Assignment 3- Exercise#1: Illustrating visual space

In this exercise I am beeing asked to find appropriate images of

  • Tree
  • Running or walking child
  • Building

I could have do it using my own images or those found on internet and the next step would be converting it into Black and White and isolate elements listed above. I need different sizes of each element so I could explore arrangement of composition combining different scales in order to create different atmosphere and meaning using 3 same elements. I will start with some horizontal arrangements.

Let’s take into account that horizontal elements (those in line that is parallel to horizon) conveys the messages of balance, harmony and calmness due to its association with horizontal elements found in nature (ocean, earth). I could “read” my horizontal arrangements of elements as less dynamic although is obvious that a child is in the state of motion. Those two compositions where all three elements are practically in one line, give a feeling of stillness, tranquility and quietude.This stillness is interrupted when figure step away from horizontal line so I could say that the other composition has some slight dynamic. I skewed elements in one composition which gave me feeling they are on slope.

The structure of elements arranged vertically gave me feeling of order and strictness and it looks less appealing when it comes to these elements. Making some variations like placing one element out of that line makes it more interesting.  Otherwise vertical composition in this case implies some hierarchy.

When elements are placed in diagonal line, zigzag or in curved shape it suggests different types of dynamic. When I rotated figure slightly it looks like child is running fast  while turning around. image 1 suggests that child is running toward home while image 9 gives the impression that child is moving away from home to meet someone. Image 10 suggests that child appeared after being around the house. Image 11 shows small figure running from distant home to tree.  I also played creating some unusual combinations by rotating elements which gave me completely different sense of image; surreal and metaphorical like those where tree is rotated vertically or placed horizontally. It can be interpreted as child’s connection with nature and finding his roots in nature. Image 25 where tree is small and  positioned as chimney while child is running toward that house, could be seen as new way of leaving  in symbiosis with nature that attracts the child. Arrangement  of elements on image 5 suggests on tension and instability while child is helplessly running toward it.

Different scales of elements give sense of atmosphere and change the meaning of the image. Combining different sizes of element makes one element more dominant changing the focus of imagery and this is very important in telling the story in visual language. Playing with different sizes enables to set certain distance and perspective as well.

  • When the figure is smaller, I do not get the impression that figure is the main element so I would say that the wholeness of that particular scene is what should tell a story. If the figure had been bigger, it would have placed it on focus suggesting that figure is more important than than the rest of the scene.
  • Different angles of elements either to each other or to frame suggests dynamic, navigation, energy, moving, chaos or tension.
  • Elements in horizontal line suggest balance, calmness, stillness, quietness while vertical arrangement of elements points on stability, solidity, importance, hierarchy. This illustration of Geoff Grandfield is very dynamic which is achieved by arranging elements in steep line as well as with big visual contrast when it comes to element sizes


This is my favorite composition as it has joyful atmosphere where child is quitting play behind the house and running to meet someone he loves. This scene reminds me on happy endings in children books.


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