Yesterday I wrote about considering the same composition rotated in different directions. There were some very nice, thoughtful comments. Thank you to everyone who took time to weigh in on the options.
I happened to be reading Color Studies (Second Edition) by Edith Anderson Feisner just this morning when I ran across a discussion on value progressions. I perked right up at that, since that has been on my mind a lot lately. In the chapter entitled “The Dimension of Value” she wrote:
As it moves through a composition the eye naturally notices the white or light-value hues first, then the gray or middle-value hues, and finally the black or dark-value hues. This eye movement becomes much more fluid when the white or light values are on the right-hand side of the composition progressing to black or dark-value hues on the left.
She also wrote:
Here we find ourselves going from dark at the bottom up to light in a logical order that is termed architectural order. Architectural order is usually associated with landscapes. If we invert the relationship to get… black, gray, white, we have what is known as typographical order. Typographical order, as the name implies, allows text to be noticed and read comfortably. Here we see that having bold, darker, or heavier text at the top of the area results in better eye/brain comprehension.
I thought that was a really interesting observation. I, personally, like this particular composition best when the darkest area is in the upper left. Maybe I am somehow relating it to left-justified text. I also noticed that my eye wants to travel up and down, starting on the left. I like the repeated white shapes toward the left.
Anyway, something to think about. Now I move on to another “push-up,” still focused on gradation progressions.