Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Composition Class - 2

More notes, not necessarily in a coherent order.

• the center of interest is often the place with the most contrast

• When you have a painting with strong direction, it's important to have something there when the eye arrives. For an example of a painting that has nothing, or not much, there when you arrive, look at Hopper's "Chair Car." 

• when you have a painting with a strong directional movement, remember to put in a "stop" so the eye doesn't go off the paper. 

• a basic shape, repeated throughout the painting, sets up a rhythm

• It's easier to resolve the composition of a painting if you plan it before you start, using small value sketches and possibly small color sketches. That way you can evaluate variations without investing a lot of time, paint and paper.

• what goes into a painting, among other things:
the shapes
the negative areas
the paint itself: the application, stroke direction, random color spots

• if you have one odd shape/color, repeat it somehow.

• within a particular value in a painting you have lots of leeway: texture, color, objects, etc

• powerful paintings often use lots of dark

• horizontal lines are generally calm, vertical are stable and sturdy, and diagonal are active

• to make an element stand out (be the center of interest)
value contrast
color intensity (bright rather than dull)
hard edges
complementary colors around it

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