THE app lication OF VISUAL AESTHETICS
Visual aesthetics is the study of how compositional elements (value, perspective, staging and colour) interact and the audience’s reactions to them. It’s not enough to understand composition and expect to be effective visual storytellers. Rather, it’s important to understand perception – how the audience reacts to composition.
Improper use of composition will result in an audience’s selective perception. Selective perception results in selective context. And selective context means the audience will have different interpretations of the story/idea. With the proper use of visual aesthetics, the compositional choices become intentional and directional towards intended perception.
When the artist controls selective seeing, the visual message becomes subjective. Subjective means controlled perception. Controlled perception results in controlled context, and this means the audience will have a singular interpretation of the story idea.
My original idea for this image was to place the male subject at the same distance from the camera, but staged right below the lady on the bridge. Yet this gave the impression he’d already reached his destination. So instead I moved him just a little bit to the left. It gave a hint that he’s not completed his journey, but he’s about to reach his destination very soon. It also helped to create a perception of movement in the painting.