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Old 04-16-2005, 03:53 PM
Anne H Anne H is offline
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Applying composition rules to abstract art

I am new to the forum, I'm ussally in abs/cont forum, because I have painted landspcapes for a number of years but I have recently become interested in abstracts. My question is where can I find rules related to shapes in composition? And what shapes are considered more pleasing, as well as rules regarding combining shapes. (some abstract artist work only with square shapes but the compositions work well) I hope it's ok I 've asked this question in the comp/design forum, but it seems like a composition question, and I have found some amazing information on composition in this area, you really know your stuff! thanks Anne H
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Old 04-16-2005, 07:25 PM
henrik henrik is offline
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Re: Applying composition rules to abstract art

As you may have seen in this forum we try to encourage people to work out their compositions using value thumbnails using only simple (abstract) shapes before getting too carried away with all the detail.

There are no separate rules for abstract paintings, but remember that when rules are expressed as very simple "rules of thumb" that the underlying principle is often forgotten.

A simple rule to use in abstract paintings is "no two intervals should be the same" - apply that to shape size, position/distance between shapes, values, color...
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Old 04-16-2005, 09:16 PM
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Re: Applying composition rules to abstract art

Hi, Anne
This thread caught my eye because I recently started asking the same question!

One answer (from another Abs/Con forum regular) was that it's a good idea to look at graphic design principles, although these don't normally apply to representational painting. I found that to be useful advice, myself. Just get hold of some graphic design books, perhaps in a library, and flip through to see if anything grabs your attention, visually. (There must also be many Web sites on this topic.)

Another approach I've been exploring myself is to use natural logarithmic scales to design what I call 'composite shapes,' or to space lines or objects. (I have an old slide rule with these scales engraved on it, so I use that.) My own preference is for natural or organic forms rather than geometrics (though I've started combining these a bit), which is why the natural log scales are so intrigueing to me. If you're interested, let me know, and I'll try to provide more information (possibly even a picture or diagram).
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Old 04-16-2005, 10:16 PM
Anne H Anne H is offline
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Re: Applying composition rules to abstract art

Thankyou Henrik I really appreciate the help, and I will definitely try using more value thumbnail sketches, I might try submitting some to get the hang of this!
Thankyou friend Carol the graphic design books are a wonderful idea, I will definitely try this. And I am going to get a slide ruler, I'm really excited about trying all of these ideas. And Yes Carol I would be very interested in any future information you find on this subject!
Thankyou both for these great ideas!!!
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Old 04-17-2005, 01:20 PM
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jackiesimmonds jackiesimmonds is offline
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Re: Applying composition rules to abstract art

you might find this article helpful The principles apply equally to abstract or representational work:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/1805/333/
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:49 PM
Anne H Anne H is offline
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Re: Applying composition rules to abstract art

Thankyou Jackie!, I found the article very good, and I think it will help me a great deal with both my abstract and representational art
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Old 04-22-2005, 04:43 PM
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LarrySeiler LarrySeiler is offline
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Smile Re: Applying composition rules to abstract art

I have an article as well that might be found helpful.

It explains that masses, elements and spatial relationships capture the eye's attention, how it moves the eye throughout the work, some concepts of negative and positive space and what happens when a work gets too busy, too many visual "voices"...

these principles apply to representational or abstract work alike...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/ArtSchool/Composition/UsingIt/

I have taken closeup sections of some of my plein air painterly pieces, which when edited, cropped appear as though they were in and of themselves abstract painting. Many such abstract sections when seen together as a whole from a number of paces back come together to appear as a representational piece. Point being that all work is essentially abstract in nature, an extracting and expression of the real. I've show those in other forums where debate actually had ensued between realists and abstract paintings.

For me...understanding the abstract nature of seeing and of laying down as compositional building blocks for what I do representationally is that which separates a good work from a great one.

take care

Larry
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Old 04-23-2005, 12:27 AM
Anne H Anne H is offline
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Re: Applying composition rules to abstract art

This article was wonderful, this is exactly the type of information I'm looking for, Thankyou Larry I really found this article helpful,Anne H
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Old 04-29-2005, 03:01 AM
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Re: Applying composition rules to abstract art

excellent article, Larry, better than mine for an abstract painter.

J
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Old 04-29-2005, 03:44 AM
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Re: Applying composition rules to abstract art

I agree with you, Henrik. I always look for the Rules of Design in anything because they work.
Would you explain Intervals further?
Thanks .
June
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Old 04-30-2005, 11:21 PM
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Re: Applying composition rules to abstract art

Larry,
Excellent article. It answers the same question I had in regards to composition for an assignment I am working on. I am in college and taking an art appreciation class - I love it! Planning on taking art history next semester. I am so glad that I stumbled upon your site this past week, which led me too WetCanvas. There is such a wealth of information here. Thanks for the great information on composition!
Stephanie
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Old 07-30-2005, 10:19 PM
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Re: Applying composition rules to abstract art

Hi all - this is not the best example to show my point but it is a good expample of how one can use the rule of thirds to apply to almost any type of photo or artwork.

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Old 07-30-2005, 10:22 PM
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Re: Applying composition rules to abstract art

Believe it or not - this is Red sitting at his desk!
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