Here are some ways of creating space within a painting. 1. Make distant objects smaller with less detail than those up close. 2. Overlapping objects will create depth. 3. Warm colors advance and cool colors recede. 4. Objects must be in proper scale to work!
Here are more things to look for in a painting that help move your eye, but keep it within! 5. Use of radiating lines (with one point perspective) to draw you into the focal point. 6. Fulcrum balances major masses - think of a teeter-totter with small person and large person and where they have to sit to make it work! 7. O shape "frames" the focal point. 8. Portraits - keep in mind the use of space around the head to keep it interesting.
Armatures lead your eye thru the painting. 1. S - think of a windy road or a river that leads you thru painting to focal point in shape of S. 2. L - two "arms" in a painting with center of interest along one of them. 3. Diagonal - watch the momentum and use something on both ends to slow it down. 4. Painting makes use of triangular shape with the center of interest near one of the angles.
And this is the last of great tips for creating strong composition in paintings. 10. Suggest movement using gradation. 11. Use straight lines to make the eye go in different direction. 12. Consider the piece to consist of foreground, middle ground, and background.
Here are some more great tools: 7. Make sure the corners don't take your eyes out of the painting. 8. Create an entrance to the painting along the bottom edge. 9. Organize large masses by simplifying them.
Here are a few more composition techniques to keep in mind: 4. Keep shapes interesting with unique proportions and angles. 5. Don't attract attention to the edges of the painting. 6. Overlap objects to create depth.
Andrea Burke, WVWS
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'This world is but a canvas to our imagination' - Henry David Thoreau