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Henn Laidroo3

Henn Laidroo3

Every year my watercolor students take a class titled Creative Challenge. It is the six weeks of every year we try new things and learn about the guidelines of composition. It is the one class that I try to assign interesting and challenging assignments to encourage them to be creative. We always review center of interest and the Rule of Thirds (finding the “sweet spot”) so we know where to locate the best place for our center of interest.

We review value and division of space, shape, texture, color, and line. We study ways to attract attention through emphasis or exaggeration at the center of interest, repetition, simplifying a composition and enhancing movement or color.

Here are some examples:

Nancy Longmate4

Nancy Longmate4

The above illustrates movement and division of space.

Melissa Scare2

Melissa Scare2

The above piece was created using repetition and to fulfill an assignment where the title of the painting was to be “Way Cool Cat”.

Judy Notestine4

Judy Notestine4

The above is a good example of simplifying a scene.

Linda Flatley

Linda Flatley

Sue Mendenhall5

Sue Mendenhall5

The above paintings are examples of creative ways to use shapes in a painting.

If you would like to view other examples of the student paintings from this class click here.



  1. Your students came up with some fun results that are very nice.

  2. Great pieces

  3. Very imaginative! There are good stories behind many of these I’m sure. (K)

  4. I always love seeing your students’ art. They are all so talented and creative.

  5. You’re students obviously hang on your every word because the “sweet spot” is very obvious in all of these wonderful paintings. It’s so interesting to see how their subject matters vary and how their very different approaches all result in amazing paintings. Thank you for sharing these with us Lesley.

    • Thank you, June. They really worked on being creative this session.

  6. Thank you for this glimpse of the lesson in composition. All are very beautiful and made me analyse and identify the rules. They are all very talented!

    • Thank you, Padmaja. They went the whole 9 yards to fulfill the creative assignments.

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