Why Your Art Needs a Background

Do you rationalize to yourself why your artwork doesn’t need a background? Time to stop making excuses and see the immense potential that backgrounds can have on your artwork, regardless of the media you work in. Backgrounds are not just visually rich and dynamic, but they contribute tremendously toward communicating a narrative, atmosphere or tone […]

“Bad” Abstract Painting Compositions

What is a “bad” abstract composition? This video shows a broad range of abstract paintings, and the opinions of several artists as to why the compositions are effective or not. The opinion of each artist on the abstract composition then stimulates a discussion on why a specific abstract composition is successful or not. Discussion led […]

Thumbnail Sketches

This video explains and demonstrates the process of how thumbnail sketches work within the artistic process. There are many benefits of thumbnail sketches: they can save you time when working on a final piece of artwork and allow you to explore more options for composition. The demonstration shows simple strategies on how to crop or […]

“Bad” 2D Compositions 2

This video shows common problems artists encounter with 2D compositions, explaining how certain types of compositions can come across as tiresome and/or cliche. Examples of artworks with compositions that are “bad” are shown, which stimulates a discussion on why a specific 2D composition is successful or not. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and […]

“Bad” 2D Compositions 1

This video discusses common problems artists encounter with 2D compositions, explaining how certain types of compositions can come across as tiresome and/or cliche. Next, artwork examples are shown explaining which are effective, which are not, and why the they think a composition is successful or not. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching […]

Great 2D Compositions

What qualities are seen in great 2D compositions in art? Examples of impactful compositions from fine art, comics, illustration, movies, and more are shown in this video, to explain and break down the compositions to point out strategies that make for an engaging 2D composition. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist […]

Portrait Composition Tips

This video walks through basic tips on how to compose a portrait, citing strategies for placement of the head, neck and shoulders to create a dynamic composition. Using examples from both contemporary art and art history, concrete, practical tips for how to consider the posture of the neck and shoulders, the mass of the hair, […]

Portrait Background Ideas

This video provides ideas for how to create backgrounds for portraits so that your compositions are visually dynamic and engaging. Backgrounds are often neglected, especially in portraits where the focus is usually on the face. However, backgrounds can have a great impact on the way a portrait comes across, especially in terms of conveying a […]