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Design narrative compositions

By Aekkarat Sumutchaya
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 15th December 2014
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Aekkarat Sumutchaya talks us through the process he used to create his image Light Up Flowers. He shares invaluable tips and techniques on using value, color and implied lines to create a main focal point and story in your composition


The young girl is astonished by a field of glowing flowers at sunset and reaches out towards the One-Eyed Monster. The Cyclops has ears that look just like peacock feathers and in his hands, he holds a glowing translucent pink flower that is known to be the rarest flower in the kingdom. This particular flower only glows around a pure one's heart.

Relaxing in the back, the Ten-Eyed giant monster observes his surroundings without turning his head. He has enormous earlobes and his sense of hearing is as sharp as his vision.

The young girl is amazed by the glowing flowers without realizing that the most magical flower is in the monster's hands. The flowers continue to glow and will spread to the entire area in any moment. This magical flower of companionship will light up the entire kingdom when she holds it in her hand.

Initial sketches

The Eurasian girl character represents the companionship of the human race, regardless of race, color, or national origin. The one-eyed monster character has dark fur covering the entire body, and his ear shape and design is inspired by peacock feathers. The ten-eyed monster character has a long nose with dark-red tiger-stripe fur. His earlobe has the shape of a leaf. Being middle-aged (compared to human years) makes him see the world from a different perspective. Finally, the rare and unique translucent pink-petaled flower has pollen that glows with the pure state of the holder's mind.

Design sketches for characters and elements

Composition and focal point

I want this image to communicate something grand and elegant so I decide to go with a low angle. I emphasize focal points through lines, implied lines, values, colors, and elements that help focus subject in up to three specific areas. These three figures reflect the human notion of emotional security and feeling safe – so if something goes wrong, there'll be number two and number three for backup. This image has one area to emphasize plus two additional focal points for variation.

I then establish the main character and draw her in a sitting position. She has a slightly-turned head and her body weight shifts to the right-hand side while her left hand reaches toward the

"The composition of the focal points creates curves that form an S-shape, and depict a plant that straightens itself up and grows toward the sun”

one-eyed monster that is looking back at her. The composition of the focal points creates curves that form an S-shape, and depict a plant that straightens itself up and grows toward the sun. I use the S-curve to control the line of action and maintain a rhythm and flow. This curve creates a strong pose, yet flexible, just like aquatic plants that sway back and forth in response to the water's current.

Creating an S-shape composition with the placement of the focal points

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