How to Make Your Art Tell a Story

Every piece of art is supposed to tell a story. As an artist who is the storyteller, you should have the capacity for design thinking by default.

Star Wars Episode 1 movie teaser poster

Your arrangement of visual elements to tell a story in visual arts is called a composition. It can as well be termed as the organization of all the features included in an art piece to make it communicate to the viewer. It simply means putting together and is also used in music production, photography, and art. 

What Makes a Brilliant Design Thinking?

All the components and elements of a good illustration must line up together. To communicate a story, the elements should be aligned creating a visual connection. The alignment makes them visible and readable. That means they should be strategically positioned to be in line with each other.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood poster by Rafa Orrico Díez

Every exceptionally good artwork is known by its layout and composition; these are the building blocks of any phenomenal design. This makes it very easy to navigate across.

EMMA Lettering by Marcelo Grassi

Your design thinking must be cohesive. This means all the elements including colors, images, and fonts should match throughout. For instance; brochures, flyers, posters, and postcards of an organization should have a unified visual relationship.

Casablanca movie poster by Rory Kurtz

Sometimes the elements of a good poster lead to one focal point. This is the area that most attracts the viewer’s attention and includes the main subject. This is a point of emphasis for instance when you are calling your audience to action. Buttons like “Buy Here” or “Subscribe” are always in colors and fonts that stand out.

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For the layout to tell a story you must make the right choice of color. Colors arouse emotions and bring a connection. You also can make a lasting impression, by using more pronounced words and phrases.

The Good Hawk & Broken Raven book cover illustrations by Balbusso Twins

Visual Storytelling Through Poster 

As a design thinking artist, you have ways in which you can creatively tell a story. Decide to use different images for different moments in a narrative or chose one key moment to represent the entire narrative.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword by Jonathan Hogan

Fear & Loathing Las Vegas movie poster

But you will experience a challenge in creating a single image like the poster to represent the whole story. A Movie poster, print ad, unlike video or storyboard cannot capture the whole story using the one scene it displays. You can only capture the main scene which is among a series of many other scenes.

Jaws 45th Anniversary poster by Nuno Sarnadas

You need to carefully pick and consider the size of every image in relation to other components of the artwork. To avoid unnecessary attention and visual weight on images it should be properly positioned, not so close to the edge of the picture plane. Although some elements may go beyond the confines of the picture plane and make the poster artwork look unbalanced and edgy.

The Nun by Rafał Topolski

Techniques 

There are many techniques that you can use in the composition of an art piece. These include: 

Rule of Thirds

This technique is making sure that the artwork is not too symmetrical by making sure that the focal point is not at the center of the art piece.

Rule of Odds

The “rule of odds” states that an even number of subjects in an image is not as visually appealing as an odd number. With 2, 4 or 6 subjects the piece too symmetrical and makes it look unnatural than when the number of subjects would be 3,5 or 7, etc.

Simplification

You as an artist must know the art of simplification. This is making the focal point more visible by removing the unnecessary elements of the design. One of the easiest methods is to place the subject on a neutral background. You can also simplify your layout considering negative space.

Into the Dark by B4Abraham

To know more about negative space in art check out our article: The Beauty of Negative Space in Art

Geometry and Symmetry

Just like the rule of odd, people love triangles. It is more pleasing and it gives a sense of stability to the artwork.

There are many other compositional techniques you can explore. Don’t limit yourself to one composition, explore more, and make thumbnail sketches before you make the layout on the computer.

Visual Style is the Message

The book Lord of the Flies over the years has printed different cover versions, depicting different illustration styles.

The top picture is an illustration of a scene in the book. The cover illustrates a frightened child surrounded by sharp teeth. In the story, these were young boys who found themselves on an island alone without an adult surrounded by all sorts of dangers.

Art and design by Adam Carvalho
Art Direction Paul Buckley

The second picture illustrates a savage and barbaric image. In the book, the writer is trying to tell us that people are potentially cruel. They can kill each other and drink blood.

