|Taking just a few minutes to survey a scene and sketch it can help work out any
challenges you might come across with the orientation of objects, color, and more.
Okay, it isn't a he or a she, but an 'it': composition! I
know, not the handsome hunk you were hoping for, but composition is the crucial
part of any painting or drawing that I don't think ever gets enough attention.
I was talking recently to a friend about how using the
"rules" of composition—the Golden Section and the Rule of Thirds—can often
backfire for artists because they think these are a cure-all. But they aren't. In
fact, my friend joked that you should learn these rules and then instantly try
to forget them, and to a certain extent it's true.
When you try too hard to adhere to the rules of composition,
an artwork can look formulaic and a bit boring. But on the other hand, you want
your painting or drawing to have structure and a way for the eye to go in and
||Here, the artist used sketching time
to develop the colors that would be
used throughout the entire work.
That's where sketching comes in handy. Spending just 15
minutes or so making several pencil sketches of different compositional
arrangements makes all the difference in taking a work to
the next level with confidence. A pencil sketch
or watercolor sketch is an ideal way of figuring out
compositional questions because they are so quick to do. Plus, you can explore
possibilities that you might not try if you were jumping right into the work
without doing any sketch drawing first.
That's where Mastering
Sketching comes in for me. There are lessons in the book devoted entirely to composing a sketch and
how to sketch while honing your selective composition skills. Selective being
the key word here because an artist needs to know how to choose objects and arrangements to good effect for a successful
finished painting or drawing.
That lesson was especially important for me to learn because
in the past I've felt almost obligated to depict everything I see, to the
detriment of my work. But no more! Mastering
Sketching was just what I needed to realize that sketching practices aren't
just for doing quick sketch drawings. They are building blocks for working in a
way that make a difference for me no matter what I'm painting, drawing, or designing. I think it would
prove the same for you. Enjoy!
P.S. Do you have any sketching ideas that I should be using? Leave a comment and let me know. Thanks!