So you think you don’t care about composition?!

Using only the first section of images in the National Gallery of Art’s Kid Splash page of the Collage Machine (, create two dynamic collages with no more than ten “pieces” each. You may want to work with Collage Machine in Safari, as it is more compatible with the program.

  1. Play with the program. You can flip shapes, alter opacity, etc. Please try to use only non-objective shapes. When you create a collage that you feel is dynamic, take a screen shot and print it out. (hold down these keys: open apple + shift + 4. Use your mouse to “crop” the image by clicking on one corner of the image, holding and dragging to the diagonally opposite corner. Let go and the image will be saved on the desktop as “picture 1.”) Pulling it into a word processing document will mean you can alter its size (and not print huge).
  2. Please glue/tape TWO compositions into your sketchbook and LIST which techniques you used to make sure your composition is dynamic (see below for hints).

Some reminders about composition from Tim McCreight’s book Design Language:

Though composition requires parts, it cannot be considered except as a whole. Composition is to elements as ingredients are to a recipe…

There are rules of composition just as there are rules of language. In both cases, these are only useful as starting points. The difference between language (which communicates) and gibberish (which does not) is an adherence to fundamental rules. Conventional spelling, pronunciation, grammar and structure do not make communication good—they only make it possible.

…Here are a few of the rules of composition:
• symmetry tends to promote stability
• diagonals are more active than horizontals
• proximity creates tension
• equal amounts of figure and ground confuse the eye.