Compositional Rules #

For whatever reason, I want to dig into some ideas regarding good composition.

I don’t really buy the rule of thirds or the Golden Ratio - I’m decently convinced that those are basically just confirmation bias. However, there are some frameworks that I think work really well.

Depth #

I came upon this perspective through the Every Frame a Painting video about Bayhem. Basically, the idea is to have objects at many levels of the z-axis in order to create a sense of depth. I think this helps in the following ways

Fractal elements #

This is a compositional element that I’ve thought about for a little while now, where the vague idea is that the size of something on the frame should be comparable to how many things there are at that size.There’s a poster for Everything Everywhere All At Once that demonstrates this with various sizes of googly eyes.

The vague heuristic that I might throw together for something like this is:

These numbers are basically completely made up and should not be treated as a rule at all - just a guideline.

I think this fractalness also works with other considerations as well, like brightness, complexity, etc. However, I think I ought to do more art before being confident here.

Implication #

This is a relatively new one for me to process, so I’ll probably spend the most time on it. The basic idea is that a variety of shapes imply certain things to various degrees. A list:

I might add more if I think of more, but I think this is a good start.

This idea of composition consists of having things form various shapes and adding things at the implication points. By setting things up so that multiple implication points are lined up, or so that things line up along multiple implication points can be positive.

It’s interesting to note that the above two principles will naturally end up creating lines that travel along the various planes that focally center things.