in Italy! Cool.

Michael


Anita - I do remember - He wrapped up a whole beach in Australia once. I hadn't seen the umbrellas - love that. While I'm off topic, perhaps I can ask where you are moving to. Sorry Michael - I'll now go and sit in an interesting corner:)

robyn

Robin Neudorfer
07-21-2006, 12:50 AM
Three from tonight. I have only searched around my kitchen for ready to go compositions. I realize that I need to study more advanced still lives. Ones that are not just found, but ones that have a slight meaning to me. Though these are slivers of my life, as it is today. I know the last one is difficult to understand, but I hang my purse on the corner of a chair, and I turned around and saw the graphic patterns this made in front of the door, it captured my attention.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jul-2006/30341-sketch_7:20:06-4.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jul-2006/30341-sketch_7:20:07-3.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jul-2006/30341-sketch_7:20:07-1.jpg

Anita Murphy
07-21-2006, 06:38 AM
Thank you Michael - I can't tell you how much I have learned in this class and can't wait to get unpacked (haven't finished the packing yet!) to start putting this into practice in my paintings. I am hoping my views in SA will be interesting enough to paint as I have a feeling that besides being too hot to be out much, women out alone, painting, might be a little frowned upon!

mmdm
07-21-2006, 08:53 AM
Michael - I'm going out of town for the weekend and won't be able to post then so before I leave I want to thank you for the class. I read your advice on every single image, not just my own. I learned from each suggestion you made. I know that good composition can make the most mundane items become interesting and is an important skill to learn. I've learned a lot from this class and really enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you for sharing your time and talent with us.

"J"
07-21-2006, 11:07 AM
Anita, How long will you be in Saudia Arabia? Sounds like a long stay if you are moving furniture. Is it for work? That's a long way in distance and culture. When SA was mentioned, I thought South America.

robynsin
07-21-2006, 12:53 PM
Judi - That is beautiful:clap::clap:

Anita - Love the light catching the corner of the table too. I was just about to say I like how that corner is echoed by the shadow on the floor but now I see Michael has changed that and I know I still know nothing:eek:! I think the addition of the frame on the RH top corner is good though:o SA! What an adventure. I've been to Dubai airport a couple of times lately - I do hope you are going to blog us will all your experiences as well as art.

Mary - What a lovely note:heart: Looking forward to you coming back with another composition.

Michael - We were supposed to be on walk-about for two years. Now we've just bought an apartment i don't think I'll ever get my husband back to Australia. It is pretty 'cool' though - but hot as hell!

Robin - Great composition with the bag - IMHO of course:angel:

robyn

Robin Neudorfer
07-21-2006, 01:04 PM
I turned around today and saw a view, that is very common in a home. I have been sketching it from many views (though I haven't tried it from the crumb vantage point). I am having a bit of difficulty with keeping angles out of the corners.
I do think that the difference between the stainless trash can and the broom bristles would be interesting, but that doesn't solve the composition problems. I like the lower half, so I think I will go see what it looks like from a lower vantage point. Crawling again...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jul-2006/30341-sketch_7:21:06-1.jpg

Robin Neudorfer
07-21-2006, 01:24 PM
My daughter did come in while I was down on the floor...haha
I do like the reduction in shapes, and could possibly make this object look like a treasured item.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jul-2006/30341-sketch_7:21:06-2.jpg

Mary Woodul
07-21-2006, 07:11 PM
Robin, you really amaze me. You find just the right things and know exactly how to use them.:)

Michael, my fast drawings are lousy, I apologize for that but I did want to post something else inspite of having so many irons on the fire. Maybe if I would concentrate on one thing it would be better.:)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jul-2006/43096-pb.jpg

Newberry
07-21-2006, 09:43 PM
Hey all,

Glad to see the good works your doing.

If you will indulge me I will post 3 new still-lifes, signed them within the last hours. Of course its nice to post my work but I wanted to show you that I do what I suggest that you do!

I had a lot of fun with the white silk one, you all should get a kick out of that I pushed everything off into the corners and chop them off! One thing I love about this theory of the corners is that it really does free you up to experiment and explore...and it keeps you honest. ;)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jul-2006/8254-silkE.jpg

In the red painting, bright uh? I added those red shadows in the bottom corners just two days ago–I was looking how to accent forms in the those corners.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jul-2006/8254-birdtwoE.jpg

BTW, I totally repainted that piece...it looked like this last week.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jul-2006/8254-bird2E.jpg

In the one with the solid yellow cloth I had a horrible time with the reflective book cover and what to do with the upper right corner–and I finally got a nice transparent tones of darker reflections...I must have gone over that area about 50 times.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jul-2006/8254-bird3E.jpg

Michael

Robin Neudorfer
07-21-2006, 11:16 PM
Having seen these in person, I want you all to know they are stunning.
I also want to tell you, I am the proud owner of Michael Newberry's painting titled, Modernist Wave. It was a wonderful birthday present (isn't it great when you can choose). It arrived safe and sound, Michael.

