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Monday, February 3, 2014

Composition Program - Outstanding!

The WVWS January meeting was outstanding.  Susan Doster presented a power point presentation about composition that was thorough, practical and very enjoyable.  She followed the presentation with a critique of paintings that were brought by members and we were able to apply some of the knowledge from the presentation.  The material was dense.  I will post it here at a later date.  But Marilyn Martin, our secretary took such good notes, that I'm including them here.  The stop sign is a visual reminder to stop painting when it is done!  Don't keep dabbling!  Teachers are good to help us on this one.
A reminder to stop when the painting is finished!

Wabash Valley Watercolor Society
January 21, 2014

Attended by:  LaDonna Vohar, president; Jeri Artz, vice president, Verna Ritz, treasurer, Marilyn Martin, secretary, Sheila Graveel, Lanni Senn, Bobbi Smith, Jean Jackson, Linda Brammell

Improving Your Compositions – with Consideration for the Visual Elements and the Principles of Design
Guest speaker:  Susan Doster

Susan discussed all the different aspects of composition using paintings as examples, such as Rubens, Salvador Dali, Tom Brown, Canaletto.  She discussed all angles of composition with visual examples.  Following are some excerpts from her discussion.

Imagine your composition like setting up a play.  You are the director. 
The message conveyed in a play is like the message conveyed in your art.

Why does composition matter so much?  What about beauty?  Where does it fit in?  Good compositions are inherently beautiful.

The greatest joy in life is when someone sees what you mean.
2nd greatest joy would be someone sees something else.  Fresh eyes
Live with your paintings.  Use intention with your paintings.  Know what you want to say, input what others see.  Beauty – without beauty, or meaning do you want to live with it?

The elements are the tools that we use and the principles are how we arrange things better.  Visual effects are ways to fool the eye.  Elements of Design are:  Line, Color, Texture, Shape, Form, Value, Size, Color & Harmony

Use of color:  Primary, secondary, tertiary
Complementary colors are opposite colors.  Mixing them, modifies them.  Pairing those colors is a vibrant combination.  Triadic harmonies, e.g. red, yellow, blue or violet, orange, green.  Frequently master painters would use these triads and then add one other color.

Texture:  Can be physical (the roughness of the paper, use of gesso) or visual. Texture can look fractured, broken, spattered. 
Space – implied space, positive and negative space. 2D refers to objects in the picture plane.  This means the paper you are working on or the frame that you are looking through.  2D has heighth, width, but no depth.  Depth is an illusion.  Perspective gives you depth.  Use of negative space.  Looking for harmony and unity.  Focal point.  Where you want people to look first, or where you want them to end up. 

Emphasis – center of interest, most put them off center.  Some don’t want a center of interest.  Some use design principles or design rules (some creative artists purposely break rules)

Principle of Harmony:  As in music complementary layers and/or effects can be joined to produce a more attractive whole.  The composition is complex but everything appears to fit with everything else. The whole is better than the sum of its parts.

Principle of Unity:  When nothing detracts from the whole, you have unity.  Unity without variation can be uninteresting.  Unity with diversity generally has more to offer in both art and in life.  Of course, some very minimal art can be very calming and at times even very evocative.  Even a simple landscape can have a powerful effect. 

Principle of Opposition:  Contrasting visual concept.  Big sky landscapes become very dramatic when a storm builds.  Principles can grown out of any artistic device that is used to produce an effect on the viewer

Principle of Balance:  Balance is the consideration of visual weight and importance.  Way to compare right and left side of a composition.  Asymmetrical balance is more interesting. Both sides are similar in visual weight, but not mirrored.

Principle of Variety:  Repeating a similar shape, but changing the size, change the color but keeping the same size

Principle of depth:  Linear; Principle of repetition.  Use of more variation, color saturation, intensity illusion of depth even though they are the same size.
Depth as Visual Effect – the illusion of depth depends on the character or the element itself

Peter London
“Beauty was not the intended outcome.  Beauty was a natural byproduct of craft diligently applied to serious thing.”

“The root and full practice of the arts lies in the recognition that art is power, an instrument of communion.”

Tuesday, February 18 Meeting, 7 p.m. at TAF
Ideas for Making Your Own Sketchbook, guest speaker: Kathryn Clark

Kathryn will discuss how to make your own sketchbook, different types of binding, and resources for supplies.  If you have ever wanted to have your favorite paper in a sketch book with your own design and cover, be sure to come here to hear Kathryn.

Carol Carter Workshop next fall
We have a few people sign up for this workshop from out of state.  Be sure to sign up if you are interested.

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