Illustration cover by Amy Baxter

According to the third art, there is a pig in a person. The pig as a metaphor of greed. It shows selfishness in people. The character called piggy may also have been illustrated in this piece of art.

The last one shows divided people in a forest. The boys could not agree and were divided. They were surrounded by wildfires and animals in the forest.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is lotf.jpg

These are equally great book covers and with each unique design style, produced different tones and moods for readers to experience. 

We’ve compiled more examples of creatively composed design and illustration for your inspiration.

Check them out below.

Run by Rob Gale

Rampage by Jade Sabado

Joker movie poster by Marcelo Grassi

To the Sky by LeiLei Mo

Poster design for the movie Dunkirk by Genzo

Poetry in Motion by Homa Delvaray

Tango and Cash by César Moreno

Sorry for Your Loss: book cover design by Catherine San Juan, illustrated by David Curtis

Annabelle Comes Home II movie poster by B4Abraham

Batman poster by Aurelio Lorenzo

King Kong by Adan Arellano

Aquaman 2 – The Sea Will Rise by Phaserunner

Conclusion

If you are a good planner who understands how viewers interact with your work of art, your composition will be remarkable. Every good artist has a composition mindset, which is design thinking, which enables him to create exceptional work of art that sparks great attention.

What is your design composition style? Did you find this article helpful? Please comment below.

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The Beauty of Negative Space in Art

A negative space in art is the space between and around the subject of an image. The negative space is usually evident when the space surrounding a subject forms an artistically or interesting relevant shape.

The resulting space is occasionally used to artistic effect as the “real” image’s subject. Examples of negative space in art can appear in the area between flower’s petals; a cup and its handle; and between an object and edges of a canvas.

 

In painting and drawing, a negative space in art is a real shape sharing edges with a positive shape (the object you are painting or drawing), consequently creating an outline of your subject. When composing your painting or drawing, it is important to keenly check both the positive and negative space in art between them in order to accurately assess their relationship and proportions.

Occupational Conversation Series by B4Abraham

To know more about layout and composition check out our article: How to Make Your Art Tell a Story

There are several ways in which you can use negative space in art despite the type of art you are creating. Here are some of the ways you can effectively use negative space in art especially if you are looking to improve balance.

Good Omens movie poster by Aecel Acuña

Composition

Try creating a drawing that is dominantly negative space art. Rather than place your main subject in the center, you can try placing it in one of the edges and leaving a wide area of the page blank. It worth’s noting that the negative space drawing does not necessarily have to be white.

James Bond movie No Time to Die by Jaime Araneta

Try 3D shapes on 2D surfaces

Practice drawing negative space in art around an object rather than the object itself. For instance, if you are drawing a flower figure, it’s simpler to draw blank spaces between and around flower parts than the actual parts. This is due to fewer preconceived notions regarding what shapes blank spaces should be.

The Crimes of Grindelwald movie poster by Islam Abdallah

Overlapping negative and positive space

Overlapping the negative and positive space is a technique that you can use to create eye-catching designs. Experiment with using positive and negative space art in different ratios until you hit a balance. For digital art, try experimenting with different aspect ratios when cropping to find an ideal balance.

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Prisoners & Jailers by B4Abraham

“Alcohol addiction” by Boris Zhitko

Trigger inquisitiveness 

Adopt a design that will get more attention and which viewers are likely to retain in their minds. If your art is focused on a campaign or advertisement, you can focus on an image that tells a story or one that can paradoxically challenge viewers to recognize the other side of your art.

Batman Movie The Dark Night Rises teaser poster

The Dark Tower poster art by Rico Jr.

Conclusion

Utilizing negative space design in a clever way may be difficult, but can send a powerful message when done right. Arts speak a lot and utilizing every aspect can really communicate much about your design.

