Sunday, April 11, 2010

Compositional reading

There are a few reasons why I flip my artwork horizontally during the process of creating a painting. In this case I wanted to share my thoughts about compositional reading. Or in other words: Do I tell the same story if I flip my painting and secondly: Does it matter?

If I'm 'reading' the picture from left to right, the original top painting would say: 'The fox frightens the lady' or in the flipped, second version: 'The lady gets frightened by the fox'.

The thing with this painting is that I want the lady to be the protagonist, the eye-catcher of the painting. Should the lady then be also the first one to see? Should I've positioned the lady left from the fox? Now it seems that I want the story of the flipped version to be the story of my original painting. Does that even work?

Francis Glebas talks about compositional reading in his book 'Directing the story'. Which by the way is a fantastic book. According to Francis compositional reading is very important if you think of an image as a joke. Then you would want the punchline to be last. Not the first thing you see.

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