Composition For Drawing and Painting | Jamie Coptic | Skillshare

Composition For Drawing and Painting

Jamie Coptic, Learning art will transform your life!

Composition For Drawing and Painting

Jamie Coptic, Learning art will transform your life!

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8 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Introduction to Composition

    • 2. Negative and Positive Space

    • 3. Overlapping

    • 4. Tangents, Simplification, and Directional Line

    • 5. Focal Point

    • 6. Relationships

    • 7. Rule of Thirds

    • 8. Final Exercise: Create a Perfect Composition

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About This Class

 If you are a comic book creator, fine artist, digital artist, or illustrator, you must see this course! I talk about composition and why it is so important. I will teach you how to utilize the space in your art work in an effective way. Some of the principles of composition I cover are:

  • Negative and Positive space
  • Overlapping
  • Tangents
  • Simplification
  • Directional Line
  • Focal Point 
  • Relationships in Art
  • Rule of Thirds

Once you master these principles of composition you will make good decisions when designing the space in your art work. If you've ever struggled composing your image in the past, this is the course for you. The best thing about it is, once you know it your set up for life.You can always apply your knowledge to your art and create more professional work.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jamie Coptic

Learning art will transform your life!


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1. Introduction to Composition: hi guys. Bunge. Any Coptic and I designed a course on composition a little bit about myself. I went to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where I learned about graphic design. Later on, I switch my majors and schools and I learned fine art. I'm so glad I switched majors because fine art became my life. Today I teach fine art in calories and or facilities hold fine. I have also represented in galleries ball across Pennsylvania. In this course, we're gonna learn about all of the different principles of composition and why they're so important. This course was designed for the absolute beginner in art, like someone who's never picked up a pen or pencil or paintbrush in their life. But this course can also be useful for advanced students. And art at the end of this course is going to be an exercise we were going to be arranging objects we find around the house and we're going to be drawing or painting is still like If you're not comfortable painting it, you can always just dry later on in the next classes. I'm gonna show you how to paint, so don't worry about that now. All I want you guys to do is focus on your composition and really nailing it so that we can move on to the next classes. But most of all, I want you guys to learn something truly fulfilling and have fun doing it. 2. Negative and Positive Space: hi guys in this class, we're going to learn about composition, whether it be five or working clay modeling or painting. Composition is the backbone to art. I'm gonna go over the different principles of composition with you and explain you why they are so important to begin a defined composition as an arrangement of pleasing colors, tones and shapes. As you can see, I've made it very simple for you to understand. However, there are rules to composition you'll need to know in order to create an arrangement of pleasing colors, tones and shapes. The first principle. I'll talk about our negative and positive space. So get out your pad pencils and erasers for this exercise, and we can begin. So let's start with negative space. Negative space is a space around and between the subject of an image. So how can we show that I'm gonna draw a thumbnail here? We're going to be using the nails a lot in this class to show you guys what are the different principles and what I'm talking about? So within this thumb now, I'm going to draw a vase, and it's gonna be a simple vase just so I can make this really easy to understand. So here we go. We have a vase. Negative space is the area outside of the days. Okay. And you know what? Let's actually draw another base next week coming off of the paper. I mean, coming off of the done nail. So you see that space right there? That's also negative space. It's basically like I said, the space around and between the subject of an image. So it's fill that space in all that space I just filled in will be your negative space. So let's go to positive space. Let's draw another thumb. Now I'm gonna draw that same days again. All right, we have our crude face, but it'll dio positive space is the area that the subject occupies. So in a still like, it's the vase and flowers and in a portrait, it's the face. Okay, so those are some examples, so let's fill in the vase. That is your positive space. The area that I filled in. Okay, So why are these so important? You want to be aware of this space in your paintings so you can create a sense of balance and rhythm in your art while creating your piece, you'll be measuring the space with your eyes and feeling out how Balance the spaces in the beginning. Try to keep equal parts of both negative and positive space. This will help you begin to understand how to measure space with your eyes and for the exercise, Draw a thumbnail border inside the border. Draw a solid shape. Fill in the shape. The filled in space will be your positive space. Draw another border. Draw a solid shape. Inside that border. Fill in the space outside of the shape. This will be your negative space. Now measure the space with your eyes. Does it feel balanced or does it appear off? Try to come up with your own conclusions. White either works or doesn't work. So with that being said, we can get to the next lesson. I'll see you there. 