How to Develop Better Composition in Your Illustrations

In order to make your artwork look even more beautiful, you have to develop a better composition in your illustrations. Let's find out how to do it!

Created by Yulong Li |

Every designer or illustrator always wants their work meaningful and beautiful. But is it easy to achieve? In the vector image illustration, the idea can turn into such a bizarre challenge. One of the reasons is due to the limited element and the more minimalistic standpoint of the vector image. While the image is highly versatile, creating artwork can be hard to nail. 

So, how can you develop a skill to nail the graphic illustration image? In vector style and many other graphic products, composition is one of the fundamental keys. It helps the audience to capture and hold their attention toward the right highlight. It also makes people absorbed with the artwork, creating such a compelling art piece. 

But what is composition? The terminology of the composition refers to the element arrangement in the illustration. It is arranged in a way that makes it visually pleasing. In other words, it is not merely cramping numerous vector elements in one canvas. It needs some tips and tricks to develop a better composition. Here are some tips on how to achieve the goal:


1. Get Some Inspiration 

The first thing that many people do to develop and learn about composition is looking for inspiration. The good thing is you have endless vector inspiration design styles on the internet. You can even get inspired by movies and artwork. Don't hesitate to explore ranges of art pieces and learn how people use composition in their vector works. 

It does not matter whether you are working for bitmap or vector images. The idea of getting inspiration is merely to learn how people do the term. It can help you more to learn about the position, color choice, even the vector element selection itself. At the same time, you will learn how such compositions bring out compelling stories. 

It is worth learning, especially for different art styles in the form of illustrations or movies. For the best example, you can check how the cinematic composition of Finding Nemo makes the Ocean look mysterious yet still kid-friendly. There is also Harry Potter that develops better composition with its cinematic shoot around the magical school. 

Each of the compositions brings out a story, and it is worth learning. One thing for sure, you got to learn that composition is not only about positioning. At some point, it is about balance and rhythm. The use of color, movement, harmony, proportion, and variety will make one vector illustration style have different expressions than others. 

The key point to develop a balance arrangement is taking care of the visual elements. In vector illustration, you might work with limited color and details, but it does not mean you can pay down any attention to elements. You need to style the line, color, shape, depth, spaces, value, and texture to accentuate the vector illustration's composition. 

One thing is for sure; one vector illustration style might create a unique composition detail. If you want to study how to develop a sense of better arrangement, you need to challenge yourself and look for artwork across style, art movement, or periods. If you want to see complex examples, check the Renaissance era. It is way crazier than the vector art deco.  

Created by Philip Lindeman |


2. Get Yourself A Story For The Project 

Take a look at how much art uses compositions to tell the story behind the artwork. Illustration in every style has a different story, which can affect the arrangement and the design itself. In vector style, many designers have to work under restricted details. It means they need to convey the goal or the story as creatively as possible. 

So, how do you develop better composition if you only have a limited element? The idea of great arrangement does not always have to be an illustration with numerous elements. Even a minimalistic vector image style also needs proper composition, so everyone knows the meaning. That is why compelling illustration will always depend on the context. 

So, before you develop a vector-style design or project, make sure you got a story or idea about it. It is not only about what you want to draw in the illustration or what style that you want to use. But it is about how you craft the story and accentuate it with the help of composition. Again, you can see the different styles of the story using an unalike arrangement. 

To make a compelling vector illustration, you can start with two composition questions theories. What do you want to say from the illustration? And how will you tell the story? The two questions are the fundamentals of how you develop a story and composition. The trick will ground the illustration's message and the idea to arrange the visual element style. 

To get more detail, you can develop more queries. How about the location, the emotion, the element, the style, and the value of the foundations? Do you use any vector elements that provide conflict? Will you develop a concept that depends on the design style or illustration model? The answer will help you develop even more detail about the vector illustration composition.  

Created by The Bright Agency |


3. Use Framing Element 

Going from the fundamentals to the more technical tips, you will need some techniques to develop a better composition. It is not a must (for professionals), but it generally helps designers arranging the illustration element. The first idea is framing which involves arranging shapes or other elements in a way it will for the particular area. 

In other words, it is a design style and technique that forces designers to make a forced framing idea. It is a unique composition trick that helps people or the audience to focus and contain their attention in certain areas. It is a surprising detail that makes every illustration style, and even the vector image, look enchanting. 

So, how does the framing work? You can take a simple example of adding a frame for a canvas painting. The sense of frame develops a restricted and focused element. It brings attention and accentuates certain highlights. In the illustration (vector or not), people can develop their frame from the illustration's elements. In other words, you can simply develop barriers. 

But how do you develop better composition with framing? Many vector illustrations try to develop forced perception by adding farming through the existing elements. They can create frames using darker or silhouettes, leaves of trees that surround the scene, or a cave that spectates the magnificent landscape. Just be creative and style your vector illustration to make perfect frames. 

But is it only about drawing the viewer's eyes? No, it is not. One of the reasons why vector illustration composition works great with framing is the ability to establish context. When you develop composition with the frame, the element will eventually create an atmosphere. For example, a darker shade wooden frame makes a mystical illustration style. 

It looks different when you use a vector flower or a more colorful element to build a frame. The composition and the style will develop an even brighter impression. The ability is one of the reasons. Framing comes as the solution to develop a better composition. It helps accentuate the story you try to tell from the illustration.   

However, it does not mean you need to artificially create borders in your subject. There are many ways and styles to develop a clear framing without making it look forced. The key is to consider how you want to depict what you have in the illustration and frame the highlighted feature. It can be a vector tree on the left side, a giant tree leaves from the top, or other shades. 

