Composition Studies

  • Who are your go to illustrators when studying composition?

  • SVS Instructor Pro

    @jenny-dorf I see that this is your very first post! Welcome!
    Your question comes as I've been thinking a lot about composition and how to best teach it to students. With that in mind my reply below is sort of a non-answer, answer. But my hope is that it makes your research into composition that much more effective.

    I'm going to suggest a re-direction of your question. Actually, what I mean is that I think you should focus your question a bit more tightly.
    There are many illustrators who do beautiful compositions (and I'm sure your peers could list many wonderful artists), BUT those very same illustrators could be terrible for you to study.

    Here's why: In my experience, the way an image is organized (composed) is highly dependent on the feeling (the keywords) that the artist wants the viewer to experience as they look at the piece.

    An illustrator that wants to evoke a "calm", "soothing" feeling will compose the image one way. That same illustrator who wants to evoke "stress" and "tension" will compose the image a very different way. A different illustrator who wants to evoke "power" and "authority" will compose the image yet again in a completely different way.

    All of these modes of image making are worth studying -- but if YOU want to create images that are "calm and soothing" and get (well meaning) recommendations for artists who specialize in "power and authority" your studies will be confusing.

    Hope this makes sense. If I'm not being clear please let me know.

  • Have you checked out the creative composition course? It's a great resource and they often mention artists who have great composition in their scene's such as N C Wyeth.

  • SVS OG

    I’m in the middle of the composition class right now. It’s great. It really helps you understand the elements that make up a composition. This way you understand and can pick apart the masters’ images as you look at them. You can begin to understand why they create a certain mood or tell a particular message.

    I can’t remember which lesson Lee talks about finding your tribe. Find the artists you like and study what they did. Go with masters for sure and then maybe some contemporary artists too.

  • @davidhohn I see what you mean. Thanks, David!

  • @gary-wilkinson Yes, taking it now, too. Thank you!

  • @whitney-simms Good idea about finding my tribe. Thanks!