Mary Jane Begin clarifies the best practices for developing any artistic or illustrated composition, covering compositional balance, movement, direction, unity, and format choices.
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- Hi. I'm Mary Jane Begin. Illustrator, author, and professor of Rhode Island School of Design. Being an illustrator means being a visual communicator, obsessed with making images that connect with audiences, whether they're in a book, on a magazine cover, in comics, or on a t-shirt, animated, or splashed across a billboard, making a core connection between the idea and the audience is essential. Composition is the arrangement and elements in any work of art: writing, music, and yes, illustration.
Not to be confused with the subject matter, composition is the design or formal structure of an image, or more plainly, how the elements all put together according to some basic art principles. In this course, we'll look at plenty of visual examples from a stellar group of illustrators, and I'll show you how the pieces of the puzzle come together to create a more powerful message. We'll talk about how to balance shapes and lines, direct the viewer's attention, iterate an idea, understand the use of negative space, and create visual unity.
We'll round up the course with a walkthrough of the steps I took to create this poster for lynda.com. My goal is to help you gain expertise in developing your voice as an illustrator. So go ahead, turn up the volume, and let's get started.
This course will help to clarify best practices for developing any artistic or illustrated composition. Shaping the elements; marrying concept to composition; engaging the editing eye; achieving balance, unity, directional movement, and perspective; and exploring point of view and focal points are all topics covered in these lessons. Author (and professional artist) Mary Jane Begin also explores the major and minor pitfalls of a weak composition and explains the six compositional rules that lead to the best end results! See the steps in action in the final chapter, where Mary Jane designs a concept for lynda.com.
Then share what you've learned with the lynda.com community. Take the three challenges Mary Jane issues in the course and post your results to Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #learnatlynda. We can't wait to see your illustrations!
- Directing with lines
- Designing the negative space
- Creating a consistency of style
- Adding movement with dynamic diagonals, edges, and contrast
- Creating depth of field with perspective
- Using—and breaking—the rules
- Choosing a size and medium for artwork