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Art Composition: Golden Mean Point Perspective Linear & More
Some of the textures in Party Papers and Red Circles (watercolor on paper, 22×30) were achieved with white gouache, which Carol Z. Brody sprayed through various screens and doilies to brighten a painting that had become too dark. It was …
Producing a pleasing composition is often much harder to accomplish when painting en plein air versus painting in the studio from photographic material. Being surrounded by the vastness and complexity of a natural setting can provide a degree of intimidation as well as unlimited visual distractions, while the photograph is safe and contained.
A favorite saying of mind is,:“A good painting is not by accident but by design.” This statement implies that it is up to the artist to arrange the basic visual elements of the composition: shape, edge, value, and color to make a successful artistic statement. One way of working out these compositional elements, before committing pigment to surface, is to do small sketches. These thumbnail sketches place the major compositional shapes within the framework of a format, allowing an artist to visualize the final painting’s composition. Adjustments can then be made to strengthen the rhythm and movement of the visual pathway throughout the painting, facilitating a more successful outcome.
Robert K. Carsten’s version of still life encompasses paper bags and bottle caps, where the emphasis is on the spent rather than the fresh, on the man-made rather than the natural. “When I first started this series, I didn’t think of these pictures as still lifes,” he says. “Only after I realized they were still lifes did I think the series was about finding—not deliberately arranging, but painting found objects sometimes in accidental arrangements.” Carsten received his training at the Art Students League in New York City, the Rhode Island School of Design and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Carrara, Italy. Scavenging through recycling plants for the perfect found still life is a compelling adventure for Carsten, “Visually, it’s like going to a toy store.”
Jean Pederson knows how to keep perspective. In her study of perspective, the August 2011 issue of Watercolor Artist featured artist counts shape as an essential consideration, “To make your work memorable – whether it’s realistic or abstract – you must first understand what shape is and then discover how you can best use it in your paintings.” Pederson illustrates how to more effectively use shape as a building block of composition.
Raise your hand and salute our troops…those who give up so much so to serve! Have you ever blubbered a heart wrenching “Goodbye” and then bubbled with excitement over a safe… “Welcome Home”? Today I’m honoring our soldier heroes by …
Who was the artist who painted with tea bags? What are some different tools for masking? How can you avoid making mud? Find all of your favorite articles and featured artists from the Watercolor Artist—and Watercolor Magic—archive with these handy downloadable indexes.