How to Research Composition

I am passionate about composition — to me, it is the root and foundation of all artwork and aesthetics.

But how do we improve our own composition? Easy — research compositions from other artists whose work inspires you, deconstruct it, sketch it, break it apart, figure out how it works, then determine how you can integrate it into your own artwork!

Photography composition

Use Procreate and your iPad or iPhone to break down compositions. I really love the work of Werner Bischof:

Practice calligraphy, sketching

Car design

I love studying automobile and car design, because they optimize the design to appear as if the car is in motion, even when static.

When I sketch the composition of the car design, I try to draw a “gesture”— the movement and flow of the line which I perceive. Any movements which inspire me to literally love is good!

Study your own photos

Deconstruct and analyze your own photos after the fact (composition post mortem on your own work). It will help you better determine which of your photo compositions are the best, and what kind of compositions appeal to you.