3. Overlapping: many artists overlook the importance of creating space in their art. What ends up happening is the space will look flat for objects will appear to float in dead space. So to avoid this, we use a principle called overlapping. Overlapping occurs when objects which are closer to the viewer prevent the view of objects behind them. OK, so what do I mean by that? Let's draw another thumb now, below are negative and positive space here I can draw. Let's draw a peach. Okay? With its leaf. Render it in. It doesn't matter. Okay, so you can see I have a peach. Let's draw. Um, look behind it. Okay, let's draw horizon. Really? Let's put it right there. So what did I do? I basically overlaps the mug with the peach. That's what overlapping is. An overlapping is important in composition because it creates a sense of depth and dimension. Drawing is all about creating an illusion of three dimensional space. So, like if you think about it, you're drawing on a two dimensional surface like this piece of paper. But that doesn't mean you're drawing will appear two dimensional. Okay, so a way to create three dimensions is to overlap objects. Have you ever drawn something smack dab in the middle of the paper? This causes a flattening effect where the subject matter appears to be floating in space. So, you know, let me give you an example of that. I'm gonna draw. I'm gonna drop happy face. Okay? It's silly. It's crude. It's simple. It's given some buck teeth. Okay. In a little nose, I swear, guys, I don't draw like this. This is just I'm just trying to give you a simple example, but do you notice how I put it smack dab in the center of the paper and you know it kind. It appears like it's like floating in space. Um, that's what you want to avoid and, you know, So let's, like, place a horizon line and let's place a building behind it. Okay, let's give that building some windows. It doesn't need to be okay. Any man adore. Okay, Now, there appears to be like dimension. You know, you can see you can see a face here in a building here. You know what's do little chimney? I mean, just for the sake of it. Anyways, that's what overlapping is. So for the exercise. I'm gonna go back here, draw a thumbnail border. Okay, pick any two shapes you like. Draw a horse. Herd is on the line within the border. Place your first shape on the horizon line. Place another shape behind your first shape. It's OK to draw through the object if it hopes. You understand this space. Okay. And that being said, we can go to the next lesson on composition. I'll see you there. 4. Tangents, Simplification, and Directional Line: hi guys. So there's a couple of things I want to make you aware of. A Zara's composition goes and some things you need to look out for and some things you need to do. So tan hints are something to look out for when designing your composition. Avoiding them will make all the difference in whether you're going to have a balanced space or not. Tensions are when two objects, whether it be line or shaped touch. But do not overlap. Let me show you a tangent. I'm gonna draw a border here, okay? And I'm going to draw that peach again. And then I'm gonna draw the mug next to the beach so they're barely touching. But they don't overlap. And let me explain to you why this is bad. They could be visually awkward and do funny things to the space. Tangents will end up drawing the viewer's attention to them, and the rest of the space will be ignored. Spread the objects further apart so they don't look like a pair. So you would spread these two objects apart. And when objects repaired, try overlapping them instead. Okay, so try to remember that simplification. I can't really draw simplification for you, but right now, but I can explain it. Simple location is when areas which are not the focal point should be simplified. Okay. Distracting area should also be simplified. Simplify the unimportant details of a painting or drawing in order to attract the eyes to the focal point. All you're doing when you're simplifying a subject is you're trying to find you're trying to find the most simple, yet effective way to convey that that object or or or person or whatever it is in your painting. So just look, I'm gonna explain more about that later, but let's go in a directional line. Directional line is the placement of objects in a way which leaves the viewers eyes against the subject matter in a painting. So, like, let's strong thumb