The primary key is to highlight and enhance audience focus to creating features. So, try to apply and develop the idea as naturally as possible. It will make your illustration or vector image look more compelling. It also works for other illustration styles, such as realistic, painting, or other non-vector images. Try it, and it will make your composition look better. 

Created by Barbora Idesová |


4. Add Triangle Diagonal For Tension 

When you want to develop better composition, then make the illustration have meaning. If you find that you do not necessarily need framing for the illustration, you can emphasize the story through a diagonal triangle. Most of the time, this technique is used to add dynamism and conflict. Does it work for vector image style? Yes, it is. 

Due to the lack of or limited elements, the use of triangles and diagonal can help you develop an even more compelling vector art piece. When done correctly, it will suggest instability in the illustration. Thus, creating a more fascinating and delightful design. It works with every style or design idea. It needs some practice, and you can develop better arrangements. 

So, how does it work in the composition? The idea is to either add actual or imply the triangle and diagonal. To develop an actual diagonal, most designers add objects that represent the shapes. It can be a knife, danger signs, a flower, and a vase, or anything. On the other hand, you can also imply the idea through leading lines in the vector illustration style. 

Again, it is another rule of odds that are used to develop a better composition. However, you also need to. Why so? The idea is to ensure you are not overusing the triangular shapes in the illustration. Or else, your vector work will look vague. Try to make sure you know how to do fewer in painting or illustration. 

The main idea is particularly to arrange different vector objects into a vaguely triangular shape. You don't need to force yourself to develop an element that resembles the forms. You can play with the foreground area and make it resemble a triangle in the form of leading lines. It will develop a fascinating composition and sharper images styles to see. 

But why do you need to develop triangles? Most of the time, people need a particular point to pay attention to. In this case, you can develop a composition with a triangle to avoid a flat and blocky appearance. The idea can fit many illustration styles, including the vector or the more detailed painting. It will eventually lead the audience's attention from one area to another.  

Another good point of a triangle is its ability to develop tension. Actual triangles and diagonal in your illustration style work well to tell a story and contrast. It is something that you need to develop a compelling illustration piece. In this case, the geometrical system on vector images helps a lot to emphasize the shapes. As an example, lines or triangles of downhill motion that add drama to it. 

Created by MUTI |


5. Direct Attention With Leading Lines 

The terminology of a triangle and leading lines are two techniques that are hard to separate. In this case, you can make a better composition by adding clean leading lines. How to do it? You got a lot of things to do for your illustration. You can direct the viewer's attention to the intended subject through the use of lines. In vector style, it goes very well and is fun to try. 

So, the idea of leading lines is suggestive lines that direct attention around your vector image. The unique point of this composition style idea is how it can appear as an actual or implied line. In the hinted line style, you develop non-physically existing lines in the illustration. Most of the vector image style designers add lines through the story and focus. 

For example, it develops leading lines through the subject direction, such as people's gaze. Many vectors develop better composition with this easy-to-do idea. You can make a subject gazing to the center toward another point of interest. The style will make your viewer follow where the subject is looking at and see the intended element. 

Many illustrations in different styles use the idea since it is human nature to follow the line presented in the picture. You can develop it quite simply, yet it again needs grand planning to help create a compelling composition. But do you have to develop a leading line that directs to a certain point? No, you don't. Some paintings lead into unknown subjects. 

Created by Choichoi Creative |


6. The Rule Of Thirds Wonders

Like photography, the rule of thirds is what you need to make a vector composition. Again, the primary point of the perfect composition is about dominance and focus. If you want a technique that is well known and easier to use, you can try the rule of thirds. How to do the trick? The main idea is to develop three equal parts for your illustration, both horizontally or vertically. 

No matter what kind of image style or illustration you are working for, the trick will always work. If you are not sure, you can check out your smartphone camera or other digital cameras. When the rule of the third feature is enabled, you will find a 3x3 box that divides the screen. It works as a guideline that helps you develop a better composition for your picture. 

You can do the same for your vector graphic style. Imagine these lines in the canvas, then put your essential element along these lines or the intersections. Surprisingly, it helps develop a more compelling arrangement for your illustration. It is simpler and also newbie-friendly. When done correctly, you can also put other tricks along with the rule of third. 

Another good use of the third is to put your subject on two-third or one-third of the image. It is a great way to develop a highlight for your object and show its dominance. It works for all of the styles and also implementation. You only need to make sure that your vector illustration and the composition help generate the intended story.  

Created by Barbora Idesová |


7. Keep On Experimenting 

Up until this point, you are ready to develop better arrangements for your vector graphic. Don't get bumped out due to the limitation of the vector image style. Instead, take the idea of using minimalistic style design to emphasize the composition. Some of the ideas work better with fewer elements in the illustration. In other words, it won't affect your vector-style image creation. 

There is no better teacher than experience. Since you know some of the ways to develop better and compelling compositions, all you need to do is an experiment. Try what works for your vector illustration project. Try to play around with different techniques, stories, and impressions. It will help you find and develop the best way to make a graphic composition style. 

In the vector image style itself, your idea and creativity will never get limited. In other words, you are free to play around and develop ranges of illustration. Don't always stick to the same type or style of composition. Try some different approaches, diverse elements, and details for your vector image. Thus, you can develop better composition even with limited components. 

Created by Gibran Gomez |


Final Words

Nailing or understanding the sense of composition will be one of the keys to making a compelling art piece. It works for every illustration style, including the vector image style that focuses on a more lenient approach. You need to look for inspiration, create a story, try to use framing and tension, use the rule of thirds, lead lines, and keep on practicing to nail it.

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