This final entry in the Principles of Design series is all about "Unity", which is the state of balance in your image. Think of your illustration as a sauce -- you don't want any individual ingredient to stand out too strongly. Likewise, no single principle of design should stand out above another, they should all combine into a pleasant mixture. This is called "unity". If you missed any of the previous entries in this series, make sure to check out the Principles of Design Series!
This video explains two principles which are often inter-related. Rhythm, and repetition, when used intentionally can help guide your viewer through your image. Like the other principles, this can be added into your set of compositional tools to help tell visual stories!
This episode of the Principles of Design is all about dynamic compositions. The path your viewers' eyes follow though a painting is no accident, so make sure you're using it to your advantage! In truth, each Principle of Design is intended to help guide the viewer's eye, but "motion" is especially effective at this goal. Additionally, if you've been following the series I'm sad to report that the orcs are sitting this one out.
And make sure not to miss the other videos in the Principles of Design Series!
This video introduces the concepts of scale and proportion: two spatial relationships that will help organize your composition. Scale deals with the measurable size of an object. Proportion, on the other hand, deals with the size of an object relative to those things around it. Proportion can also be used to compare parts of a whole, for example: my thumb is wider than my middle finger. As you'll see in the video, scale and proportion can help anchor the image in reality and express a sense of depth to the viewer.
To download the orcs, click here!
As an illustrator one of your jobs is directing the viewer's attention. If you don't give them clear instructions on where to look, they'll manage to do it wrong. The principle of emphasis involves using contrast to make your focal point pop off the canvas. If done correctly, your viewer won't know their being lead around your image.
This entry in the Principles of Design series explores the idea of a visually balanced image. Though hard to quantify, most people are able to tell when an image is unbalanced. Generally they don't know how to explain it, but the image seems 'wrong' somehow. As an artist, it's important to create balanced images!
If you want to try out the techniques in the video with some orcs, make sure to download them here! I will warn you -- the file is a relatively large .PSD, so don't be surprised if the download takes a few seconds.
Also, it's important to know that I did not invent these principles! They are extremely old and well documented, so make sure to find other resources to explain with more depth. Photography books seem to be especially good at some of these concepts, as well as "Framed Ink" (my current favorite book on composition). And make sure to check out the rest of the "Principles of Design" series!
This is the beginning of a series which will discuss the fundamentals of composition. The principles of design are versatile: they can be applied to any sort of visual art. As a result, this series is separate from the "unplugged" series, and I'll be alternating back and forth between them in the coming weeks.
View the rest of the "Principles of Design" series