I posted this painting in an earlier post. It was a black and white sketch of an image that I wanted to eventually paint in color.
Since that time, we have discussed composition in our landscape class. I realized I had not payed particular attention to where I had placed my center of interest which I wanted to be the Empire State building and the lit space that separated it from the other buildings that I took to be a street.
Knowing there are “sweet spots” located in each quadrant of my format I went back to the original reference photo and cropped it so as to place the Empire State building where I wanted it.
I divided my paper into three sections vertically and horizontally and circled where the lines crossed. These areas are called “sweet spots” and are good places for a center of interest to be located in a painting.
The painting, in color, came out like this.
There were other considerations that went into this final painting, as well. I chose the sweet spot that ran from the lower left quadrant because the rays from the sun seemed to lead to that area and created a rather nice pathway for the eye to follow. I was also intrigued with the long pathway of artificial light running across the dark back drop of buildings that curved around and led to the street running next to the Empire State building. The strong diagonal lines in the water in the foreground led the eye to the city, also. Prior to having studied composition, I would just select pretty photo references I wanted to paint and paint them as they were. I really had little understanding of creating a pathway for the viewer’s eye. This is but one element of composition to consider but has made quite a difference, for me. I always examine my reference material for the best placement of a center of interest.
Other considerations for this painting were a primary color scheme and accentuating contrast (to enhance depth).
My techniques were use of liquid frisket, color washes, and using the primary colors to render black through wet-in-wet applications.
This was painted on Lanaquerelle 140 lb rough watercolor paper.
Thank you to Wet Canvas reference library for the photo used as reference for this painting.