Jade Stephens – n8003416
Posted: 5/8/14
Week 2 – Compositional Interpretation

Contextual Information:
Artist: Seba Herandez
Title: Landscape
Year of Creation: December 2012
Dimensions: 600 x 965px
Collection/ Source: Behance Network
Technique: Digital Painting, Illustration
Genre: Fantasy/ Concept
Image URL/ Origin: https://www.behance.net/gallery/6471335/Landscape

Content: Fantasy illustration of a majetstic deer gazing at the viewer with a spaceship taking off in the background. Deer stands in a landscape of waterfalls and mountains.


Analysis using Compositional Interpretation

Colour Analysis:
The painting consists of a small colour palette of aquas, blues, greens and browns which work together harmoniously as a compound, seen in the colour palette provided. The blues in the background are considered ‘cool’ with the browns of the deer as warmth. The colours are quite saturated/ strong, but they are not overpowering. There is a lower value of the mountains, sky and water in the background, contrasting with the high value on the deer and the grass which it stands on, making it stand out from the background.

deer - colour palette-01-01

The lighting is the main factor in the effects of the image with a natural light being shed on the deer as well as the atmosphere of the clouds. This lighting highlights the important aspects of the composition (the deer) while also enhancing the atmospheric effects of the image.

Spatial Organisation:
The deer is the focal point of the image, with the gaze of the deer holding the attention of the viewer. If the deer was instead looking away outside of the composition, the viewer would be distracted and less focussed by the deer.

The natural lines of the mountains, clouds and the grass lead the viewers eyes back to the deer, as well as up to the spaceship in the background. The light/smoke coming from the spaceship itself also leads the viewers eyes downwards to the lightened waterfall, in turn leading to the artists logo at the bottom of the page.

The horizon line is quite low in the image, indicating that the viewer is looking up towards the composition with an eye level lower than the deer’s. This gives the deer a sense of power and ‘majesty’ as it is looking down towards the viewer with an impending gaze.

Deer - spatial organisation 1Deer - spatial organisation 3Deer - spatial organisation 2

Expressive Content

Overall, the image has a wonderful sense of fantasy, power and beauty through the use of lighting, composition and colour.

Week 2 Image 2

Contextual Information:
Artist: Tania Vasileva
Title: Posters for Disaster Film Festival
Year of Creation: July 2014
Dimensions: 600 x 838px
Collection/ Source: Behance Network
Technique: Photography
Genre: Advertising, Film
Image URL/ Origin: https://www.behance.net/gallery/18154917/Posters-for-Disaster-Film-Festival


(provided by artist) Promotional poster made festival of disaster films. Poster is showing an example of a disaster, a nuclear explosion, that is made from cinema attributed such as coke and popcorn. The name of the festival is also written on the packaging.




Colour Analysis: 

The colour palette consists of colours that you would typically find in a cinema setting such as strong yellows and reds for foods. These colours have a moderate saturation, but are mostly affected by the use of value and light.

The use of the pink jumper ties in with the red and yellow colours to create a complimentary colour scheme.


popcorn colour palette-01


The lighting is the main use of effect in this photo which guides your eyes to the focus – the nuclear cloud popcorn. By using an artificial light placed in the popcorn container, a dramatic scene is portrayed which mimics an explosion of light from the base and the shadows on top of the cloud.

There is also less intense artificial lighting cast on the popcorn container and holder, allowing the viewer to see the ‘disaster’ logo imprinted on the container.

By using two main intensities of light, the focus is on the popcorn cloud so that the image doesn’t appear cluttered. If there was the same level of lighting on the whole image the focus would not be on the popcorn and the overall effect would be missing.

Spatial Composition:

This image has one main focus in the centre, being the nuclear popcorn cloud, meaning that there are little other factors leading the viewers eye to the popcorn. One factor is the stripes on the bucket of popcorn directing the viewers eye towards the nuclear cloud, which in turn leads the viewer towards the person in the background.

popcorn - lines

The image is taken on the same level as the popcorn cloud but slightly below the face of the model. The choice of cutting the photo below the eyes of the person forces the focus on the popcorn container as there is no human gaze for the viewer to lock onto. The lack of gaze also enhances the ability of the viewer to see themselves in the same position.

popcorn - eye level


The overall atmosphere of the image portrays a relaxed cinema experience that a viewer is able to relate to. The low lighting also enhance the effects of the ‘disaster’.


Comparison of the ‘Disaster Film Festival’ Poster by Tania and the ‘Landscape‘ digital painting from Seba Hernandez.



The first obvious difference between these two compositions is their medium and intention for viewing. Tania has used photography for advertising purposes, where as Seba has used digital painting for a purely artistic purpose. Although there is this stark difference between the two images, they both have strong compositions and have utilised effects differently to achieve different results.

In terms of colour, Seba has used highly saturated yet ‘cool’ colours and is one of the biggest components for the painting’s success and effect. Colour is of less importance in Tania’s poster and arguably can have the same desired effect if given in black and white. Where as alternatively, Seba’s painting loses a significant amount of depth and effectiveness (although still beautiful) if presented in black and white.

Printdeer black and white


The spatial composition and depth is also one of the largest differences in these compositions. Tania’s poster portrays the main focus smack bang in the centre with little else to distract the viewer or direct their attention elsewhere. Alternatively, Seba’s poster portrays the focus slightly to the left of the image and allows viewers to see the depth of the image. There are many components of Seba’s painting for viewers to interpret including the spaceship, waterfalls, small building structures and the overall landscape. Despite all of these distractions, there are multiple visual queues which lead the viewer back to the main focal point – the deer.

Tania’s composition also does not allow the viewer to be locked into a powerful gaze by the girl as the photo is cut off underneath the eyes – this is purposeful as the focus is the popcorn. Seba’s deer is looking directly at the viewer, which ensures that it is the focal point of the image. If Tania had not decided to crop the image underneath the eyes, the focus would have been taken away from the popcorn as viewers would be more inclined to look into the eyes of the girl.

Although both images used light to their advantage, which will be pointed out in the similarities, they used light in different ways. Tania used an unnatural, forced light to emphasise and dramatise the shapes of the nuclear cloud, where as Seba used natural light to highlight the foreground and focal point (deer) of her image. By using different sources of light two very different effects are achieved. Tania’s light attempts to recreate the intensity of the explosion and is a stark contrast compared to the rest of the image, forcing the viewer to notice the light use. Seba’s use of natural light is less noticeable to the viewer and is used in a softer manner, which adds to the fantasy effect of the image.


Both of these compositions mainly use light to their advantage to highlight the important content and give depth to the images. Without the use of light to highlight, the focal points of these images would be lost within the rest of the composition and in Tania’s case, not visible at all.


Relation to my own work

I think that I am able to take points from both of these works and relate it back to my photography, which I do as a hobby. As I largely photograph landscapes, sunsets and cloud formations, the use of clouds and light to emphasise an object in the foreground in Seba’s painting can be directly used. I intend on using this technique by choosing an angle of clouds and light which leads the viewers eyes towards another part of the image, or outside of the image to open it up. I had never before thought about using cloud formations as a way to direct viewers eyes. I can also use Tania’s technique of cutting the image below the eyes to keep the focus in front of the person in my photography.

I also enjoy recreating landscape scenes digitally, so Seba’s use of lighting and colour is a great lesson to learn so that I am able to create depth and atmosphere to my work.