How to create unique art compositions | 4 exercises to practice | Lesson 2 | Mehreen Hashmi | Skillshare

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How to create unique art compositions | 4 exercises to practice | Lesson 2

teacher avatar Mehreen Hashmi, Curator/Visual Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Unique compositions of Mark Rothko

    • 2. Why good composition matters?

    • 3. Art supplies we can use

    • 4. Exercise 1 ; Complicated compositions with all principles

    • 5. Exercise 2 ; Simplest composition with two shapes only

    • 6. Exercise 3 ; Once last composition

    • 7. Exercise 4 ; One more and in the center this time

    • 8. QnA

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About This Class

Hello Fellow artists,

These classes are the perfect activity  to enhance your art practice, unleash your creative approach and attract an audience to your work. It explains the essential principles of art for your understanding.   You will improve composition and your entire portfolio if you understand a few essentials of a good composition. 

You will learn the following with me ;

Improve creative thinking skills 

Improve visual skills

skills to create a unique composition

Basic elements and principles of art

How to create unique compositions with simple elements?

How to upgrade your visual skills?

Meet Your Teacher

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Mehreen Hashmi

Curator/Visual Artist


Mehreen Hashmi, residing and working in Karachi, Pakistan is founder and curator of MH Initiatives, and MH Online curated art gallery featuring renowned artists of Pakistan and international artists.  In 2019, She has curated a traveling project called 'Kabutar; which is a cultural exchange between Italy, Turkey, Netherlands and Pakistan. She has curated Pakistan's first art summit, Karachi Art Summit' in 2017. She has been exhibiting her multidisciplinary artwork based on art activism globally and have been part of several projects in Europe. Her work has been reviewed several times by pioneer art critics. She has taught for International Baccalaureate  and Cambridge systems and have worked as Head of Department for four years. 

