Composition 1: Thinking About Format and Orientation

It’s amazing what a difference  you can make with decisions around the shape, size and orientation of your surface or substrate.  While squares and rectangles are most common they are available in multiple sizes and aspect ratios and these options are another opportunity to enhance the impact of your concept.  Furthermore, nothing says that the edges of your surface have to be straight…perhaps you will be creating on a circular support or irregular panel shape. The options are endless!

Composition 2: Planning with Thumbnail Sketches

“A sketchbook to me is really an essential part of my creative process.”
—Nancy Crawford

Thumbnails, or “thumbs”, are a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Within minutes you can generate an assortment of small scale drawings to work out the major compositional decisions giving yourself a number of potential exciting options.  Working in your sketchbook ahead of time with these small planning sketches is a powerful way to enhance your creative process.

Finding and Fostering Your Original Voice

“I think it’s really easy to focus on the techniques of our art-making,
  which are an imperative part of our creative process,
but really those techniques and processes are in service of our big ideas.”
Nancy Crawford

In this important video segment of the program I lay out a framework for how you might approach thinking about your overall artistic practice. We will delve into 4 main areas to consider including: your Technical Skills, the Elements and Principles of Design coupled with Image Development Strategies, Composition and finally your Concept or Idea. Where these 4 areas align and overlap we will find our greatest artistic expressions filled with meaning, purpose, beauty and love – the Sweet Spot of our creativity! If you haven’t already, please download and print the Finding Original Voice framework.

What’s Your Big Idea?

“We have such a tremendous opportunity with our art making to make it so much more than just a beautiful image and I think that’s when it really starts to feed our souls, to transform us and engage us as artists on a different level, and also our viewers.”
—Nancy Crawford

While it is important to work at developing our technical skills, our understanding of the elements and principles of design, how image development strategies can strengthen our works and ways to create dramatic compositions, all of these aspects of our creating are used to support, foster and push the ideas we are attempting to express through our art-making. Our ideas and concepts are where our creativity becomes both personal and universal as we express and share our stories and ideas with others.

Creating a Focal Point

One of the basic building blocks of composition is the focal point. It’s what’s often lacking when someone shows me a piece that she/he knows isn’t working. If you are unclear about where the viewer should be focusing their attention in your image…chances are they will be confused as well. By creating an interesting focal point you can often save a wayward encaustic work. This can be achieved in a variety of ways – here I discuss how to use contrasting elements to create a focal point.

Creating Thumbnails with Concept in Mind

Now that you are familiar with the notion of creating thumbnail sketches – quick planning sketches to work out your compositional ideas – it’s now time to create a few thumbnails with our concept or idea in mind…and that changes everything! Have fun with this and let your mind enjoy coming up with a variety of solutions for pleasing compositions that attempt to express your idea with simple shapes, colours and textures.

© 2017 Personal Renaissance Coaching Inc