Composition – an interior

Project 3: At home

Exercise 2: Composition – an interior

This exercise suggested looking at the angles and areas of my chosen interior view where objects are. I chose to focus on the kitchen, as I found it the most interesting with the lights and angles, particularly with the window lighting the objects from behind. I felt this would make me use both positive and negative space.

I did four quick sketches with this, two in portrait and two in landscape format. As I tend to get stuck on the details when I’m sketching rather than speed, I tried to work on this in by limiting my time spent on each sketch, and to vary the composition through different angles and viewpoints of a particular corner of my kitchen.

Unfortunately, it does mean that there has not been so much emphasis on tone, which is something I am hoping to work on more as I progress.


Figure 1 – I thought I’d try sketching the same composition from the earlier exercise as a landscape. For variety, I moved my viewpoint further into my breakfast room so I was loooking more into the corner of the kitchen, and both windows were visible.


Figure 2 – for this one I sat up on the worktop on the other side of my kitchen, in a position not far away from where I sat for Figure 1, just more elevated. I found I lost a lot of the interesting backlighting from the window this way.


Figure 3 – this one was a more straight on view of the bin and involved sitting floor level. I felt this worked better in portrait mode, and made use of the vertical lines that made up the composition. 


Figure 4 – this one was also sitting on the floor, but this time in my kitchen. I didn’t like this one as much, as even though there were more angles with the cupboards and some foreshortening of the tap, it didn’t work as well for me. 

As I worked through this exercise, I noted that the course handbook mentioned “foreshortening”. I noticed this in several of my sketches, especially with longer objects that I am looking directly at. The kitchen tap was a great example of this.

I looked up a definition of the term, and found that “Foreshortening refers to the technique of depicting an object or human body in a picture so as to produce an illusion of projection or extension in space” (2017, Tate). This is something that I find difficult to draw without overly distorting the object.

I decided that I am going to use a view much like in Figure 3 to develop further for Exercise 3 – partly because I liked the lines, which I felt worked really well with a composition in portrait mode, but also because the lighting from the window created some interesting contrasts with the objects on the draining board.


Tate. (2017). Foreshortening – Art Term | Tate. [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 May 2017].


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