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Tuesday, August 23, 2005



Once again, I have been successful in coercing (in a loving way, of course) my son, Mickey to help me create simple drawings based on my instructions to share some tips on another important aspect in creating an art work. Remember, this is very basic as my main goal is to help teachers in making (un)usual tasks like bulletin boards, instructional materials and whatever their principal would care to throw at them to expedite and make the learning experience fun.

Now that I have given tips on how to use color effectively, let us discuss composition and layout. Composition and layout is the arrangement of artistic parts so as to form a unified whole. Hence, composition is the art of putting together all the elements of a piece to make a pleasing whole. Let's take for example a square, a rectangle a circle and a triangle in one art piece. If we just toss these objects to a given space without much thought, it would probably look like this:

Fig. 1 Posted by Picasa

As you can see, they are unrelated and there is no movement at all. However, if we make a few adjustments, put them together in an artistic manner, then we have a more coherent arrangement. Something that goes like this:

Fig. 2 Posted by Picasa

Remember, when doing a bulletin board, a poster or anything that calls for a visual presentation, always consider how you are going to put the various parts together. To do this, we must bear in mind the concept of balance. There are two types of balance in art. The first one is called Formal balance. This is when all the elements found at one side of the given space is also found at the other.

Fig. 3 Formal Balance Posted by Picasa

This type of balance is very safe for there is already symmetry. However, sometimes, this can be boring to look at. This brings us to the next type of balance which is called Informal balance

How is this done? Just like when two people of different weights ride a see saw, either the heavier one or the lighter person adjusts so that the seesaw will have a good equilibrium and they can enjoy the ride. This is what a good artist does. Find a "feel" for balance. There are some rules which we can follow. I can give you one. Remember, a big white object will balance several dark smaller objects. Hence:

Fig. 4 Informal Balance Posted by Picasa

If you see a photograph where all the elements are placed on the right side, don't you feel like they are falling off from the frame? That is because it has poor balance.

Lastly, consider patterns when making a design. you can use three basic patterns. These are, repetition, (aaaaaaaa), alternation (ababababab) and alteration.

Fig. 5 Pattern Posted by Picasa

Since my son (feel free to browse through his works) is already sleepy and it being a school day, I had to free him from helping me. Thus, using the same example, imagine that all the shapes are in white, that is repetition. Since I asked him to make it black and white, the pattern is alternation. If say on the space at the left of the picture, I created a red circle, then I would have altered the pattern, hence such will be alteration.

Lastly, one can use the rule of thirds. How this is done is by dividing the drawing or working space into three parts horizontally and vertically like so:

fig. 6 Rule of thirds  Posted by Picasa

The intersections are the most interesting spots where you can put your subject. Simple, right?

For a much more detailed lesson, you can go here and here

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Anonymous bayi said...

You are obviously a very, very good teacher, rolly. Many of us would have found it difficult to teach the way you do, what more to your own son.

And the obvious testimony is that he is a chip off the "old" block! He looks set to excel in art, just like you!

10:44 PM  
Blogger cathcath said...

indeed being an artist requires a person to be creative just like a humorist.

an ordinary person would see circle as round object while an artist would see that as a flower when he starts putting some petals around it.

a humorist can make people smile with a circle.

all he/she has to do is to put
two dots in the upper part of the circle and a slightly bent line with ends pointing upward and presto there is the smiley.

10:45 PM  
Blogger celia kusinera said...

Thanks for these art lessons tito Rolly. More please!

Okay itong mga basic lessons on colours and balance. Although I intuitively know it, it's only now that I consciously think about it. :)

11:13 PM  
Blogger TEACHER SOL said...

It takes an artist to be create such things and to know the philosophy behind it. I guess I'm not. Doing the rounds that I used to do...checking ur latest entry too

4:34 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bayi Twenty years of teaching gives me confidence, I guess. Thanks for the kind words.

Cathy Yes, a few line strokes with basic shapes and you get to show an emotion. Congrats on that article about you and your blog at the Manila Bulletin.

Celia Yup, some people do have a good sense of art. I'll see if I can squeeze more. Maybe calligraphy.

Teacher Sol It's very easy. While there are people who seem to be born with a good aesthetic sense, these lessons are basically for those who aren't. Thanks for the visit.

5:24 AM  
Blogger bugsybee said...

