Tip File: Evaluating Your Composition

The following is an excerpt from the October 2004 issue of The Artist’s Magazine, in an article titled “Homing In on Good Design” by Hugh Greer.

These tips will help you step away from your emotional involvement with your painting and help you judge it more objectively:

• Looking at your art upside down will tell you whether your painting has a strong center of interest. Your painting suddenly becomes a piece of nonobjective art. Where does your eye rest?

• Place the painting under your chin and show it to someone else. Watch the person’s eyes and see how they travel through the painting and where they stop to rest. This is another check to find out where the viewer finds the center of interest.

• Looking at your art under very low light will tell you how your values contrast. Is that high-contrast area your center of interest?

• Hold your painting in front of a mirror to tell you instantly whether your perspective is correct. If the piece looks good backwards, the perspective is probably correct.

To read the entire article on how to compose a better painting,
click here and order The Artist’s Magazine’s 2004 Annual CD.

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