Fundamentals of Composition, June 5-19


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Ready to take your designing ideas to the next level? Have ideas but not feeling certain how to arrange them for the best visual effect?  In this course, which is the second segment of a 5-part series focusing on design, it’s time to begin honing your ideas with purpose as we dive into what makes an image successful with composition fundamentals!  We will meet via Zoom on Mondays from 5-7pm CST, June 5 through 19.

This class is inspired by Laura’s practice in the mediums of drawing, tapestry weaving, punch needle rug hooking, painting with wool needle felting, and more.  If you are keen to continue the journey of being a designer, all mediums are welcome.  No previous experience necessary.

Students will be working in their design journal for the exercises, though all manner of additional journals and sketch books are welcome.  A collection of essays, examples, and exercises will be offered as a digital download for students, in addition to the Zoom time.

Suggested Additional Materials:

  • Implements for cutting, such as a scissors or craft knife.  You will be collecting images, so have a way to snip them out.
  • Devices or adhering, such as double-stick tape, staples, or glue.  You’ll want to save what you are collecting, adding it your design journal.
  • Tools for drawing and measuring.  A ruler will be handy, along with pens and pencils.
  • Pieces from your stash, including drawings, photos, yarn, magazine clippings, greeting cards, etc.  You’ve already kept these things because they spoke to you, so now it’s time to mine them.

Course Outline 

This course can be self-paced, and students are welcome to embark on as much making as desired.  The idea is that you’ll be actively working through the material, individualized to your interests and medium(s).  Here are notes on how the Zoom sessions will be paced.

Session 1:  Meet and greet.  The power of placement:  why what goes where matters in visual arts.  How this is worked effectively in landscapes vs. portraits, fine art vs. folk art.  Managing balance and harmony vs. asymmetry and visual surprise.

Session 2:  Progress report.  The power of emphasis:  where the eye lands first, as well as negative and positive space.  How to spot when this is working effectively, when it is not, and why.

Session 3:  Progress report.  The power of perspective:  mastering vanishing points and a sense of dimensional realism in visual arts.  How perspective can be used to change the viewer’s “position” in relation to a piece, and how to avoid visual dissonance or flatness.

Please make sure the email you use during the checkout is the email you’d prefer Laura uses for class communications.  This is the email that will receive the digital download of the photo essay Laura’s creating, as well as your Zoom link before the first class.  Thank you, and happy creating!

Erindale Tapestry Studio Presents

Laura Berlage

Fiber Artist /Educator