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Drawing Composition

Improve your drawing composition by learning about formal elements of picture design, how to draw thumbnail sketches, and composition principles such as the golden mean (golden section) and rule of thirds.

Be Creative with Collage
Get your artistic inspiration going and learn how to be creative using collage. Using mixed media and collage is a great way to 'play' with ideas and develop creative ideas quickly.

Thumbnail Sketching
Thumbnail Sketching is a simple, effective way of testing out compositions and making notes on your subject.

Using a Viewfinder in Picture Composition
About.com Painting guide Marion Boddy-Evans shows you how to use a viewfinder to find a composition in a scene. You can use the principles she explains when drawing from life, or using photographs.

Fibonacci Numbers and The Golden Section
The Fibonacci series and the Golden Ratio are mathematical proportions that have been used by artists since ancient times to create harmony in works of art. Find out more about these important numbers and where to find them in art and architecture.

The Golden Age and the Golden Mean
Fascinated by geometry? Read this entertaining excerpt from Julia E. Diggins' book 'String, Straightedge, and Shadow', with a Platonic dialogue on the mathematics of proportion and some fascinating facts on the importance of the Golden Section in ancient Greece.

Composition - Guiding Principles
This excellent introduction to composition is designed for film students but covers many areas relevant to the artist. Follow on to 'the next module' for some examples of compositional principles.

Thumbnail Sketching
Some useful tips on thumbnail sketching - noting the key elements of a subject for future reference.

Design Choices
Improve your composition with this article, which covers aspects of design. It includes an interesting section on the choice of tonal keys, with well-known paintings to illustrate the concepts.

Composition - Simple Still Life
You don't need a hundred objects to make an interesting composition! Just one or two elements can make a powerful statement if you look at the subject in a creative way. Here are some reference photos by creative photographers who take a fresh view of the simple teapot. Click the image to see the large size.?

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