About her work as an artist ; ... See full profile

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1. Unique compositions of Mark Rothko: So there are so many optimist who have just worked with composition such as Mark Rothko. If you look at his work, you just seek honors. And simple as that. Just some colors, you know, painted on the godless says, he worked with our compositions him here He art, he is a pioneer of monster August off his diamond EMEA still looking at his work. So if you have mastered your art bump positions and if you know how to make a viewer look at your painting and stand with their art, eventually buy it as well, and you get exhibitions as well. So you need to master the skills of understanding few elements of art and principles which are balanced rhythm, Bactrim, movement, texture and ambiguity. So in first OSes, we've learned from the basics of compositions and then me go move. V01 will move farther and I will be posting more doses based on that. 2. Why good composition matters?: Our composition matters. So there are a few basic principles and elements of five which has a, you know, bathroom fixtures, rhythm, contrast, balanced, focal point movement. One is my favorite, also created by me ambiguity as well, which creates a lot of interests for the audience in your artwork. There are so many artists out there, but some of them only get to exhibit in the galleries or go to bay knowledge or improve their work and evolve their work. So if artist Gaya, most important part is that how they are evolving their artwork, which means that you are learning with your work throughout the years. Every day, I am still learning with my artwork and every time I create a piece, I tried to make a unique composition because composition is one thing which captures your audience interests and make it, make them look at your artwork when you go to a museum there so many artworks on display, but I always set in front belt which speaks to me, or which has something which create some ambiguity, or which has a unique composition visually. So I get to see, and we all want to sit and look at that visual because it's a visual in Vienna and I'm being a visual artist, you have to create good visuals which are unique, different than others, and nicely composed. So composition is one element which you can, which can either break or make your artwork and art piece or a masterpiece. 3. Art supplies we can use : For this gauze, you couldn't use anything, literally anything. You can use a blackboard if you have London, he was Johnlock and try different compositions here there. And you know, best part about this yet you can erase it and keep drawing it again and again. Otherwise your food already bullish this boring, you know, black and white, then you can use a lot of my PDO. There's unlimited amount of number do you use? You can use mockers from your if you are an admin, you can use it from your kids are back where you can get these tempo marker. These are very good. These are different colors and it gives you a really good impact. Drawing as well. It's easy to color it first and it's white bread comes in so many varieties and you couldn't get it from any store. Otherwise, if you want to go in details, you can use dollar prime cells and these are also easily available. You can keep coloring it. It's very, very therapeutic for adults as well to color in boxes and compositions. And if you are a hobby artist does is very good for you. It is fun. Otherwise, if you want to go for more towards painterly mediums, you can use a palette of watercolors, and these are very easily available at any art shop. You need some brushes, I'm round brushes or we are not painting, painting in acrylics, or we can use any kind of brushes and the edges doing themed paintings. So you know, just a small brushes of different sizes would do round shapes and flagships however you want to play with it. Because this is about, you are going to play with compositions and learning to me the unique composition. These are if you are in August that you will have these brushes in your studio already. You can also use ink as well. The drawings are very easily available. You need to round brushes for it, then you need a bother, and you need a greener. Anyone container, I use chickpeas container or mushroom or, or food containers are very good for water. You need a drawing book, our sketchbook or anything you didn't lose. Otherwise you can use some thought-out shift as well. I like to make my compositions with God OK chips because you'll know it there's recycle. I like to recycle. It's good for environment and it is cut out from some old joined to understand and where I wanted to keep something and I can keep using it also for every awkward I'm going to draw. 4. Exercise 1 ; Complicated compositions with all principles: We don't have to go over those square or basic shape. For example, if you have something which is unusually some images that we are chosen to draw, such as, I love to draw flies into quadrants and combine with other Gordy majors in my art board. So there are different kinds of options and elements and symbols that you want to eat. So let's go over these rectangles here. I can ease Meyer big this year, next year. Now that we know that we are to please our focus, boy, I would look for the full group goin here. Say, I don't want those central composition actually more in shock pain, they either for it. So what we can do is let's call it the diffrent kind of balance here, like this is, this part is a nine with this bargain, there is a pin light. We will balance it out in our composition leader. I am going to place it here. That's the summary them. And you know, this part, it doesn't have to be equal amount of alignment. I can paste it here. Half of it, This is interacting with half of this tree. And there it is. Here. So this was third quarter, this most cough afraid of this as like the Golan not offsite. There it is. And then there is going be some more on this side off those gondolas. We don't have to go four nines and rectangles. We can go for something, a chunkier, ask a Beta of these thin lines of these small, tiny shapes, we can go something Chuck here. So this is, there's, there's a bit of rhythm nice doctored from the backward stool before word mean the then I didn't truly is one big jump off here. Sometimes you can start an IV depending on the artwork and your choice of imagery. You can start from different, you know, different places also because ingredients from on-prem to AAC works with lungs. You have an understanding of balance through them and put a point on your gun was any