top of page

Q: What is composition?

Updated: Aug 5, 2019

A: In its artistic guise composition in the broadest sense refers to the arrangement of objects on the page.

From "Picture This: How Pictures Work" by Molly Bang

Teaching Artist Jane Huntington began the day projecting images by artist Molly Bang illustrating the story of Little Red Ridding Hood. Because we all are familiar with this tale, it was a perfect starting point to analyze visual narration and the impact of compositional elements: form, shape, color, contrast, movement, directional lines, scale, and so on.

In her four-color (red, black, lavender and white) minimalist rendition Bang chose to represent the character of Little Red Riding Hood as a red triangle. Our dialogue was as spirited and erudite as any college design course! Students debated the variants on the forest and the wolf looking for which version most effectively got the story across while gripping the viewer in a dramatic and compelling manner.

Jane read us the Brothers Grimm version of Little Red (oh my!), then challenged the class to employ Bang’s forms and color scheme as they depicted a scene taking place in the latter half of the story.

While the students found the constraints a bit difficult at first, everyone completed the assignment successfully! In the mid-day critique we enjoyed the humor, drama, and eerie effects the artists achieved. Really, all that with simple geometric forms and a limited palette.

Lunch was delicious and enjoyable. (We really recommend the fresh Fairway guacamole!!)

Everyone loves the new deluxe fans I got over the weekend.

In the afternoon we continued with the Red Riding Hood theme and the focus on composition, however, Jane gave students stylistic carte blanche. Working with the full spectrum of color in their choise of watercolor and colored pencil, or a mix of the two the results were impressive.

Zeke then joined by August who finished up a bit early were asked to create a sequence with the completed works following the original story line. That made for a very enjoyable final critique for the day.

Vera made this video from the works created in this lesson which tells our collective Little Red narrative!

We are looking forward to tomorrows lesson The City That Moves which will be taught by none other than Vera AKA Miss Vee!

See you in the AM!

105 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page