Skip navigation

Tag Archives: composition

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.

Advertisements

Henn Laidroo2     by Henn Laidroo

 

Nancy Longmate2  by Nancy Longmate

The above paintings were done as part of assignments for a six week course in composition.

We studied creating a center of interest and learning where to  place it on our format.  The students created different formats to paint on such as squares and long and narrow rectangles. They explored emphasizing one or more elements in their paintings to attract a viewer’s attention. These elements included simplification, exaggeration, repetition, emphasizing the focal point, movement and contrast. They created paintings by combining two or three photographs. They also created portraits or figures utilizing the guidelines of composition.

Please check out the results of our class by visiting the “Student Art 2” page  here.

Thank you, once again, to all my students for a great class!

The above two paintings were a commision for my sister of a vacation home she and friends visit every fall.  She wanted something that showed the sign, “Hum”, as it was the name the original owner gave his home because he was a music teacher. We discussed the compositional difficulties due to the large foreground tree dividing the format in half and that it would, likely, become the center of interest of the painting. She thought that would be OK since it was the name of the home and the first thing they saw upon arriving every fall. These were the first two paintings I did from the reference photo. Indeed, the tree was so strong that it dominated the piece, even in the line drawing. I decided to go with it and made the trunk colorful and dropped salt in it for texture. I like the depth it created but there was no getting past the division of space unless I omitted the tree and I did not know how to make up the part of the house I could not see nor have reference for. I decided to do two more paintings using guidelines of composition.  One is found here and features the roadside entrance to the home. The other is here and features the lakeside entrance to the home. The entrance pictures are the ones my sister and friend chose. I enjoy studying composition and use it to design my paintings but this was an interesting project. My sister and I, both, like the other two, also. I think rules of composition are meant to be guidelines for artists to use to help us create paintings that are appealing to many. I can see that either of the above two paintings might appeal to an owner who really would want the sign, the tree and all he may remember about his homeplace. I, oftentimes, pause and look even longer at that “quirky” work of art on a gallery wall imagining about the special vision the artist may have had to do what he did. I do think it takes a knowledge of composition to even appreciate those “quirks”. 🙂

Carol King worked with a similar vertical tree trunk and handled it beautifully here.