Painting above by Roberto Ferri
Learning the art of composition is no different than learning how to play a musical instrument; it takes time, patience and the right information. And much like the beginner student who sits in front of a piano desperately trying to play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" for the very first time, artists and photographers unfamiliar with Dynamic Symmetry will have to start with the basics.
Learning classical design is not a difficult task. In fact, it's quite easy. But at the same time, it can't be summed up with four rules of composition - meaning the Rule of Thirds, the Rule of Odds, the Rule of Space, and Leading Lines. These rules, often presented in isolation, offer the artist and photographer little when it comes to creating masterful compositions. In truth, and in most cases, these childlike design concepts are a waste of time.
When artists and photographers come across information on Dynamic Symmetry, they tend to feel overwhelmed and confused. This confusion, to no fault of their own, comes from a lack of training on the fundamentals of design. And because of the 20th century Modern Art Movement in America, very few art and photography students these days, or teachers for that matter, are thoroughly trained in the art of composition. For this reason, I rarely show complex Dynamic Symmetry examples on my website. To the untrained eye, they will appear illegible.
If the contemporary artist wishes to remain competitive in the 21st century, they must seek out reliable design concepts - concepts that have been practiced, mastered, and applied consistently throughout history by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Peter Paul Rubens, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, and so many more. Today's atelier student, who is highly trained in classical skill-based art techniques, will ultimately far surpass the last generation of university taught artists. There is no denying this fact and no stopping it either. The atelier movement is here to stay.
If you're an artist or photographer that is new to classical design, I highly recommend reading the book The Art of Composition: A Simple Application of Dynamic Symmetry by Michel Jacobs. This book, with its easy to understand examples and basic illustrations, will put the modern artist on the right path for learning real design skills - skills that can be applied to their body of work for the rest of their artistic career.
Art Highlights is a blog about what's going on with me, my photography, and the art world in general.