Design Elements and Principles: Libby Fletcher

Page 31 from Scott McCloud’s book, “Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art.”

On page 31 of Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art,” there are tons of examples that demonstrate the uses of the elements and principles of design.  To begin with perhaps the most basic element, line, I noticed that McCloud uses boundary lines most commonly, however, he does use implied lines as well.  On page 31, in the second panel (depicting the Wizard of Oz), McCloud uses boundary lines heavily in his self-portrait, but in the yellow brick road, boundary lines are present.  Lovett also talks about how lines are used to create other elements.  In the first panel of the second row, I noticed the lines across the face in the second portrait.  I think this is a good example of visual texture because, through the use of the of a few lines, the reader can easily tell where the highlights and shadows of the man’s face are.

I was also intrigued by the idea of size within Scott McCloud’s spread and comics in general.  Personally, my eye was immediately drawn to the two larger panels.  I believe this is partially because of their size and partially because of the empty space within said panels.  Like Lovett described, size differences create tension within an art piece.  This is definitely true in this case.  McCloud’s choice to make the bottom left panel so large and lack so much detail feels somewhat out of place in regards to some of the detailed artwork surrounding in on page 31 as well as the rest of the book.

The first principle that jumped out at me was unity.  I think that in the case of comics, unity is especially important.  On page 31 and throughout the entire book there’s a universal art style that the artist uses.  This helps the reader piece together the story and it also places emphasis on artwork that doesn’t necessarily match the rest of the panels.  Scott McCloud very clearly uses all elements and principles of design which is why his comic book is so effective and efficient.

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