Friday, March 29, 2013

A change of scale and a small lesson on composition

After a couple of weeks of smaller painting sizes I thought I'd leap up in dimensions. It's fun to change between sizes and it's interesting if you haven't done it in a while to see how differently you need to think about composition of the scene.  This is especially true with a full table, or wide composition like this one; finding a good compositional flow across the length of the table, but keeping the area of focus in the right place (or places) is critical and a fun challenge.

Outdoor warmth with Lilies
Acrylic on wood  36X46

When composing a subject I often think of 'eye flow' or where the eye will travel, rather than one focal point. One focal point is interesting enough, but I want to know where the viewers eye will move through my painting and that they will do this comfortably.

When composing a large bouquet in a landscape aspect, you need to consider how it will balance.  It's a non issue (of course) if it's placed in the center, but if you want to push it to one side, you need something to balance on the other side.  Here I primarily achieved this with color, the combination of giving the tall green vase a strong vibrant green color and the little shock of under painted blue above. It could have been done with a larger shape/object, but color/drama can achieve balance too, and arguably achieves the same goal in a more interesting way? There is still more body and complexity within the flowers on the left, but the eye is able to comfortably travels to the other side of the painting. The objects in the center step the eye between these two primary areas of the painting. All of this is then further reinforced with the 'v' shape of the white table cloth, (it draws the eye to the middle while the shapes and colors on the sides pull the eye back again).

 Detail - I love painting stamen!

Detail - It's nice to get up close, just to show the detail of the brush strokes and the under painting color.

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