That’s what it needed.

I have been stewing over my mural.

Technically it has been going pretty well, the figures are developing, the forms and colors are pretty well balanced, but more and more I have felt unsatisfied. There is no drama, no action or story, no dynamic tension between the characters. Yesterday it hit me: It needs a third character. 

Most design relies on the triangle. In space planning and home decorating it is efficient for movement. Consider the ideal kitchen balanced from sink to stove to refrigerator. In aesthetics it is used to create visual movement and tension. You want the eye to flit from focal point to focal point in a pattern that opens up the image and covers more ground than just back and forth between two objects. In storytelling a third person expands the possible interactions from two to six: not just what I think of you and what you think of me, but also what you and I think of her, and what she thinks of you or me, so the complexity and hence the interest expands rapidly. 

In a storytelling image, the triangle fills both needs, expanding the possibilities of the story, and helping the viewer’s eye to keep moving from point to point. In this instance, I also need something more dynamic. Both of my figures are passive, so I need some action. I sketched for an hour or so this afternoon.

Next I have to make some decisions regarding this character. I want him a bit creepy and unwelcome. Creepy clown? Creepy Old Bald Guy? Creepy old bald guy in a clown costume? I have to think about color too.

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