Thank you, Tito Rolly. This is very informative. The bulletin board is one of the things that I like to do most because it allows me to communicate with my students beyond the scope of accounting.

3:57 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bugsy I hope this helped you one way or another. Thanks for dropping by.

4:42 PM  
Blogger ting-aling said...

Ang galing! I can only listen to you. I've got no talent in arts whatsoever.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

great tutorial! and i love the color wheels! makes me miss my art teacher and art! i used to want to go to art school when i was in high school. i had a portfolio and everything, but i haven't done any drawings since college. your entry inspires me to want to take it up again!

p.s. thanks also for the congrats! much appreciated!

10:11 AM  
Blogger samantha said...

whoa! talk about art 101 . . . I don't remember learning this in my art classes, but then again I don't remember if you you were ever my art teacher. Oh well, atleast I can actually learn it now. This is the first time I actually understood all that. Maybe there's hope yet for clueless people like me. :) Hope you can post more "art lessons" :)

9:59 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

ting actually these lessons are for those who believe they do not have the talent for art. These are guaranteed ways to make a good work of art. Kasi, yung magagaling, inherent sa kanila ang good color and composition styles. They just hone it through practice.

Kat What're you waiting for? Grab a brush and paint. Ako nga, I envy you because you are still with a band. Music has always been my frustration.

I'm sure you'll be one cool mom!

Sam Sana nga hindi mo pa ko naging teacher kasi medyo nakakahiya kung hindi mo man lang maalala kung naging teacher mo ko o hindi. What more the lessons I teach, diba? hahaha

9:43 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

I wish you were my art teacher! :) You explain it so well!

6:55 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Toni Thnak you. It may not be as clear inside the classroom, though. The classroom is a different venue. It's like a acting in a play. Only you don't get to rehearse your lines. :-)

5:41 AM  
Blogger BatJay said...

symmetry is everything to humans.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Dr. Emer said...

Art classes would have been great with you around, Tito Rolly. Tama si BatJay...segundahan ko pa, symmetry is beauty.

3:39 AM  
Blogger bing said...

reminds me of my kids' MAPE lessons. very easy for my daughter to get the idea, pero hindi sa son ko ha ha meron yata talagang tao na walang hilig sa art..

6:29 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bosing Yes. Having balance and harmony is what we should aspire for in life.

Doc Emer I also miss teaching, Doc.

Bing I think you hit the nail right on the head - interest! Some people misconstrue it with talent. They say "wala daw talent". I don't agree. They just don't have the interest, hence, they couldn't give it much thought and time to try and do something better.

3:41 AM  
Blogger eruannie said...

tito rolly, ok din sa pag gawa ng powerpoint presentations at web sites ang binigay mong mga tips! salamat!

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog is creative Keep up the great work. Here's a subject that interests many; how to buy & sell texas education agency on interest free credit.

3:15 PM  
Blogger transience said...

what a trip! this reminds me of my long-gone days in art class. you and your son make quite the team, rolly!

3:40 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

eruannie Oh yes. You can use these lessons in anything that requires visual presentation.

Anonymous thanks.

Transience Wait till you see the next one we are cooking up. :-) does this mean you're back? I better check your blog again.

4:53 PM  
Blogger JMom said...

I wish I had an art teacher like you when I was in school. I am embarassed to say Art is the one class I dropped out of just to avoid getting an F. So I did the next best thing to learning art, I married an artist! :-P hehe!

12:11 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

JMom Wise move! Thanks for the visit.

7:52 AM  
Blogger TEACHER SOL said...

BUSY busy bee ikaw Tito Rolly. Unwinding here, just came back from back-to-school night, whew!

11:02 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Teacher Sol VERY! buti ka pa nakapag unwind na. I need to do that, too.

6:48 AM  

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Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.

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Jack of all trade, master of none. First a disclaimer. My students have discovered this blog and they might think that what I write is gospel truth. Worse is they might find an argument that they think they can use, for some reason or another, against their teachers. So, to set the record straight, it is NOT. As a matter of fact, I write and open it to feedback to get another view in the hope that somebody would tell me if I am wrong and reenforce my thinking if it is right. Not that I will accept anything thrown my way, though. Just so I can think about it some more and decide whether my original stance is right or definitely off tangent. So there. I hope that clarifies everything. Now, on to blogging.

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