Mary Woodul
07-21-2006, 11:46 PM
Michael, thank you for showing and sharing these with us. Seeing your work clears a lot of the doubts we may have and what better way to learn than with a demonstration from the teacher. Any adjective I use to describe your beautiful work would not be enough. The colors, sing!

Robin, congratulations for owning such a gorgoeus piece.

robynsin
07-22-2006, 09:15 AM
Absolutely stunning, Michael. The white silk alone, keeps drawing me back. I am also loving your still life work in your archive. Fabulous corners!:D Thank you so much for spending this time with us. I know I will be checking regularly to enjoy your work.

ciao
robyn

Robin Neudorfer
07-22-2006, 09:42 AM
Michael - Thank you for a wonderful class. I appreciate the hours you have devoted to commenting and cropping the multiple drawings. It was invaluable, and a thread that I am certain to re-read. You have motivated me in many ways, the least being, moving away from the small sketchbook and drawing. I am going to trust myself to know my universe will provide me with my compositions. I understand your four corner method now, and will attempt to make those corners, "Rock My World".
Thank you for sharing your gifts.

Have a wonderful trip to France.
I will be in touch.

Fireman's kid
07-22-2006, 10:20 AM
Okay, here I am to squeeze a post in before class is over. I apologize for not commenting on recent posts, but I was supposed to leave the house 15 minutes ago!! :eek:

Michael, thanks for an absolutely wonderful class!! :clap: Like Robin, I know I will be rereading it all.

Here is my latest attempt. I tried to have interesting corners and balance my shapes. I am in love with the light hitting the flower. That's what drew me to this.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Jul-2006/31442-WC_102_L5_simple_mum.jpg

Opps! Just noticed I forgot to erase the tone in the upper right corner. That is supposed to be a bright window. This is what I get for hurrying. :rolleyes:

This last image I am posting is a painting I did earlier this year. I was pretty happy with it but today I cropped it further (digitally cropped it that is ;) ) because I noticed that the big pumpkin was kissing the bottom edge. What do you think Michael? (The lower left corner does have some color variation, it is just hard to see here.)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Jul-2006/31442-WC_102_L5_FFs_Market.jpg

Sorry to post and run, but I really gotta. :lol: :wave:

Mary Woodul
07-22-2006, 11:25 AM
Wow Stacy! The painting is stunning!

Anita Murphy
07-22-2006, 09:23 PM
Hi Guys - just wanted to say I am still alive after mammoth packing session - three days, the third day of which took 14 hours! They finally left at 11:00 pm last night! Apartment is very empty and echoy (is there such a word????). Did do some drawing yesterday out of my living room window as I watched (hahaha) them pack. Lots of buildings!

Robyn - pretty 'cool' though - but hot as hell!
Now that is funny!!!!!

Newberry
07-23-2006, 07:04 PM
First off let me say how proud I am of everyone who participated. You all showed me that got the idea. I also appreciate how thoughtful everyone was with me–its awkward to critique you by cropping and slashing away at your works. That could be, easily, taken the wrong way and without real life connection I felt I took a leap of faith with you. So well done there as well.

I would like to tell you a little story, a real one, about one of my ex-apprentices and how she dealt with composition. I did not stress the aspect of composition as a composite of your life with this class as much as I do with my apprenticeship program; I push and encourage your artistic identity to the max.

Earlier I had asked this class if your life was balanced or chaotic and etc. And I connected that to composition. My ex-apprentice really took off with that idea. After she had done all the homework with balancing the four corners, which she did that very well, she made a charcoal drawing of an beautiful shaped apple off in a lone corner and the rest of the paper was filled with the empty white of a bed cover. The other three corners where almost non-existent. It was a symbolic piece. The apple was art, something precious to her and for the rest there wasn’t much else. That was her graduation piece. I thought it was brilliant because she communicated so much in the piece. I believe it was the first art work she sold as well.

The moral of that story is to exercise your “lightbulb” feelings, to tweak and play until something clicks. Its great to get help, especially after hours, days, or months of struggle (that ain’t fun) but its more important to feel within yourself the quite confidence that you love the little part you just painted or drew. And when you are fortunate enough to get that feeling make sure you magnify it a bit as reminder of what art is all about.

Cheers,

Michael

P.S. I am not signing off just yet, I will go over the remaining works either later tonight or tomorrow.