work and your compositions, then you wouldn't be able to put your images very easy once you have these exercises down into your head, you wouldn't know how to compose your compositions. This is also good for photographers and designers and industry. Errors will have to combine a knocked off, an immense in, in one composition. So if you are one of those greater professional interstices, Good, improve your unique opposition. So I started with the rhythm 123. I started with the rhythm this time instead of a junkie shape on the paper and stopping from the focal point. So this is the boy right now, this steric diffrent that I bees off composition, there are so many options as I have explained earlier in your composition. So what we are going to go 1, 2, 3, 4, and I can place it here for them. We have a lot of negative ideas here. I can raise it here 10k and work on this side. Or I could just placer here and get them aligned with this one, em. We the composition. So this is balancing each other also, there is some rhythm and meter is 1 jungle, so it's not happening. Ignore it and it's ready. Theory of opposition as red. You can add more elements to it. You can add something from here and the square shape over this side and then make it more complicated as well. But it ought be good on you. I can paste it here, a nine from here. If it goes from there to here. And then there has to be some connection with your previous elements if you are joining it together because otherwise it looks very disconnected. So if we see there is some negative ADLs or on As to it, which is making viewer's eye move around your gondolas. They are junkie elements as well. These are junkie squares, amino. There's a rhythm as row this time we didn't start from the full-width going towards balance and rhythm by restarted from BCG, bid them to balance and focal point. Let's see, Let's name this one. I feed, make it more complicated. Bleeds here. And we have another square. So this is square is of same size, so we can visit year, a line from here, um, you know, on different sides. I mean, tied off the other element will solve it has to be some connection to each shapes. Let's play it here. You don't have to place in the sector, we can use the half of the box shape year there. Now, this is our composition. 5. Exercise 2 ; Simplest composition with two shapes only: There are so many, so many, so many, so many unlimited numbers of thumb position that you can create. Balance, rhythm and frequent boy, so we can play with our compositions. She imager, There's so many things that we want to put it on. Where black gum, this, what should we place on our blank canvas deck? So go string. This is like a $1 million question actually. So let's be very experimental. I will chose that diabetes is square, which is great. But please, on my gun was very sick. We cannot place it in the center. We get norm. If I place it in their corner, that can be something, but if I place it, It's like the object, It's pleased, very far away. So it is like views as well. There is another DOS for viewpoint as well. If I produce herd here that we have a lot of things. For example, if this is our d-orbitals sitting in the corner. So business all you're going to be selling. So they are different kind of the right piece of composition that we can play with good Mika worry, OK, work, very unique. I'm going to place it for being very simple right now. And a certain in here, this is not in the center and it's off center as well. And we are having an equal amount of negative spaces from both sides. If I place it here, then we don't want to have a lot of negative spaces. And this is north button saying, so let us start with venue or a for loop using your glute pulling on your gun was that it has two carbons with some key. It makes it your, your work very easy to google it and you'd need to have balance is the first key, then you can create for them. So remember there's that balance and rhythm goal. Site-to-site, fortunately, is Google going and then we use violence to please our 3D objects and images elements in our gamblers. And then the use rhythm to make it unique. Rhythm is knight Jedi, older dog in our composition, but it has to have bought and sold. So it's like if you are invading, Great. So you all of the SSPs and choose and watches and she is in pads and drape. It affects all infrared that, you know, a kind of ridiculous. And no one valence lien, balance it with something that is going to be addressing up as when you break the saturation of one color or any topic that seem goals with our composition also. So I am going to place it here. We're going to replace it before with the balance off from site or gay. There is some balance and novae have a stopping point to start with our composition. So there, there is a circle, I can please the circle here, but it gives me an interesting composition. If I place it here or if I get placed it here as well, It's the off-center v. Remember this, that in your compositions, this is how we are conditioned to use our imagery for. But for example, if you are using, I'm making an abstract drawing or a landscape or something which is in, goes towards expressionism and it's not regular, is still live. So then you don't please everything on your nor grown you can place it anywhere. So I'm going to use the, these are also grounds and 123 for four sides of meek and use our objects to be placed some mirror here. It looks like I can align this circle with this a square as well, at least in here. So it looks like for example, it's just, you know, just to be on the front side, this is over square and there is a certain entries of granulosa that's like falling where you see the move right here because circular circles are associated with movements. So it looks like, you know, kind of that it's forming here and we're starting to see from here and we are looking at here as red Sol. We don't have to choose the big ones. I went through this one and if I put it here, it wouldn't bring this guy witches using, which has been kind of imaginary line that we have the VR either looking here or I'm looking here. So hi there. If you look at here and then there was regarding evil from this site, this site at the center of this line. So this is a very balanced composition. If I wouldn't even waste anything else, looks very balanced. It good, it's good for ADH works and those objects to work with minimalism. So that's how they compose their awkward being big fan needle, anything you have seen a lot of sculptures like that. Most of the high-end art boards are very, very highly manipulative, unique goal position. So there's enough Martha full of compositions. You can watch Rick and, you know, learn about his compositions. It's very simple, just beings. And because he knew how to put his composition and which color rare. And that's how he got to this point that we are, you know, following his artwork. So here we are. This is one composition. It's going to be very minimal item thing that we need to have anything here. Or if I put it here, then it's breaking any everything else. So this is something which you can use in the minimal art works. 