Thursday, May 27, 2010

Leading the eye

Composition is like a big figure drawing. In anatomy, every line flows off to hook up with something else. You never have lines just floating by themselves. They all rhythmically tie together. You can use the same principles in a composition.


  1. This is entirely true! Rad has nailed it.
    It'll lift your work no end once you internalize the principles.

    Have a look at the master Hogarth's "Gin Lane". This etching is from 1751, and the composition and linework functions entirely in accordance with Rad's principles above:
    Hogarth's Gin Lane (1751)

    It's a shame we graphic artists have to keep re-discovering the "biological truths" - what always has, and always will, function well with the human eye and perception.

    All the best

  2. Remember the Gutenberg Diagram" which says that the eye starts at the top-left of the page.

    In this composition the first thing the eye is drawn to is the guy's face.
    Then we look where he is looking.
    Then we trace right to the witch, to the kid, to the word bubble and back to the guy's face.

    One minor suggestion: if you put a touch of red on the guy's shoes, it will help move the eye better. (eye to red button, red button to red shoelaces, then on to the witch...)

    Cheers and thanks for a great blog.

  3. Another great post Rad. Great info that I seem to forget on a regular basis. (Can't wait to see that comic btw!)

  4. That's a fancy one too, wow. I need to put that idea more into effect. Thanks

  5. I didn't realise the rules of composition apply to anatomy. But now that you mention it, it does seem rather obvious

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