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Challenges

Here you can play with the figures in the painting, freely creating variations on the original work, but you can also practice your compositional skills by working on some of the exercises suggested.

 

It’s possible to drag the figures with your mouse, the movement buttons or the arrow keys on your keyboard, using the Space bar to change your selection. To find out about the other buttons, press ? for help and then… enjoy yourself.


Challenge 1 See example

 

After pressing the 7 button (see Help ?), try to place as many figures as possible —or at least their heads— in line with the main axes and diagonals of the painting. You can conceal the remaining figures by pressing button 4.

 

Do the figures seem more "fixed" when they are on the axes?

 

 

Challenge 2See example

 

Organize a composition including one or two main characters and the rest subordinate. Make the main characters overlap with some of the golden sections of the painting (button 8).

 

Try to evenly distribute the weight between the principal figures and the subordinate ones.

 

Is it possible to place the main characters' heads in the intersection of two golden sections?

 

 

Challenge 3See example

 

Press button 5 (interrelationships between figures). Try different combinations among the characters, until you find one in which the borders of interconnection between four of the figures form a square.

 

Is it possible to form a second square with the remaining figures?

 

 

Challenge 4See example

 

Press button 6 to switch to abstract mode. There are several figures of triangular shape and others of rectangular shape, located behind the first. Invert this order by moving the rectangular figures forward and placing the triangular ones behind them. Don't forget the figure located at the rear door. You can also drag the canvas toward the left to leave more free space.

 

Is it possible to find a satisfactory balance in this new layout?

 

Compare this result to the figurative mode, pressing button 6 again.

 

 

Challenge 5See example

 

In abstract mode again (pressing button 6), try to place one or two figures so that their heads are at the intersection of the borders of interconnection of the remaining figures, like in the center of an "X", or even a star. You can flip some of the figures pressing button 3, or delete the spare figures by pressing button 4.

 

Compare the result to the figurative mode, pressing button 6 again.

 

 

Challenge 6See example

 

Drag the canvas on which Velázquez is painting towards the centre of the scene and place two or three figures in front of it. Combine these figures in a significant way, so that they are framed by the canvas. You can invert some of the figures with button 3. You can delete the remaining figures with button 4.

 

Now delete the canvas itself so as to compare the result. Do the figures now appear less connected to each other?