Creativity Workshop: Dynamic Design Tools

Color, line and pattern are useful tools for designing innovative, imaginative compositions. I used a grid design for Pieces of Time (acryclic on canvas, 36×48), breaking up areas like the pieces of a quilt. Each piece makes a different statement; together the pieces mean so much more.

Although the contemporary painter isn’t constrained by the old rules of composition, it’s useful to remember how various design plans can help emphasize the most important elements of your painting. For example, using interesting edges and patterns can direct the viewer’s eye through the painting. Shifting the horizon line or exaggerating one area and simplifying others can help you clarify your intent and make a stronger statement. Whether your style is realistic or abstract, your design will always benefit from a foundation of simple, geometric forms. By composing an emphatic, simplified design, you won’t distract the viewer with unnecessary details. See how five creative artists used various compositions to make strong, clear statements in their work in the April 2010 issue of Watercolor Artist.

Try This at Home

Put your own creative spin on a basic composition. Try condensing the theme of your painting into one word and choose the design that will help make the statement more clear and concise. Send a JPEG (with a resolution of 72 dpi) of your painting to with Creativity Workshop in the subject line and tell us about your process. We’ll choose our favorite paintings and publish them on our website. One entrant will receive a six-month subscription to online video workshops, plus $50 worth of North Light ?ne art books. The deadline for entry is April 12, 2010.


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