We’ve compiled more examples of creatively executed negative space in design for your inspiration.

Check them out below.

Godzilla – The king of monsters by Pablo Iranzo Duque

Bad Boys for Life: alternative movie poster by Ram Gore

“Where ability meets agility” by Patrick George

Batman Villains – The Joker by Benedict Woodhead

Dog & Cat by George Bokhua

Jane Austen’s Emma movie poster by @nowheregirling

The Lobster movie poster by Joseph K. Roman

Gorilla Fix Logo by Raymond Mantilla

Jessica Jones poster art by Rico Jr

What do you think about negative space in design and art? Did you find this article helpful? Please comment below.

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Staying Stylish During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has changed how we live, and, without a doubt, it will dictate how we live our lives for a long time to come.

Directives from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and medical experts worldwide all indicate that wearing a facemask in public spaces where social distancing is impossible reduces the risk of infection.

We’ll probably be wearing stylish face masks for the next few years, so if you haven’t, it’s time to make peace with it.

Face masks as Fashion Items

If society is going to bounce back, then masks will have to evolve from the utilitarian surgical and N95 masks used by medical professionals. After all, civilians who aren’t on the front line in the fight against the virus are better off wearing a stylish face mask made from fabric.

Face masks are worn very prominently, so it’s likely to be the first thing someone notices when they look at you. Just like that, it becomes a vital part of your wardrobe that needs to be as fashionable as the rest of your outfit.

Sleek Alphabet Mask

At the time of writing, cloth masks are rapidly evolving into fashion pieces that will soon become statement pieces. There’s already such a broad range of choices available for all preferences and personalities.

Funky Face Masks – Are they here to stay?

Funky girl wearing Face Mask

Skeptics might try to pin stylish face masks in the fad section, but you can’t refute the fact that humans will need to cover their faces in public for the next several months.

Already, fashion labels like Fendi and Marine Serre have resorted to churning out stylish face masks in fabric for people who prefer a little funk on these protective pieces of clothing.

There’s already an insanely large collection of funky masks available for all personalities and tastes. You have access to everything from movie-themed face masks to simple plaid fabric masks and everything in between.

Pixelated Face Mask

Speaking of funky masks, how about this pixelated face mask, which will undoubtedly elicit a few comments for its quirky design? At first glance, it may not be evident that you’re wearing a cool face mask, but anyone that comes close enough is in for a surprise.

Where to Find Stylish Face Masks for Sale

Here’s all you need to know about choosing the best face mask: don’t restrict yourself to just one. There are too many options out there, and there’s nothing wrong with having a stylish face mask for every occasion.

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For example, these digitally printed face masks so great with casual outfits. For a quick run to the store and back, these will keep you safe and stylish.

But when you need a fashionable face mask that’s neutral enough to work with most of your looks, masks with digital lines and dots may offer a better fit.

The best face mask you can get is the pixelated mask, which is a fan favorite. Wear it when you need something funky to step out in, because with everything that’s going on, we could use a fun distraction.

Pixelated Woman Mask
Pixalated White Woman Mask
Pixalated Black Woman Mask

There’s plenty of options for people who like artsy designs, such as these floral masks.

Flower Mask
Flower Marks 2

And if you need more color in your life, try these on for size.

Infinite Love
Bubble Love
Donut Mark

There’s everything for everyone, including stylish face masks in gentleman patterns that may match your casual-formal looks, you know, when you need to take care of official business in public.

Gentlemen Mask 1
Gentlemen Mask 2

For plaid lovers, the sky is the limit. Feast your eyes on these stylish face masks for all occasions.

Gingham Blue & Red
Gingham Black & White
Gingham Red

All the patterns under the sun are available here, so you have no excuse for not wearing a stylish face mask on your next grocery run.

Layered Stripe
Barcelona Love
Coming Out Fuschia
Dana Lazie
Eddie Pish
Sally Whip
Wizzy Than

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