Other Shapes to See in the Shapes of Things

As well as seeing triangles in your compositions, which means you have established some strong diagonals, try to arrange some of your compositions around a strong curve or ellipse. Note which side of the paper you favor for a strong compositional line or curve. Many of us are happier with an emphasis on the left side, because many of us are right-handed and so is our written tradition. Many Eastern compositions are balanced differently.

The Art of Drawing

Euclid, a Greek mathematician from the third century, was the author of Elements, a treatise on early geometry and the concepts of point, line, and plane. His thoughts on design are called the "Golden Section," to establish where the central point in a composition should be. He wrote:

"So that the space divided into unequal areas be aesthetically pleasing, one must establish the same relationship between the smallest part and the largest part, as exists between the largest part and the whole."

Basically, this means that a horizontal that is a bit off center and a vertical that is a bit off center and the place where they cross that is off center, but in a pleasing amount, is what the eye seeks. Try it for yourself!

Try Your Hand

Try to see the compositional structure when you look at a painting that you like and try the same balance in one of your drawings.

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