Judi1957
07-23-2006, 07:07 PM
Hi Michael :wave:

Just wanted to say many thanks to you for leading us forward. Your paintings, gorgoeus they are, really show us how you have put this wonderful lesson into practice. I never would have thought that 4 corners would make such a difference in a drawing/painting-but it truly does. Much appreciative of your time as well-all the special attention you paid to each of us is priceless.

A big hand to you for a most excellent Class!
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jul-2006/37258-clapping_hands.gif

Mary Woodul
07-23-2006, 07:13 PM
Michael, I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for your generosity in giving us this precious time of yours and a jewel of a class. This will be one experience I will cherish, always.:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Anita Murphy
07-23-2006, 09:05 PM
Michael - thank you so much for a superb class. It was such a privilege to be able to learn from you. :clap: :clap:

Newberry
07-25-2006, 01:06 PM
Hey all,

Thanks so much for your appreciation--hahahah, I fear you will be haunted now by the four corners.

I am in the throes of finishing a painting that I have been working on for over 4 years...really, its like a few minutes or a few hours away from that last touch...and I am a horrible multi-tasker that is why you haven't seen my last critique...so I am devoting all today to those last touches. hahahaha, my four corners look good...its just the light now that is tricky.

Cheers,

Michael

Fireman's kid
07-30-2006, 08:28 PM
:wave: I'm back from vacation and was anxious to check this thread and see Michael's review of my last sketch. But I see he is busy creating. Can't fault a man for that. :) So I will wait patiently for him to put his finishing touches on his latest masterpiece.

In the meantime, I think I'll head over and see what everyone has done for Class 6.


Edit:
Opps! Almost forgot to say thanks to Mary. :o
Wow Stacy! The painting is stunning! Thanks Mary!!

cmwynn
08-06-2006, 11:54 AM
Michael - I want to add my thanks for the time you put into this class. I am not sure I have actually assimiated the idea yet, but have started and will come back again later. Sometimes I have to have an idea percolating in my brain for a long time before I really "get" it. But is is up there now and will certainly contribute to my paintings in time.

Robin Neudorfer
08-06-2006, 12:10 PM
Hi Classmates!!!
Michael is in France for a couple of weeks.
Perhaps we can continue the "talk" and help one another out with our compo's.

Robin Neudorfer
08-06-2006, 12:29 PM
Okay, here I am to squeeze a post in before class is over. I apologize for not commenting on recent posts, but I was supposed to leave the house 15 minutes ago!! :eek:

Michael, thanks for an absolutely wonderful class!! :clap: Like Robin, I know I will be rereading it all.

Here is my latest attempt. I tried to have interesting corners and balance my shapes. I am in love with the light hitting the flower. That's what drew me to this.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Jul-2006/31442-WC_102_L5_simple_mum.jpg

Opps! Just noticed I forgot to erase the tone in the upper right corner. That is supposed to be a bright window. This is what I get for hurrying. :rolleyes:

This last image I am posting is a painting I did earlier this year. I was pretty happy with it but today I cropped it further (digitally cropped it that is ;) ) because I noticed that the big pumpkin was kissing the bottom edge. What do you think Michael? (The lower left corner does have some color variation, it is just hard to see here.)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Jul-2006/31442-WC_102_L5_FFs_Market.jpg

Sorry to post and run, but I really gotta. :lol: :wave:

Hi Stacy,
I am going to take a stab at your first sketch. Good one, on the run.
I am not understanding the shadow on the wall and counter vs the bright light of the window. Is this something that you saw? Maybe it is only due to the values chosen.
I am wondering if you can say simplicity without saying it. The plant form in the right corner, does not say simplicity. It appears that it was put there to fill the space. Could the counter top just be a wonderful surface texture? Perhaps the jar is sitting on or next to a beautiful towel. Would you consider playing with the size of the jar? It doesn't look bad, just want you to think of other options prior to settling on this particular composition.

I think your pumpkin painting is very good. I do believe it fulfills the requirement Michael has set up regarding the four courners. You are right in cropping so the edges don't kiss. I am some what bothered by the box of apples and how it sits. It either feels out of perspective, or the fact that it doesn't really feel like it is sitting behind the front pumpkin. Could be something as simple as pushing it darker along the edge it shares with the pumpkin.

I hope you don't mind my "stab" at it. Remember it is my interpretation...

Fireman's kid
08-07-2006, 08:10 PM
Hi Robin! :wave: You should know by now that I never mind hearing your interpretations. So thanks for your input and for telling us Michael is out of the country.

