Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Emphasis on Composition

July 2, 2013 - Emphasis on Composition

I've decided that I would like to strengthen composition in my paintings so I pulled out my favorite book on the subject by Ian Roberts, called Mastering Composition.  I like the way he organizes composition into 8 common armatures.  His definition on page 13 is very complete, but my take on it is that it gives your painting a structure and a path for the eye.  His idea that design engages the viewer is very persuasive and I need constant reminding. 

Doing a composition a day for a year is one of his suggestions that will really help improve your paintings.  I don't know if I can stick to that, but here is one.  I should at least be able to do one for each armature and besides this is supposed to be a part of every painting, I am reminding myself again.

I'm going through the thousands of my disorganized photos, looking for possible designs, good ones that is, cropping photos, doing thumbnails. 

I did a thumbnail (strongly suggested for every painting).

The "L" armature:

(I accidently deleted the original photo before cropping it).

cropped photo

(The greens look unnatural in this photo, the real painting is more grayed  out greens)


  1. What medium are you using? Oils?

  2. I been using this formula lately and I like it because it gives some shine and it dries quickly. The downside is the Damar Varnish smells like it might be killing a few brain cells. (1 part damvar varnish, 2 parts stand oil, 3 parts stand oil) sometimes I leave the dv out if I don't care about drying time. Oh, I just re-read your question and I think you meant oils vs acrylics. I use oils.