6. Exercise 3 ; Once last composition: With this gosh, we need a piece of paper. You can use any foresight, Scott, our paper and I use recycled papers from last losses or drawings because I like to recycle paper. I'm not in favor of these things vapor and MIT to boost your mood. That's it. So there's my paper I would start showing you forcing is Foucault. So with focal point, you can please your first image. Just imagine this, that the street is your image. The spit can get apple, it can be a still life, it can get finger. It could be a set of poetry. Anything we're learning to put, place your force shape, Let's caught it on your paper. It's a blank canvas and really want to place a clear, you can start here, then there is a lot of negative space here. You can start here that there's a lot of negative space here. You have to work on your negative spaces as red focal point is one thing where your viewers start to look at your awkward. It's very important where you place for it because it's a major role in major and making your any work. So let us start with a simple composition. Who placed it here? What not to do is never, ever, ever put an image in the center of your GAN was why? Because when you bought something in the same direction, we'll go symmetrical atropine not have a lot of movement and everybody has seen a circle or a square in the center. So either you go off-center, a little break here, all of the air or Aquino do your left derive DOM, anything? So I am going to place my square for a shape here. Now that we have a focal point, the half to add more taste away. So this is our positive, the space, there's a lot of negative space. What we're going to do is I can choose one shape. Let's go with the circle again. If I can put it here, There's going to be a movement that we start looking at your artwork from here and then it goes towards the other points. So very worn to your viewer to look at your artwork. Just place it in the opposite direction. Now we have more negative spaces and the half to think all what can connect these two squares with each other? So there is some movement and some rhythm in your composition. So what we are going to do, I guess, and please, here you could overlap obvious shapes, qualities. So now it's delighting your composition in two equal negative spaces. We need to have a unique composition. So let's play with some negative spaces. I will pick out a rectangle this time and place it here. So now all we have something here. A lot is happening here, but what we are going to do, we need something here. So let's go for, if I put two here, I can put it here, old soul, I can put it here, or here as well. Let's build some negative spaces. First of all, I haven't been this a squared and year. You don't have to have them knocked off shapes in your composition. We are learning great novel of x, y, we have a lot of shades during now you can have one focal point and then another one or images as R1 for example, if you are drawing a still life, so there's one still lie, for example, fruits. So there's one bulla foods and then do three Apollos or flooding DOM all of us and most of the joints, thanks to shorter them and movement to, to create ambiguity and create interests of the weirs in your painting and make it unique for other special. So that's why I am using a grid shape. This is going in opposite to each other and it's becoming very stagnant. So I am going to remove this from here and place it a bit lower. So now we have an uninteresting negative spaces. You have to do something mature viewer, I'm not expecting to make your composition you need. That's why you have a very interesting negative spaces here. So what are we going to do? Yeah, or the gun? Use this one here. This is aligned with your square as well and it's grieving more negative spaces. There's a big jump of negative space here, and there is a small chunk of negative spaces here. So let's fill this game. Think of something. I have to balance this in, you know, on the other side is real. I don't have to place it here because it will go on vertical. So let's your eyes starting from here and then it goes here and here and here. And it comes here. So there shouldn't be some happening on this side as rho C, but they know it. Making a square shape and our eyes is stopping on this half and there's no interesting part on this side. So it has to be, or composition has to be completely balanced. Your eye, your viewers. I should keep moving around the gondolas from starting from the focal point. So what should I do? That's quite a rhythm. Rhythm is very important in any painting and art work, even in a sculpture also because it moves your viewers eye and it keeps the crust in your artwork. So this is why them needs move rent and your eye moves around. If you have seen some all being things from our history, there's so many fingers and everything is about composition. If more than you're lot of documentaries about Van Gogh's work, Rembrandt's working all of those artists toward from history. There's a lot of learning of perspective and a lot of my IRB. So this is the basic, really basic composition gloves. I am going to put those. How about here? If I put it here not overlapping, not if I put it here, it will make it a line and we'll make it a stag and not going it forward. A good composition is when your eye is moving and your artwork is evolving. So it should not look like a stuck in a box art work. It should look like that. It's expanding. So there is room for another artwork with just related to the first piece. That's how our artist, we evolve our work and make those CDs of being paid to know which is connected with one another. So this is how I'm going to place a little bit of here so you know, halfway through it. So there is some kind of balance and rhythm as well and it's not stopping here, I think. Here we need something. If we put something here, the rebalance a bit more. I am placing it a line from here. If I just put it here, it would not look balanced. Balance is very important because it cannot be chaotic. Your ambiguity can not be chaotic. There