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Composition

Still-life painting
Easter by Christine Mitzuk

With Christine Mitzuk

Hybrid Class (Students may attend in-person or via Zoom.)

Do your pictures fall flat or look jumbled? Do you find it tricky to figure out what to put where? Sounds like you need pictorial composition tools! In this class we'll explore a variety of tools: the elements and principles of picture composition, visual hierarchy, intent, Notan and value design, and color. You'll learn by doing and experimenting with sketches. We'll also analyze pictures to see what tools the artists used and we'll break compositions to see what happens when pictorial elements are altered. And what's the big deal with tangents, anyway? Are they “bad”? There will be recommended homework.

What we'll be doing: In the composition class there will be a lot of sketching. Sometimes we'll use simplified shapes, sometimes we'll be sketching simplified studies of masterworks (i.e., not drawing every detail in 100% accuracy but getting it good enough for exploring the composition). There will be a little bit of painting, again using a masterwork as a guide. They will be very small studies. This could be whatever media a person is comfortable/familiar with (watercolor, gouache, acrylic, oil, or digital). I'm planning that any sketching we do will be around the 5" x 7" range or smaller (possibly all the way down to around 1"-2").

Skill level for the class:

  • I would not recommend the class for someone who is an absolute beginner. One will need to know how to do some sketching and observing and know some basic terminology (line, shape, form, value).
  • Someone who is an advanced beginner will most likely find it challenging in a "stretch and grow" kind of way. I would consider an advanced beginner someone who has done drawing from life, or photos, and maybe some sketching.
  • Someone who is at an intermediate level in their artistic journey, and hasn't done much in the way of studying composition, will likely also find some areas of growth. They'd have more experience sketching, possibly from imagination, and drawing from life/observation.

Supply List

Summer session: 10 weeks, $255

Session Start Dates

Summer 2024

Day Starting Time Instructor
Thu. 4:00pm–6:30pm Christine Mitzuk