Unit A5: Composition

Unit A5 - Composition: Introduction

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The composition of a painting is the way in which it organizes the flat space of the painting's surface. In analyzing composition, it can help to imagine the painting as consisting of various zones: left, right, centre, bottom, edges, and to ask whether the painting is structured according to dominant lines or shapes. In this unit we will consider various aspects of composition.

In section a we shall begin by discussing the roles played by dominant lines and force lines.

In section b we then go on to consider the notions of open and closed composition.

In section c we then examine balance and symmetry.

Finally, in section d the notions of rhythm and movement are discussed.

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© Matthew Treherne, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT.

This resource was created with the help of a University of Leeds Faculty of Arts Enterprise Knowledge Transfer Grant.

Pages in this document

  1. Unit A5 - Composition: Introduction
  2. Unit A5a - Composition: Dominant lines and force lines
  3. Unit A5b - Composition: Open and closed composition
  4. Unit A5c - Composition: Balance and symmetry
  5. Unit A5d - Composition: Rhythm and movement
  6. Unit A5 - Composition: Summary