Composition: It’s Your Decision

Composition: It’s Your Decision – A two day drawing workshop
18th and 19th January 2025

10am – 3pm

£180 (inc all materials and VAT)

Tutor – Jane Couroussopoulos

Composition is a fundamental element in the making of a piece of work – And it’s unavoidable: composition, whether planned or arrived at, is created the moment a surface (paper, canvas, board etc) is assigned.

The decisions you make about where to arrange and place the elements of your drawing within the four edges of your paper – is one of the key ways you have of taking control of a piece of work. Objects can be within the edges of the paper, or they can be cut off by the edges of the paper; they can occupy most of the surface, or very little. Tonal arrangements may mean a drawing is light and airy, or dark and brooding. Whatever the arrangement, often it is all too easy to unthinkingly let the composition just happen by accident. Particularly in a classroom setting, students will walk into a studio space for a class, and somehow surrender control at the door: the set up is created by the tutor, the easels or tables are nearly always positioned already, the materials have been chosen and set out, and the space, tutor and fellow students are perhaps unfamiliar. Intuition is vital, but the composition, whatever it may be, needs to be the result of considered responses; intuitive yes, but deliberate too – those decisions directly affect the way a viewer sees and responds to the piece of work. It’s never too soon to grasp control of something that has such a significant impact on the work and how it is received.

This two day weekend workshop will begin with a slide lecture looking at artists including among others, Diebenkorn, Degas, Maestrini, and Durer. Working from an installation in the studio, the first day will be spent experimenting with different formats, alternative emphases, and being selective, making small studies in pencil and clear oilbar. Students will also explore tonal compositions, making small studies in charcoal. On the second day students will work on one large, sustained drawing, in charcoal or pencil. They will be drawing from the same studio set up as the day before.

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