The more I look at my sketch, the less I like it, but that is often the way I feel about my art work. :rolleyes: The vase is actually very small - maybe only 2 inches high - and is sitting on a window sill. The values on the left change because of the corner formed by the window inset. I can see how they are confusing though. Also I agree that the wooden sign on the vase could be eliminated and the lower right simplified. I'll give this composition some more thought. :)

As for the pumpkin painting...I'd bet money that the perspective on the crate of apples is off. :D The crate is leaning up on a bale of straw and I had a heck of the time with the perspective. I got it as close as I could and then fudged it. Shhh...don't tell my perspective teacher. :evil: :lol: I'll look at darkening the crate behind the left side of the pumpkin. I realized today that the colors in this image are pretty different from the original. Not sure how I didn't notice before. But I'll take another look at the original when deciding on changes.

Thanks again for your input Robin! :)

Newberry
09-16-2006, 10:41 PM
Hey Stacy,

I think the crop on the pumpkins is just perfect!

Sorry all for my absence but I have truly been overwhelmed with a ton of art stuff...and if I am not careful my actual art time dissolves!

I loved doing the class but the daily time commitment was truly prohibitive. I was thinking that one of you might come up suggestion on how best to do another class. I was thinking that I might be able to devote one morning a week a future class–the only problem I have is that I want to everyone who submits a really good, sympathetic, and constructive critique.

Anyway, again, it was wonderful to see and comment on your compositions...well done.

Cheers,

Michael

JayD
09-16-2006, 10:57 PM
Mike, it would be great if you could do another class. I understand busy as right now I am buying and selling a home simultaneously. let me know. Again, you ran a great class here and we would all ove to see another.:)

Striver
09-17-2006, 05:30 PM
Yup many thanks Mike
Les

newkidontheblock
01-15-2012, 02:52 AM
Hi, Is it ok to participate in this lesson,although no-one has done so for a long time?
Thanks, Lyn

arnoud3272
01-15-2012, 06:37 AM
Hi, Lyn
That is OK, the threads where we don't want new posts have been closed.
:thumbsup:

Newberry
01-15-2012, 11:09 AM
Lyn, go for it.

Michael

newkidontheblock
01-17-2012, 07:59 AM
Thanks Michael. Well this was certainly a big ask. I have been going around the house looking for things to draw. It has taken about 10 attempts before I have something ok to send in.
I seemed to keep coming back mainly to drawing the things I love which are my treasured keepsakes(old clock/chair/table). Found the corners in the drawings very hard to make look interesting especially getting the whole picture to look natural rather than contrived.
Anyway here they are-I took the photos at night so I am sorry they are a bit distorted so as to avoid my shadow.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jan-2012/500681-Composition-1.gif 1

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jan-2012/500681-composition-2.gif 2

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jan-2012/500681-composition-3.gif 3

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jan-2012/500681-composition-4.gif 4
I like the composition of 3 best. I had less trouble with the corners with this one. I feel it looks as it should be with the lantern taking up nearly all the left side and the doily bringing continuity across the front. I love these old glasses and old books so had to have these in a drawing.

I also liked 4 but coudn't find anything to place in the front right corner so settled on a plate in keeping with the coffee theme.

Although I liked the left side of number 1, the curtain and the chair on the right are too close to lining up and too many verticals. In addition I don't like the bare wall in the middle.

Looking forward to your feedback Michael. I really did not expect so hear from you being a while since the last attendee, so thankyou so much. Lyn

Newberry
01-17-2012, 11:58 AM
Lyn,
Great job, B+.

1 and 2 are excellent. Every corner has interesting shapes.

3 is excellent but for the edge of the book runs directly into the bottom right corner. If you increase the size of book down in the corner (also which would give the book a better perspective, though that is another class), and raise the edge so that that it does go directly into the corner.

4 has two problems: the rounded plate(?) in the bottom right corner is not interesting. Juggle it around a bit, so that it is not centered in the corner. The 2nd problem is the upper right, too much negative space. If you push back and up the sugar pot, problem solved. You are about 10 minutes' work from an A.

Michael

newkidontheblock
01-18-2012, 05:34 AM
Michael, you are too kind and generous with your marking.

Had a quick go at some changes. I definitely need a class on perspective!!


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jan-2012/500681-composition-6.gif

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jan-2012/500681-composition5.gif

I did not intend having the sugar bowl's edge at the edge of the paper. I am sure you can tell these drawings were rather rushed. I found drawing was very difficult working from arranged items rather than a photo. Mmm practice!! practice!!
Thanks Michael, Lyn

Newberry
01-20-2012, 11:40 PM
Lyn,
Well done. The last is my favorite. These compositions will all work as a base for well composed still lifes.
Cheers,
Michael