Visual Design: A1 Narrative Composition

The readings this week provided me a lot of inspiration. When I read Molly Burns’ Picture This, I loved how she broke things down and showed how different elements of composition can be used to convey a certain message, feeling, or narrative. In her example, I was inspired by her way of using sharp shapes, colors, and proportions to provide contrast and make the wolf seem scarier and more engaging. Reading The New Basics reminded me a lot of the things we talked about during the class lecture and I really liked the examples provided in the chapter. I realized that there are so many ways to manipulate images and make them super convincing even with just some simple colors, lines, points, and shapes. Now that I know I have all these things I could use, I am actually feeling a bit overwhelmed because I feel like I don’t know where should I start. But I decided that this week I am going to focus on some basic composition elements like proportions, shapes, and colors.

With all that being said, I started composing my own story. Looking through all the stories, I picked a relatively shorter one just because I am unsure of the workload since this is my first time using illustrator to actually draw something completely from scratch. I really liked The Star Money because of the beautiful and heartwarming message behind the story, and I already started picturing my artboard when I was reading. So I decided to build my assignment based on The Star Money.

One of the first things I did was sketching and planning things out. To be honest, I have not drawn for quite a while and it felt a bit challenging trying to come up with a composition that I really like. Regardless, I moved on to illustrator and began to put down some simple shapes. In the first artboard, I decided to center the character with two upside-down triangles, which were cropped by the frame. Initially, I spent a lot of time trying to decide on the colors, but it was delaying my entire project so I told myself that I’d come back to it later. In the second frame, I tried to use triangles and diminishing proportions to create a sense of movement. In the next four pages, I decided to tell the story from a first-person perspective to offer a sense of engagement. In the seventh frame, when the little girl has given everything she owned to other people in need, I went back to the first frame and used dotted lines to convey a feeling of loneliness and void. In the last two pages, the story took a turn, so I started thinking about adding colors to give contrast to the entire plot. I decided to use warm and pastel colors to match the girl’s innocent and pure qualities and give warmth to a rather sad story.

Image for post

My story is linked here:

Overall, I think I could definitely use more techniques to make my story more interesting. I need to get better at working with illustrator so my ideas won’t be constrained by it.

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