Art Lesson: Composition. Elements of composition are used to organize the components of an artwork in a pleasing manner. Used effectively, these elements provide a structure that leads the viewer's eye in a particular way for a variety of different effects. Examples of extraordinary composition may include the "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci or "Starry Night" by Vincent van Gogh. Important components of good composition include: unity, balance and movement. All compositions begin by identifying a focal point. A range of artistic decisions proceeds from there, ranging from contrasts between light and dark to finding a rhythm that paces the eye of the viewer. The parts of the composition may feel as if they belong together. Or they may be purposely disjointed. A symmetrical arrangement may add a sense of calm; whereas an asymmetrical arrangement may create a sense of unease. By adjusting the arrangement of the objects, the artist can create a sense of motion or still life. Patterns establish an underlying structure of basic lines and shapes. Proportion is the way in which things fit together, big and small, nearby and distant. Each of these components may be used in varying degrees to create the intended effect.
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Episode #612 / Length: 26 minutes