The Principles of Composition are:
BALANCE: Balance makes use of space to spread the visual ‘weight’ of an image; it can be used to create a sense of stability of demonstrate division or unbalance. Techniques may include: symmetry (mirror image), or asymmetry (contrasted sides).
UNITY: Unity ensures harmonious visual relationship between elements in a painting, creating a cohesive image. Techniques may include: using similar colors or tones, concepts or elements.
EMPHASIS: Emphasis helps us determine the focus and center of interest in an image. For example, emphasis can be created through the location (i.e. centred), the size, the contrast and the isolation of a visual element, all of which will attract the eye’s attention. Contrast can be achieved by using two or more opposing elements such as light against dark, warm against cool, or clear, sharp edges. Emphasis can also be achieved through isolation; sometimes less is more. By reducing the image to its most essential features, we can amplify the sensory signals.
PATTERN: Patterns help us make sense of the visual world through repetition and regularity. Elements of design can be organized in a predictable manner to form a pattern; this can evoke surprising emotional reactions from a viewer from playful to calming. Repetition creates rhythm; it dictates the recurring or organized/disorganized distribution of visual elements throughout an image.
MOVEMENT: Movement creates a path for the viewer’s eye to take while reading a painting. Understanding the nature and psychology of human sight is an important part of controlling movement. For example, the human eye is more sensitive to certain colors over others. Movement studies the nature of the eye as well as the psychology behind how we absorb visual information.
ORDER: Order can be achieved through thoughtful composition, grouping together elements through pattern or form. Beauty is inseparable from the appearance of order; pictures filled with patterns, be it subtle color repetitions or formal steps, appear more elegant and composed.
PERSPECTIVE: We prefer artworks that can be observed from multiple viewpoints, such as still life and pastoral landscapes, to the fragmentary perspective of a single person. They contain more information, making it easier for the brain to deduce what is happening within the image.
JUXTAPOSITION: To juxtapose is to place two contrasting elements close together or side by side, like sharpness and softness, old and new or curved and straight. This is done to compare/contrast the two, to show similarities or differences. While different kinds of characters in proximity to one another is intended to evoke meaning where they are not commonly brought together, thereby forcing the reader to stop and reconsider the meaning of the contrasting images, ideas, motifs, etc.
EXAGGERATION: Exaggeration makes an image’s message more noticeable and clearer. For example, using peak shift, a technique of deliberate distortions of a stimulus excite and grab viewers’ attention, is used in creating caricatures.
METAPHOR AND SYMBOLISM: Metaphor is a figure of speech that makes an implicit, implied, or hidden comparison between two things that are unrelated. It encourages us to see the world in a new way; two unrelated objects are directly compared, giving birth to a new idea. Just as we love solving crossword puzzles, we love to “solve” abstract, complex paintings and landscapes with hidden messages and symbols.
Contact us today if you have any questions about how Christiano can bring your concept or idea to life through a commissioned painting.