Hey there, thanks for believing in the Canon of Design! If you haven’t read the intro to the site, please do. There’s a ton of information on composition and design for you to learn from, so I understand if you might feel like you need a bit more guidance. Below I will recommend a way to progress through the material, but feel free to skip this section if you want to explore the info on your own.
First – Watch the Videos
I would start with the videos, but that’s just because I learn better with videos. Just do a quick watch of them and don’t worry about understanding everything fully. It will take time to sink in. Doing this will introduce you to some of the design techniques. If you didn’t purchase the Gestalt psychology video series, then you will be focusing on the blog, and all of the free videos and clips on YouTube. They aren’t as in-depth, but you will certainly pick up some great info. Plus, the blog will show the video as well as diagrams and additional photos.
Second – Read the Blog
After the videos, if you are a Master Pass member, I would start with Day One in the Linear Articles, and work your way through the material; especially the ones that are related to composition. One per day would be a great goal! I’ve published the articles in a linear order that starts with the “why,” then progresses through the composition and design techniques, inspiration, and examples of masterpieces.
The Structured Articles are great for when you get comfortable with the material and want to quickly browse to find something of interest.
Feel free to watch the blog virtual tour below if you haven’t already.
Third – Read the Book
Take the book with you on your phone, or if you have the printed version put it in your bag. Read it when you have a few extra minutes on the bus, the train, or on your lunch break. Both books have relatively short chapters, and can be used as a field guide (or reference) for drastically improving your composition. If you didn’t get the book, login to your membership from your phone or computer and read the blog when you can.
Fourth – Take Notes
Get a notebook and take notes…draw little visual thumbnails of the composition techniques as you learn them. These will come in handy when you start applying them. Use a highlighter in the printed book, or even highlight sections in the eBook.
Fourth – Refer Back
As you work through the blog and book, you can refer back to the videos and you’ll probably notice that it’s starting to sink in. The clearly defined techniques in the video will build your sensitivity to composition and design when applying it to your art.
Fifth – Apply What You’ve Learned
As you learn this info be sure to take out your camera, drawing pad, or paints and try to create different compositions with the diagonals of the grid (outdoors or inside). Also try to, maybe, arrange objects into an arabesque or ellipse, then take photos or sketch them. Go to a museum or look at books with masterpieces…see if you can find their design. Analyze master work once you get more comfortable. The more you practice and exercise your mind, the more the gears in your head will start turning.
Six – Take Your Time and Have Fun
Baby steps! Learn, apply, learn, apply…step and repeat. Build up your muscle memory as you continually apply these amazing techniques. Have fun while you do it! Don’t feel constricted to the dynamic symmetry grids, be ready to make mistakes and learn from them. You’re learning a new visual language, so have some patience and allow yourself to avoid any frustrations. I know you can take this knowledge, apply it to your art, and reach the master level!