now. Okay, lets you are hers. Horizon line. Let's make a line going this way. I'm gonna draw an arrow for you, and I'm gonna place an apple here with its damage leaf. Now we're gonna place, you know, maybe a peach in front of it. Okay, Now, let's put like a banana right here, Okay? Since we're working with still life subjects, I'm just picking Still life subject matter. OK, this will send the viewers eyes from the top left to the bottom, right, because their place along a directional line so direction willing creates a pathway for the eyes around an image. It will make viewing all the important components of an image easier for the eyes to digest . Okay. Painting or paintings or drawings with sloppy directional line are confusing to look at and for the exercise. I want you to draw a thumbnail border, draw a horizon line inside the border, draw your directional line in any direction below the horizon. Place simple shapes along your directional line, trying making some of the shapes overlap while other shapes are spread apart. Try to avoid tangents. Okay, guys. And with that being said, we can go to the next video. 5. Focal Point: OK, guys, Now we're gonna talk about focal points. The focal point is an area of emphasis and demands the most attention. It will draw the viewers eyes into the painting. OK, so let's draw our thumbnail. And like I was talking about in the last lesson with simplification, Hearst was simplified with things that don't matter with focal point. You're you're making that more complex. So let's do a what's let's do that vase again. OK, so this time we're gonna render that base. Maybe it has ridges and lines, and it maybe it has some stems in it. OK, coming down and maybe those stems turn into flowers. So let's show those flowers, OK? And maybe it's got the shadow coming that way. That would be our focal point. OK, let's do a teacup. Okay, so we're gonna draw cheek up right here, Okay? No see, I broke land roll. It doesn't look like it's behind because it looks like a tangent. But let's use this anyway. Okay, this teacup um way keep that simple. OK, because way want to lead the eye to this base, OK? And maybe maybe we'll put on Abul back here. This is really bad placement. Guys, don't do this. I'm just trying to do this quick for you just to give you an example. A focal point. Okay, This apple is gonna be less rendered than then this. Maybe you're going to use lighter colors to convey teacup and the apple. And maybe you're going to use darker, more rich colors and more shadows. Maybe, you know, to convey the vase. And maybe you're gonna use very bold colors for these flowers. You really want these flowers, pop? Pop out. So, you know, if I did this right? Okay, Stuart vase here. Okay, let's do our cheek. Cut somewhere, like, right here. And it's on a plate. Do a Rijs. Okay, so if you know, the vase is a little behind there's some directional line. I'll draw the arrow. You can see that directional line and notice how that vase really pops out. You're gonna want a good sense of focal point in your compositions. So the focal point is the most defined part of an image. You'll render the focal point more than any part of your painting. Keeping details around the focal point. Simple will leave the eyes to it. so use all the combined principles of composition to draw the eyes to the focal point. That being said, the exercise will be Draw a dumb no border. Drop a horizon line within the border. Draw two or three shapes. OK, fill in one shape with a solid color and notice how the filled in shape is a more prominent than the simpler shapes you can do this to. You don't have to just draw shapes if you're confident. Drawer. We're artists, you know. And you think you have a handle on it. Try doing this and try. You know, try, try drawing more advanced shapes and try rendering your focal point in keeping the rest of it kind of loose. Okay, I'm not being said. We can get to the next lesson. I'll see you there. 6. Relationships: OK, guys, Now I'm gonna talk to you about relationships, relationships and art. Okay, Not not like like a love relationship. So, uh, basically relationships or when two objects are compared to each other in an artwork that's literally all it is. Okay, so why don't me draw a done now it's doing arising line and let's drag. That's strong. Let's draw a big directing. Okay, now let's draw that same rectangle, but on its side. Okay, so this rectangle appears tall because it's next to a rectangle on its on it. You know, this rectangle appears very vertical compared to the horizontal rectangle. Let's straw another thumbnail. Let's draw squares. So what's filling this square? This square appears dark because it's compared to a light square. This is what relationships are in its most basic form. It's possible to create relationships in a drawing or painting by causing contradictions between the shapes, as I did here. Okay, so some examples of this are a light shape next to a dark shape, a horizontal shape next to a vertical shape or a round shape next to a square shape. OK, it keeps going and going. You're going to find all kinds of different relationships in your art that you know you're going to