Composition is king

Using unusual formats is a great challenge. This 7×22 piece of watercolor paper was a great example of an extreme vertical shape and provided me the opportunity to elongate the figure while breaking up the space in a unique manner. The placement of the woman goes from upper left to lower right, dividing the paper on the diagonal and energizing the composition.

In this painting, the placement of the figure is as important, if not more important, than the actual rendering of the form. Remember, composition is king! Without the extreme vertical format and the strong diagonal line, the painting would lack some of the drama.

There are two other elements that contribute to the success of this painting: color and texture. The color palette and application are simple, just four basic colored inks diluted with water and loosely applied. The textures are created in a variety of ways. I used wet-on-wet techniques in some places, wet-on-dry in others. I also employed blotting, layering and wiping color away to create variations on the paper. The combination of the format, diagonal composition, color and texture deliver a unique presentation with mood and elegance.

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