should be a rhythm of tags on images placed in your composition. So that's how it. Mirrors. Don't get bored. They don't leave stock, they don't want fee is stagnant. Also saw I am going to place it here a bit outside the box. If you'll see it's a line with this box and it's going down here and it's balancing also. Now, even though there is no takeaway here from the right, but it's still this, these 2D balancing, this one rectangle over here. So that's one bump position. If you want to add more, you can add more to this is like one rhythm of composition. I can please just, you know, there is a line. I don't like lines or margins in artwork, and of course you shouldn't as well. So I am placing this rectangle not in the center because it will ruin all of it if I put it here c. So this is balancing it very well, but there is no uncertainty field, so we're embedded. I enjoy Megawati in my artwork, so I'm going to put hurt a bit off center aligned from here, but a bit off-center. See this one composition. You can try different shapes but don't use to more than two shapes because it creates a lot of confusion. Or if you're using country shapes, then don't use a lot of number of sheets. Just make your compositions simple and stronger. Because as I say to my students, simplest is the strongest. So it keeps your reader's interest in your composition. 7. Exercise 4 ; One more and in the center this time : For gun positions, like did you have to start from the center? There's a V of doing. Let's see how it goes. So I will choose my chunky square knot in the center. It's not it's a big no-no in any AAC bomb position, you want to paste it here because there's no room for doing more with balance. And I'm going to place it a big off-center and start with another score in the center. I could basically make stoic or in, it's better than when I have it here, a bit aligned with it, but getting out of it because it takes your viewer's eye from here to the gear. If I place it right next door, it it will get stuck in the center. These are just like two boxes on a blank, godless. So this is how I'm going to do. Let's try placing it here. Then. Now there's a lot of negative spaces which is more than here, and it does look in D. We need something here which can globe at this one. And unlike other compositions, we don't have to place our shapes all over your gamblers. You can start from the center, start expanding it as well as it happens in Mozi still lives. So if I place it here, I don't have to place a line offered because we'll get to grumpy in the center, there has to be submitted negative spaces. I can place it on this way. So you don't have to follow seem rules of a V-shaped such as I pleased with the half of this box here. And then this one doesn't have to be here. It is, aligning with these tiny corners or choose the connection of one image to another as well, as well as the other shape is on its own place on the Canvas. And if you look at these, is, you know, it is nicely balanced on gondolas. This one squared is not in the center, not just stock. And if I look at this one also, this is also if I just do want, you know, if we forget about this side, this is also very balanced. There's a negative space and there's this war positive responses. Is Heidi balanced? There is no rhythm in this composition. Any file place, if I just look at this one as we have seen. So this is also a complete composition. One is in off-center and there is a balance and one for worldwide your work and start looking at it from here and then look at the other gun. Was there a lot of authors to work with just one object on the gammas and there's not paying the minimum I am outwards. But if you wonder, if you in most fenestra, like there's a lot happening as well in my mercury is a lot happening in a few have seen it. I do Bain exaggerated images, but then I like to choose 12 images elements in my artwork and then combine it and exaggerated and composer. So there is big elements in my Word, two elements hardly. And then there is the negative space is also negative space is very important, mostly colored background. Either if it's a landscape, then you have to have something in the background there is and trees. Or if you're drawing a landscape or a bead. So you need to understand that grid of the globe was where does the sand goes? Where's the sun is? A varies the d-orbitals saying or fingers you, there are figures and I love doing figures. It's my own genre of doing artwork as well because it triggers, there's a lot of rhythm are placing the figures in one composition. So in compositions and very important to where are you placing, what, and how your eye is moving for the viewer. In this one we are starting as we are starting from the same person. You can see that this is in the center, but it still is creating the balance around it. There is a smaller chunk which is giving a bit of rhythm and it is a lie. It is also, if I draw a line here than it is in the center, and it's violence from all four sides also a still, it does not look. That meant in a composition, your eye is moving from three squares. Actually, it's creating a resume as well. And we have only three shapes of, you know, very different sizes but not too different from each other. And it's just seemed gone or it's gray and blue and it still is looking. You are seeing from, you can either starting from here and goes here or from here to here. And you know, there is good amount of negative space sweat. So this is how you create balance rhythm with the minimum amount of work and create some ambiguity also, when you place your tanks in on your canvas, it's always best to do your process work, create some compositions before starting your work on the gun was dirty and understand where which was rare and shortlist also your images as well. So it doesn't look too much happening, for example, in fingers joins their fingers, which is just one element of an artwork. It's not that there's a figure there is, does, There's died. There is a bar, there is an apple, there was a chair. There is a V of doing things. When was he deserved reputation, which gives you the balance of objects and elements in your artwork. So that's how you balance and created them and focal point in your artwork. 8. QnA: If you like my class, please don't forget to share your review. I would love to see your projects and compositions. You can email me and I would love to give your feedback. And they are more gaseous based on our compositions and theory of art and how to upgrade your art practice and go to the highest extreme where you want to exert any, fulfill your dreams.