General Concept and Recommendations

• Composition (compositio) is a Latin word that means - drawing, a compound binding, addition.

• Composition is an integral part of the artwork. Ability to correctly assemble, compose - is a set of knowledge and skills used in the creation of any work of art, even in the most simple learning task.

•  The understanding of the principles of composition does not occur itself. Drawing and configuration in fact are influence each other and one doesn't 'live' without another. In other words, if you draw and do not compose, the pattern will be illiterate, i.e. amateurish, and such 'drawing' from the point of view of training not so productive and even moreover - harmful as forms false ideas of 'correctness' of the chosen way.

•  If you would like to stand on the professional way, you must  seriously study the rules of Composition. Ignorance of this, misunderstanding of the principles of Composition is a serious gap in art education, and a great obstacle in professional development of artist.

• For Beginners learning Arts always are not enough skills and knowledge in many components. Studying of techniques of Composition begins with the first steps of training in drawing. To make pictures without knowledge of elementary bases of composition and drawing is a hopeless exercise and a waste of time. Increasing knowledge in the field  of Composing is a permanent process.

• In the visual arts—in particular painting, graphic design, photography, and sculpture—composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art, as distinct from the subject of a work. It can also be thought of as the organization of the elements of art according to the principles of art.
The term composition means 'putting together,' and can apply to any work of art, from music to writing to photography, that is arranged or put together using conscious thought. In the visual arts, composition is often used interchangeably with various terms such as design, form, visual ordering, or formal structure, depending on the context. In graphic design for press and desktop publishing composition is commonly referred to as page layout.


Choosing a format, square or rectangle

A format is just another word for shape, and this comes down to personal preference. From squares, rectangle, panoramic. The easiest shape to create a balanced composition is a rectangle, just like an A2 piece of paper.

The rectangular format: this is an absolute classic and extremely flexible format. When a rectangle is displayed with its shorter side across the top it is known as ‘portrait format’ and with its longer side across the top ‘landscape format’.

The square format: This can use extremely well or very badly. We very rarely see a square old master painting. This is because it is harder to balance a painting that has lots of elements within, for example, a collection of figures in a landscape within a square format. It can look awkward very easily. However, using a square format for a more contemporary subject, an abstract or a minimalist seascape, can be very effective.

Main elements for understanding what it is a Composition

Positioning/Orientation/Balance/Harmony among the elements.
The area within the field of view used for the picture ("cropping").
The path or direction followed by the viewer's eye when they observe the image.
Geometry and symmetry.
Line — the visual path that enables the eye to move within the piece. (Curved lines, Straight lines).
Shape — areas defined by edges within the piece, whether geometric or organic. Shape and proportion.
Illumination or lighting.
Tone — Shading used to emphasize form.
Contrast: the value, or degree of lightness and darkness, used within the picture.
Colour — hues with their various values and intensities
Form — 3-D length, width, or depth.
Space — the space taken up by (positive) or in between (negative) objects.
Depth — perceived distance from the observer, separated in foreground, background, and optionally middle ground.
Texture — surface qualities which translate into tactile illusions.
Repetition (Sometimes building into pattern; rhythm also comes into play, as does geometry).

Breaking the rules can create tension or unease, yet it can add interest to the picture if it use in ballance rule.