The last few days I've been looking through books and art online of some of my favorite artists studying their paintings thinking primarily of composition.
I added quite a few to my board on pinterest. I was looking a lot for patterns of light and dark as well as a gestural flow through the painting, that something that holds it together
Maggie Siner, a Virginia artist is someone very expert at handling patterns of light and dark that take you through her paintings. She has a beautiful website.
http://www.maggiesiner.com/paintings.php I put quite a few of hers on my pinterest board.
(The zinnia painting below is an old one of mine, but does have have some of what I've been talking about
Below is composition sent in by friend. I'm hoping more people will send things to me that I can post and you can critique with your comments.
There are a lot of good things going on here. Do you see an armature? Pattern of darks? Look at edges of canvas. Temperature?
One more link to a very good summary of Ian Roberts guidelines. It is from Artist Daily, an online magazine.