I've made a blog
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    kev ferrara is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Looks good, TA!

    At least Icarus tried!


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    Kev, I'd be extrememly grateful if you'd take some time to make it better by commenting.

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    Good start, I like some of the points you raised. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on some of the conclusions James Gurney has come up with:
    http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/20...on-part-1.html
    http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/20...on-part-2.html
    http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/20...on-part-3.html

    It seems to go counter to a lot of previous theory, and yet things like rule of thirds and other compositional devices DO contradictorily work. Why might this be? Also, I would be interested in seeing how one could use things like the eye's natural attraction to faces and figures as a compositional device...something I haven't really seen explored much. I don't know if you plan on simply analyzing artwork or actually drawing out conclusions from them to lay out some general rules of your own, but in any case I thought you would be interested in this if you haven't already seen it.

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    Cool stuff, I'll be following along for the journey...

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    Thank you everyone. Andrew, I read those posts by Gurney closely, they're fascinating. We had a discussion on them somewhere on CA when they first came out. A couple things that stuck out in my mind about it:

    1. a proper study should test more people and more artworks, for a greater consensus. It could also use some peer revue. I assume there will be - there might already be.
    2. The disjointed manner in which the eyes travel through the picture seem to have more to do with the muscles of the eye. What the mind might see from all that movement may be different.
    3. The main conclusion of the study was that, when the art is figurative, people focus on the figures - makes sense, doesn't really contradict anything.
    4. The infrared composite showing where people look the longest was neat, but they should've shown a composite of where people look first, and then another where people look second. I'm curious about how the eye enters an artwork, and if that can be controled. I think it can.

    "I would be interested in seeing how one could use things like the eye's natural attraction to faces and figures as a compositional device"

    Well, every figurative work does it, so, just ask yourself that, next time you see an artwork. I will too. And, I'm not looking so much for rules as tools for my toolbox. Maybe someday someone will see something I did and say, wow, what a great composition!

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    TA, if you pursue this, the thing I'm most interested in is seeing your thoughts and your way of thinking through all these matters. I'm particularly interested in the questions you come up with. Answers are actually kind of easy once the questions are properly formed. Informed questions require and demonstrate the most insight.

    As a good friend of mine says to me often, "What you think are the truths of art may be actual truths. But that doesn't mean there aren't other truths which are just as valid." Find what interests you and damn all else... and your drive will interest others. That's what has made David Apatoff's blog so good. He does it out of pure personal love for the material.

    At least Icarus tried!


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    I have never read those James Gurney discussions before. Wow!

    You have a great theme for your blog TA! Best of luck with it.

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    are the artists/article references always going to be from conceptart.org? Since I already frequent this site, it'd be more refreshing if your blog had original material. With that said, a blog focusing on composition is new, I've seen some focused on color theory, anatomy, or art in general but composition is seldom covered.

    And the writing is subpar. The bullets and numbered paragraphs, the way the sentences are structured... it seems the blog is geared towards people new at art, as if your blogs were powerpoint presentations for a high school class or a senior retirement home. It's not sophisticated enough for anyone more advanced passed that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zwarrior View Post
    the way the sentences are structured... it seems the blog is geared towards people new at art, as if your blogs were powerpoint presentations for a high school class or a senior retirement home. It's not sophisticated enough for anyone more advanced passed that.
    I am pretty sure he actually is a high school teacher.

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    1. I know, I'm not a great writer.
    2. The bullets were a failed attempt to be succinct.
    3. Good writing isn't about being sophisticated, it's about being understood. I believe that almost every idea can and should be simplified without losing its meaning.
    4. I teach English as a foreign language to high school students and adults in Slovakia... Which means I get paid like 600$ a month to be made fun of by other people's children... There's a chance that, in a couple years, I'll be teaching a course on art and culture in English. This blog is a great way to plan for it.
    5. Oh, and I do plan on showing a bunch of artworks, but I'll be starting with the points I find most exciting, which are mostly on this site. Sorrrry...

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    Dunno if you collect composition articles, here's one anyways http://www.animationarchive.org/2006...mposition.html

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    I really enjoyed your analysis of the Donato Giancola piece, TA! I notice you said you posted the image with his permission. Out of curiosity, did you run your analysis by him? I'm just wondering if he gave you any feedback or insight into what his intentions were.

    "Contrary to the belief of the layman, the essential of art is not to imitate nature, but under the guise of imitation to stir up excitement with pure plastic elements: measurements, directions, ornaments, lights, values, colors, substances, divided and organized according to the injunctions of natural laws. While so occupied, the artist never ceases to be subservient to nature, but instead of imitating the incidents in a paltry way, he imitates the laws."-Andre Lhote

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    Looks Good TA...
    I am wondering what sort of content will go into the blog. Will it just be asking questions about composition and analysis of artworks.
    Or are you thinking of putting applicable rules of composition there as well???
    Just this sunday I sort of delivered a little on composition in an artmeet held locally. JUst discussing basics of composition and finding out applications and implications of compositional decisions. Interesting coincidence

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    Right now, I'm just looking for tools for my toolbox. I'm not a big fan of rules, and I'm not knowledgeable enough at present to state any. I prefer taking each work on a one-by-one basis and seeing what works or doesn't work, and why.

