Monday, April 19, 2010

Darrell Hill Painting Tips (1)

Good composition and layout are a must. Whither you are painting “Plein Air” or the “Studio” - the basic composition is your map to a great painting. Drawing composition makes or breaks a painting. Most often, if I am fighting a painting, I did not start with a good composition. Take your time to start any painting with the compositional direction.

Composition is like the old “Type Setter”, know your “p’s and “q’s”. There are several key simple compositional looks: The big and small “Oo”, Centered “OoO”, The following, like a rive or “S” format, The major focal point “X”, were the lines lead to a focal point, The triangle “Δ”with high or low horizon, The “L” design, that can go left or right, The figure “8” were the eye travels within the layout and the following“≈”, gentile movement. There are many other compositional approaches, but the important thing is to know were you are going before you start to paint.

If you look at any of your favorite artist’s works and you take away the color, brushwork, edges and values, it leaves you with the composition. Every great painting has under the beauty and colors a good composition. Edgar Payne in his book “Composition of Outdoor Painting” gives some good insight into starting a painting. The book was first published in 1941, but is very relevant to today’s painter. (Look it up at Amazon.com”

APPLICATION: Take your sketch book and draw four or five boxes across the top of the page and repeat, ending with 20 to 25 boxes; now do small compositional sketches of still life or landscapes. Try to make each drawing a unique layout that would work for a painting.

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