Why the Structure of Artwork Matters
April 12, 2021
This is a photo of the dining room of my house when we bought it:
Looks great! Beautiful woodwork and I don't even mind the wallpaper. But six months later, this is what that same room looked like:
Not because we wanted to move walls or change the layout. We had to take everything down to the studs because the structure of the house was no good. From plumbing to electrical to insulation to the foundation to the roof...the structure of this house needed to be repaired.
It's easy to understand that structure matters in a house, right? No matter how pretty a renovation is, if the underlying structure isn't good, the renovation is money wasted. It's not sexy to pay thousands of dollars for your foundation to be re-poured. I think we'd all rather spend that money on pretty tile or beautiful lighting fixtures. But the fact is, none of that "icing" matters if the house falls over. You've got to have a great foundation.
Art is the same way.
We spend a lot of time and money on the icing of our artwork -- the colors, the brushstrokes, the embellishments, etc. But none of it matters if the foundation isn't strong. This is a graphic by artist Ian Roberts from his YouTube video about why composition matters (video is embedded below).
The graphic above beautifully demonstrates the way a painting is layered. Most people spend a lot of time and effort on the picture plane layer not realizing that their work would improve dramatically if they focused on the composition layers. You can watch Ian talk about this in his video:
Spending the time and energy (and money) to work on the foundation of your artwork is vitally important. If you want to have strong work, you need a strong foundation.
Join me for Design Boot Camp where we spend five intense weeks focused on building a foundation for your artwork. From a student: "This class was worth every penny! I have LOTS of work to do, but I feel like I now have the tools to carry me forward to where I would like to be."
Thanks for stopping by! I hope to see you in class.