    I sent Donato an update with the post, but I haven't seen a response yet.

    Coffee, thank you!!!

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    Not rules but ways to implement composition is what I meant

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    I think if you look through this subforum on composition, Kev's already given the best advice I know of. We'll see if I can't give a better answer in a couple years time.

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    Concerning the look of the blog, I've never quite understood why some people choose certain color schemes for sites.
    White words on a stark black background is very hard on the eyes, dunno if you can change that, but you might think about it.

    Maybe it's just me.

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    How does everyone else feel?

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    I like the white text on black. And it's not like others haven't pulled this off well either:
    http://stapletonkearns.blogspot.com/

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    I like the white text on black. And it's not like others haven't pulled this off well either:
    http://stapletonkearns.blogspot.com/

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    "Complacency is the womb of mediocrity. " -- Jason Manley

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Sonea View Post
    And it's not like others haven't pulled this off well either:
    http://stapletonkearns.blogspot.com/
    Though that's gray on black, which I personally prefer more.

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    I agree white on black is a bit hard on the eyes. Grey on black works better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MidgardSerpent View Post
    Concerning the look of the blog, I've never quite understood why some people choose certain color schemes for sites.
    White words on a stark black background is very hard on the eyes, dunno if you can change that, but you might think about it.

    Maybe it's just me.
    May depend on the individual and their device... I actually have my e-book reader on my phone set to white on black because I find it easier on my eyes than white on black... (but I have migraine issues, so I'm weird. Black screens are less painful than white screens.)

    But yes, light grey on black is generally easier to read than straight white on black, at least by most people on most monitors, most of the time. Or white or light grey on dark gray is also good if you don't make it look like a bleak wall of gray. Shades of grey with a slight tint of another color can be pleasing, I find...

    (Whatever you do, avoid yellow or orange on black for large chunks of body text - that's just eye-searing.)

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    Thanks everyone. How's it now?

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    Great start TA - maybe I can add some ideas in the future - artists to check out and the like.

    Quote Originally Posted by TASmith View Post
    4. The infrared composite showing where people look the longest was neat, but they should've shown a composite of where people look first, and then another where people look second. I'm curious about how the eye enters an artwork, and if that can be controled. I think it can.
    My understanding is that it tends to be a cultural thing - depending on the way a particular culture reads: upper left entry and scan across, drop down to left and scan across, for westerners (like a big "Z"). While Asian viewers enter top right and scan down vertically. That always made sense to me but I can't point to any validating research.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    My understanding is that it tends to be a cultural thing - depending on the way a particular culture reads: upper left entry and scan across, drop down to left and scan across, for westerners (like a big "Z"). While Asian viewers enter top right and scan down vertically. That always made sense to me but I can't point to any validating research.
    That makes sense but there are people that are raised reading right to left but eventually learn left to right as well when learning English and whatnot (such as myself) and vice versa. I would imagine it being a bit more complicated.

    Also, huge thanks for starting this. Composition is a really complicated thing for me, sometimes I nail it, other times I totally fail. Looking forward for more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    My understanding is that it tends to be a cultural thing - depending on the way a particular culture reads: upper left entry and scan across, drop down to left and scan across, for westerners (like a big "Z"). While Asian viewers enter top right and scan down vertically. That always made sense to me but I can't point to any validating research.
    Actually, in all composition classes I've had this question has come up and the teacher has told that it's not a cultural thing, but a brain thing. That no matter how one reads, the eye always goes to the upper left corner of the image.
    But I have to admit that aside hearing that from the teacher, I haven't searched for any data for that myself, so...

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    An interesting start, TAsmith! This sort of thing can be an excellent exercise!

    My advice to you, though, is to narrow your focus. The text dealing with the astronaut image attempts to cover too much. It's all over the place. Don't be in such a rush, and have the theme of your text be centered around -one- idea. Or even, one -aspect- of one idea. Trying to cover the totality of your interpretation of the painting is doomed to fail. Colours, perspective, psychology, symbolism, science fiction, composition etc etc...it's too much. Why not just "circles", for instance? The Earth, the helmet, the stars, the nebulae, the eyes...the reflections of circles, the lack of circles, the circular and singular, the infinite and finite - there are volumes to written based on this one facet of this one painting!

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    Wow, thanks! I guess the reason why I didn't focus so much is I wouldn't know what to say. Why don't you start on a comment, choosing what you think is most important, and I'll see what I can add to it.

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