|Around and Up, oil, 8x10|
This past week I held a one-day Composition Boot Camp workshop at my studio. The subject of my demo above had several elements that could easily get stuck in the middle. I teach a method for planning out your composition that addresses this, among many other objectives.
In "Around and Up," I wanted a variety of shapes going across the top of the painting, but I didn't want the shape between the two trees to end up dead center. I also didn't want the edge of the left tree to stop at the center. You can see in my sketch below that I placed those shapes in relation to the center and then followed this little "map" when blocking in my painting.
Unless your painting relies on a strong statement in which center placement is part of the message being conveyed, you normally want to avoid it. Of course, something in your composition will need to fall across the center areas of the painting. I normally try to be sure no element of the painting is emphasized along the center (i.e., hard edges, sharp contrast, saturated color), and if it is, I'll subdue that area.
Below are a couple of other recent demos from a workshop I taught in Chattanooga, TN last week:
|View from Highway 24, oil, 14x11|
|Evening Glow on Wyanett Creek, oil, 14x11|
The following three out of my next seven workshops still have room: