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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Composition and Design Drawing

This is an easy project you can do in one day.
It is awesome because it covers many principals and elements of art and design.

1st it teaches composition, the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art, as distinct from the subject of a work. It can also be thought of as the organization of the elements of art according to the principles of design.
The term composition means 'putting together,' and can apply to any work of art, from music, to writing, to photography, that is arranged or put together using conscious thought. In the visual arts, composition is often used interchangeably with various terms such as design, form, visual ordering, orformal structure, depending on the context.
It also teaches about OVERLAPPING shapes, negative space, and the illusion of movement.

Below are the steps I used to teach it. 3 different color markers

2. Draw 6 shapes using only one color, and decorate the shapes. They need to be large and some can run off the edge of the paper. They need to be very simple shapes. Geometric or organic. They can turn them into something, make concentric lines inside, or fill them in completely.
3. Draw a "ribbon" beginning at the top of the paper and winding down to the bottom going "under" every shape, and touching the sides of the paper as it meanders down the page

4. use the third color to outline the nagative space creating NEW organic shapes. Do not touch the other shapes or the ribbon but stay very close. 

5. decorate the inside of the new shapes with a congruent pattern using the same color (stripes, polka dots, wiggly lines, stars, etc)

6. decorate the inside of the ribbon with only the ribbon color

I did this with kinder and 1st today and it was amazing to see them thinking about and planning their composition. Besides a few that didn't finish, we had great success. I think this would be good for any age level. I plan to do it on a larger scale with the older groups.
Here are some kinder, first, and a few second grade works


  1. This is beautiful. Really enjoyed catching up with your blog. What a great painting.
    There were so many amazing views - I could have painted many more too
    Edmonton Painters

    Painters Edmonton

  2. Fun! Think I'll use this tomorrow with my art students. Funny how topics trend, I just wrote about photographic composition this week on my blog without having known about this one!!

  3. I love this idea! Such a great, simple way to practice composition!

  4. How many Kindergarteners did you do this with? I tried it with my class and while I enjoyed it, it was too abstract/difficult for most of them.

  5. nice art u r sharing friend. u've a good talent.Keep Posting these kind of art.


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