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B/W Composition Assignment 3

In this lesson, we were taught the concept of compositions which are often used in painting and art pieces in order to guide the viewer’s eyes towards the direction we would want them to see. Compositions complement design principles that we had learnt the previous week, making the art piece more attractive.

Some of the techniques used in composition are:

    • The rule of thirds: 

      According to Wikipedia, The rule of thirds is a composition guide that states that arranging the important features of an image on or near the horizontal and vertical lines that would divide the image into thirds horizontally and vertically is visually pleasing. The objective is to stop the subject(s) and areas of interest (such as the horizon) from bisecting the image, by placing them near one of the lines that would divide the image into three equal columns and rows, ideally near the intersection of those lines. It basically a summary of the Golden Ratio (point no. 2)

    • The golden ratio
    • Line of sight

      The line of sight method uses subjects on painting to look at the objects we intend the viewers to see. As a result, we guide the viewers’ eyes using the objects that subjects on canvas look at.

    • Framing
  • Rule of odds

    By adding an extra element or subject in the painting with even numbered subject, the viewer’s eyes will be in discomfort because the odd numbered subjects create imbalance in the painting, our eyes move around the canvas among the subjects. This makes the painting distinctive rather than just the boring ones with even numbered subjects.

  • Simplification

    We can make viewers to focus on the primary subject by using this method. Simplification removes the unnecessary details that can make a clutter in an artpiece. It focuses on the primary subject and by using simple shapes, creates a balance.

Then we proceeded to watch black and white movies to sketch a few scenes with different compositions. Some scenes were close-ups, some were landscapes and shot from far away. After sketching, we colour them in three shades (black, gray and white).

For homeworks, we are supposed to do paper cut-outs from different movie scenes.



The Artist (2011)



The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)



Pulp Fiction (1994)



Little Mermaid (1989)



The Godfather (1972)

This last piece is particularly my favourite because I tried a different method in cutting the papers. For this piece, I did not use scissors at all. I just used the penknife given to us for the lesson.

First of all, I sketched the picture on black paper, and I labelled the part that are supposed to be coloured in gray and white.

Secondly, I traced the part the gray part using the penknife and therefore I cut holes for the gray part. Furthermore, I paste the black paper on top of gray paper.

Adding to the sketch, I make some shapes that are supposed to be white colour on the gray paper. And afterwards, I cut holes for the white part of the composition, and paste white paper at the bottom to finish off.

I really like this method of cut-outs as you do not have to estimate the shapes for shades in the picture which can result in the cut-outs not being balanced. In the zoom in version of my last piece, you can see the three layers in how I make this piece; black on top, then followed by gray and the last one is white.

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