Over the past fifty years, I have come to understand that composition, within works of visual art, are more than the manipulation of the elements and principles of design. Composition is as much a discipline in the visual arts as it is in the performing and literary arts. In music, a separate category of recognition is given to those who are identified as composers, distinct and apart from those who perform the works. In dance, the choreographer composes the work while the dancers perform the composition. In literature, as in the fine arts, there is less distinction made between the discipline of composition and presentation in fact the act of composition is immediately integrated into the process of presentation. Authors, painters, and poets compose as their work emerges and that compositional component is fundamentally connected to the content-text of the work. In the visual arts, we refer to this as form and content.
In the visual arts, compositional considerations deal with many facets of the form/content relationship. Within descriptive presentational paintings, the location and orientation of the individual images are not random considerations. Since descriptive presentational painting is not an illusion there is then a reason contextually for the very existence of the individual shapes and their special locations within the pictorial frame.
There are many different features of pictorial composition in painting. This slide show demonstrates one of those aspects, how I use and organize space and manipulated the placement of different shape-images within that composition space.
The white lines that appear and disappear within the composition are descriptors of the process rather than actual lines themselves. They are there only to indicate either the location of a horizontal line or the interframe of a plane within which a descriptive image will appear in the composition, they are not part of the composition. The red arrow lines indicate the line-of-site and visual directions intended to create dynamic movement from one figure of the composition to another of those images.
This slide show does not show the actual painting of the specific areas of color or the descriptive images but rather it shows how the whole of the composition is organized spatially to create dynamic movement and visual unity.Composition-Techniques