discover as you paint and draw or whatever kind of art you do. Okay, So for the exercise, I want you to draw a gun. No border. So draw your border within your border. Draw a small square next to a large square. This will be one relationship. It will be in large square compared to a small square. You can continue to draw the nails and play around with it with different relationships if you want. Okay, So don't stop here. Like try to discover some of your own. You know, find your own relationships and you're gonna be able to use those in your paintings, you know, or drawings or whatever kind of argue do. Adding relationships to your drawing, help or painting helps convey with image better, like it'll help you understand that that that is a tall days, you know, in relation to a smaller teacup. So that being said, let's go to the next lesson 7. Rule of Thirds: Hi, guys. So I'm gonna talk to you about perhaps, like, the most important thing you're gonna need, you know? And it's called the rule of Thirds. Okay, so what is the rule of thirds? The rule of thirds is the process of dividing an image into thirds using two equally spaced vertical and horizontal lines. The grid contains nine parts and for intersection points. So what does that mean, visually? Because I know you guys are visual learners. Let me draw my done now again for you. And we're gonna divide this based on the rule of thirds. So let me drop to vertical lines and the two horizontal ones. Notice how their space evenly apart, um, and notice the intersection points right here. Okay. The rule of thirds is a crucial part of composition. All of your composition should use this rule as its backbone. You don't need to use rulers or like, complicated tools to draw out your rule of thirds on your paper canvas. You can measure the space with your eyes and draw it in. If you like, you're gonna place your subject matter on the intersecting points of the grid. So, like, right here here, here, in here. You're gonna place your focal point on the intersecting points of the bridge. Okay. And then your horizon line will rest on other the top or bottom horizontal line. Other less important details can be added within the nine sections, as long as you subdivide those sections into their own rule of third. Like I'm doing here, you can subdivide. Now, I'm gonna explain this to you. My drawings, You know, a vase in a teacup using the rule of thirds. Okay, so I have my new red, and I tried to make the ones very light. So let's place our focal point on one of the intersecting points. OK, which is the base. Okay, that's gonna be our focal point. Now, let's draw the flowers. The flowers aren't going to just rest on this line. They're gonna they're gonna come out, you know, so way. Place them on these intersecting points in the bridge in the group. Okay? There's only certain of the focal point. They don't really have to rest on one of these points. You know, if the flowers are just added detail, they can rest within this grid. Okay, Now, let's do the teacup. Maybe we're gonna place teacup right here. And, you know, maybe it's shadows cast their so the teacup is not the focal for me. You can place the teacup here, And if we're using directional line, let me draw the arrow. It should lead you to the focal point so you can place all your other objects anywhere within this grid. Okay? And use this grid as a god line to placing your objects because you'll be more successful. You know, with designing your composition for the exercise, I want you to draw your thumb. No border. Okay, draw out your rule of thirds within the border of a and define your horizon line. I'm gonna make it this one. Place shapes along the intersecting points starting from the horizon. So start placing shapes. If you want to draw more complicated shapes, if you want to do a full on study, you can, um but place your focal point One of these points. Okay, intersecting points. And try placing other objects along the great okay. And see how that creates a harmony in your painting. That being said, I want to get to the final exercise because this is where we're gonna have the most fun. So I'll see you there 8. Final Exercise: Create a Perfect Composition: Hi, guys. This'd is going to be the final exercise. Basically want you to find three objects around your house. I have a vase and flowers, a teacup and a teapot. You can pick any objects, maybe take this out if it's too complicated. You know, maybe just like a peach in there or or whatever. I want you to take these three objects, and I want you to arrange them based on your understanding of composition. And I want you to draw them. Okay. If you are comfortable, you can even drop some color into them if you're using water builder or whatever meeting using. But most important thing is that you understand composition. So I want to see what your understanding based based on your final and share your work with me. I want to see I want to see what you're doing. And I want to see you know how well you 13 information. And you know, it's always fun to see your students so share with a little different ways, General. That's about it to this class. And I hope this issue in mind x Pleiss