What is composition exactly?

IMG_4256.JPGChloe my soon-to-be-seven year old neice, handed me an A4 sheet she had covered with furiously coloured scribbles asked ‘well, what do you think?’ I said I really liked the colours and asked her what she might do with it next.

Nothing. She was on to her next piece.
And yes, she said, I can use her first piece.

I cut it up in small pieces then moved them around on an A5 sheet, trying to find a way to make all the bits form a whole.

How does one do that? When does something ‘come together’? Rule of thirds? Golden mean? Negative-positve space? Proximity, balance, line considerations?

I don’t quite have a definitive answer but found that moving pieces of paper around on a sheet of paper a simple and satisfying way to explore this question.

I looked up to see Chloe making a story about a bee and a flower in a collage and Em, her nine year old sister creating a still life.

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