Composition in Painting

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Composition in art
It is an important part of the painting procedure and involves the arrangement of elements and getting them in to work together. The artist lays out the shapes and divides the space in the painting in such away that appeals to your senses. The purpose of composition is to lead the eye into a painting, and keep the viewer’s interest in it.
When you develop your composition, try to avoid putting the main focus of interest in the centre of your painting. Divide the areas of your canvas into parts of different sizes. If you want to paint a landscape painting, do not put the horizon right in the centre of your painting. Because people read from left to right, do not place all the interesting parts of your composition on the left side of your painting and people will have no reason to continue viewing the rest of your painting. You had better keep your interesting elements away from the edges of the canvas.
It is a common mistake to place the focal point of a painting directly in the centre. Another common mistake is to split the painting directly in half as in a landscape painting where the horizon line is directly in the middle of the painting.
The focal point in your painting is the main element or subject in your painting and should attract the viewer’s eye. All other elements in the composition of your painting should help to guide the viewer’s eye to this focal point.
A good way for creating a focal point in your painting is by using colour. For instance, if your painting is bluish you can make the focal point stand out by using yellow. This warm yellow will stand out against the cool blues in the rest of the painting.
You may also create a focal point in your painting by using contrast. For instance you could use mainly dark values in your painting and create a centre of interest that is light in value.
Another way of creating a focal point is by using size differences. For instance, if you were to create a cityscape, you could make a tall building stand out amongst smaller ones.
When you compose a painting, you had better use an odd number of elements. No one is exactly sure why this works. One theory is that a viewer breaks up the composition by mentally grouping even elements together.
If you have more than one object in a painting, you need to arrange them with regards to the distance between them. Objects should never “just touch” one another. You should either overlap objects or have space between them. Try not to equally space objects, but instead, vary the distance between objects to create more variety.
When you start a painting, you may choose either a warm or a cool colour theme. Do not mix the two into one painting or you could confuse the viewer. This is not to say you cannot use warm and cool colours together in a painting. Just try and make one more dominant than the other.
Value is how light or dark a colour is in your painting. A painting that is all one value is boring. You need to have a variety of light and dark objects in a painting to create more interest .If a scene inspires you, a view finder tool that may help you with your composition may help you with capturing the scene. You can make such a viewfinder by cutting two L-shaped cardboards that can create a frame when joined together.