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Old 09-26-2003, 03:16 PM
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adaisy777 adaisy777 is offline
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Design Guidelines

Hello all....long time lurker here! I've been a member of Wetcanvas for a while, but have never ventured away from Glass Art until now. It's very nice to meet you all, I've learned so much from everyone! I have a silly little question that I hope someone can give me guidance on. I took a Design class a couple of semesters ago and I would like to continue the teachings at home. I don't have the talent to sit down and draw an elaborate landscape, but if someone was to give me a set of guidelines and then told me to do what I want I can put out a great painting. For example our teacher had us swap a couple of words around to make a sentence and then paint a picture of it without writing the word or using the actually image. My sentence was the slippery shark fell slowly across the scary tree. It was difficult to get the composition right at first but it ended up being pretty good when all was done. The other thing that I really liked was when she gave us a set of instructions for 20 thumbnails, each containing a different geometric pattern. One would be a set of 5 triangles, then one with 8 intersecting parallel lines then another with overlapping circles. After doing 20 of these each with different criteria we would have to pick 5 of our favorite and then combine them into a larger painting. Everybody would have the same instructions but no painting was alike it was a great exercise to recognize everybody's perspective on things.

Well anyway enough rambling.....I am looking for a book that has some of these guidelines or excercises in them. Does anyone know of any? I appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2003, 07:02 PM
henrik henrik is offline
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These sound more like excersises to get your creativity flowing. There is a forum here at WC about such things. And to answer your question I have not seen a book like that.
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Old 09-27-2003, 02:56 AM
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jackiesimmonds jackiesimmonds is offline
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Often, general books on composition offer projects as well as guidelines, but they take some searching out.

I have a book called The Simple Secret to Better Painting by Greg Albert. It is quite new, and probably available through Amazon. In it, there are pages which explore design ideas. "Design a Preference Test" "Play with Design" (exercises to do) "Another Design Game" (more imaginative choices) "Visual Tension" (a set of designs which show how something can be boring, while others have more tension, or even become distrubingly chaotic); "Visual energy" "Visual weight" "the dynamics of the frame".

From these ideas, you could develop your own projects, tho the book does go on to show lots of paintings, and explains WHY they work in terms of design and composition.

Another good book is "Drawing on the artist within" by Betty Edwards, who wrote Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain. Here is what it says on the flyleaf: "In a series of dramatically effective exercises, Betty E demonstrats how to stimulate and develop your capacity to think creatively and bring imagination and insight to the experiences of your everyday life You will discover a new awareness of your creative potential". So that one offers exercises too - see if you can find it in a library perhaps, to see if it is what you are after.

Or, Go to a shop which has lots of art instruction books for sale and have a browse through. You may well find what you want.

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