Many ideas start with a visual brainstorming. The artist or designer plays with the potential of their ideas in their sketchbooks. They make thousands of rough sketches continually changing and rethinking their ideas. Stretching the thinking and the dynamics of their designs to the limit. Designers work first with open minds, which allows for client comment. Before honing in on a final statement, all this starts with visual thoughts translated through sketches. All those ideas, even the redundant ones are left stored in the sketchbooks for later use. It's all visual information and that's what's important and exciting.
COMPOSITION: THE BASIC ELEMENTS
Shape can have a very intuitive influence. Only as we become more experienced do we become formally aware of how to construct a composition. Intuitively, the beginner will invariably place the mass of the subject (still life, portrait, whatever) in the middle of the picture plane. In 90 cases out of 100 this placement is a mistake, creating too much of a focal point and not allowing the eye to be taken on a journey across, and into, the rest of the picture plane. The composition is in effect becalmed, stale and therefore visually
uninteresting to the viewer. What we intend to do with shape in these projects is to give you basic experience in using hard pencils to create shapes that, when drawn on a picture surface in relation to each other, will create a good composition.
Sometimes this movement across and through the plane happens intuitively, but more often than not it is confirmed when you see an artist working and they step back from the picture and gesture towards their piece of work with arm outstretched, head tilted sideways and hand or thumb looking as though they are engaging with the picture in some way. This is when the artist is trying to contrive the composition.
Rhythm is very obvious in other forms of art, such as music, dance and writing. It is a sort of beat holding the work together. In a drawing or painting we can create a sense of rhythm that enables us to work harmoniously from one point in the composition to another. Rhythm can be evident in the use of tone, colour, mark and scale, but here we deal with it as it presents itself in shape.
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