Composition for a painting is a critically important aspect, and any contemporary painters will agree to this.
Often times, current artists are blamed for lack of skill to express their emotions and feelings through their
For this reason, it is important that one researches and learns how to improve their painting compositions and
covey their feelings and ideas correctly.
There are different variables of a oil painting
composition that include shape, line, color, depth and space. When one alters any one of these elements, this
can either ruin or make the painting, simply because the elements are interdependent of each other.
Each one of these elements has its own purpose and hence, a painter needs to create well and finely tune their
painting to conform to the elements therein. A professional artist will often make choices from their inner
artistic tune. Conversely, amateurs depend on experience and experiments, which set in motion the entire process of
discovering their individual vision.
Here are some guidelines to creating a strong painting composition.
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Find the focal point
A seasoned painter understands that the focal point is critical to a painting, and it should have the potential
to draw enough attention from the viewer. The painter needs to position the focal point, which essentially is the
key painting’s subject, on one of the points of intersection.
After this, the other elements in the painting will lead the eye towards the focal point. This does not have to be an obvious path. It can as
well be fine, for example, a color repeated in a series of flowers within a painting. Nonetheless, it is important
to avoid overcrowding a painting.
Use varied values
The other important composition tip is in using varied
colour values. A painter needs to do a thumbnail sketch of a painting’s composition in three values only, which
are black or dark, white or light and grey which is the mid-tone.
After this, they need to check how much each value contributes to the painting. For one to have a strong
composition, they will want them to be different in amounts, which one can divide into two thirds of the dark tone,
a third of the light tone as well as a small area with the mid-tone.
Unity in composition
The different elements that a painter uses in a painting need to have a sense of unity. That is, the elements
ought to feel like they belong together and not separate bits and pieces that happen to be in the same
Variety in the compositions
Having variety adds spice and flavor to life. Likewise, giving a painting variety is giving it life. One of the
easiest ways to do this is to have an odd number of elements.
Make sketches in advance
A seasoned painter understands the need for sketches prior to beginning their painting job. They will do this
with different tools, like a pencil or even charcoal, and explore the different compositions before embarking on
painting. This way, they understand the larger subject volumes followed by the smaller ones and finish off finally
with the finer details.
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