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bnoonan
04-04-2004, 07:43 PM
I hate to be a hog on this site but I'm in the midst of a piece that will be completed tomorrow and I need your help. If you don't have time - don't worry, I'll totally understand.

Most specifically I'm working on composition. I derived these questions from a chapter in Richard Schmid's book entitled "Alla Prima Everything I know about Painting" - which is an excellent resource and available only through his web site. (one of the best books I own)


Feel free to print this list out - I've got it hanging on my mirror to reflect on when I paint a piece....

With regards to Composition:

Balance - Is it in balance? Or if even easier – is it out of balance? Weighted too much to one side or another?

Harmony – or shall I say Disharmony? Is there something there that just doesn’t belong? Color, value, drawing error, an edge?

Lines of Direction – Are the conspicuous edges of shapes or lines in the painting leading your eyes somewhere?

Movement – Rhythm
Do the shapes nudge you around the page? Is there a repetition of certain shapes that make things more pleasant as your eye travels?

Values
Are they well defined, unbroken, and few in number?

Focal point(s)
Is there a focal point? What is the center of interest? Does your eye get lead there?

Pattern
Are there shapes that form as a result of similar values pulling together in an abstract way? (ex objects, background light all of the same value pulling together)


Many thanks for taking the time. I'll be at the easel with her first thing in the morning. It's interesting to see what you have to say...

Barb

Stoy Jones
04-04-2004, 07:55 PM
Barb, I may be hasty in pointing out her left arm, it seems a bit thin and rounded. The forearm seems to be needing a "beefing" up, but very carefully! Also, the right leg will need the same kind of work. You may already know this and have yet to work there as I do the same thing.

This is coming out wonderful and just love the pose and skin tones! I will be interested in how others will respond to the elements that you have mentioned as I am interested in those myself. I'll get around to reading about establishing mood too, but gotta go now. Thanks for posting these very pertinent questions!

Stoy

Dark_Shades
04-04-2004, 08:12 PM
Its a bit hard to say, as still unfinished....... but from what I see here, I like it alot, presumably the missing leg will be set to the viewers right, which will give a nice 'z' shape, and leads you up through the body to the head - beautiful skin tones, love those greens.... think possibly the back shoulder area may be a bit flat in tone
Not to keen on the greyish blue around her head, but that could be changing, that doesnt quite gel as it stands now....... will be interested to see what you do with the background....... agree with Stoy about the upper arm, needs a bit more form, and possibly the butt......

I think this is going to be your best so far Barb...... love the subject matter, the pose.... those reds have such a richness to them...... great piece, cant wait to see further updates

bnoonan
04-04-2004, 08:35 PM
Stoy - thanks - good call on the forearm. I see how it needs a bit more muscle. she shifted a lot but I can see where more "meat on her bones" will help.

Dawn great call on the back shoulder blades. I'll do something with them tomorrow too. the background is more of a blue mint green and compliments the red I hope. I want to give some green that the greens in her skin can play off of.

I'll let you see what develops tomorrow.

thank you.
Barb

Kathryn Day
04-04-2004, 09:08 PM
Barb,
Thanks for posting this list. It is so hard to remember to think about all these areas when you are new to painting, so I am printing it out to keep handy, think I will tape it to my art desk. I like your painting very much, love the deep red and the colors you use in the skin. Don't know enough to give critique yet.

Thanks for sharing. I may check out that website for that book too.

eileenclaire
04-05-2004, 12:15 AM
Barb, this is a great thread. I don't know a lot about composition, and the questions really have me thinking. What would you say is the focal point here?

Khadres
04-05-2004, 01:27 AM
I'm assuming the upper right leg will show up just a bit in the shadow where it lies on the couch? I wouldn't get too carried about with the upper arm...just a smidgen will turn it around, same with the shoulder blade. I like the way the path through the painting will follow the legs, in to the body, up the pack to her head and her gaze into ? That's always an intriguing set-up and stirs all sorts of conjecture in the mind of the viewer.

I'm waiting to see the "greenish" background emerge...for some reason it's very gray blue right now on my monitor tho I see hints of it to the left of her and that color should work very well as a counterpoint to the warm skin tones.

This is well on its way to being flat out beautiful. Does that count in the list?

jackiesimmonds
04-05-2004, 03:01 AM
It is difficult to comment on composition when a piece is unfinished, because one of the important elements of composition is seeing how the shapes in the piece RELATE TO THE EDGES OF THE RECTANGLE, AND HOW THE TONAL BALANCE WORKS THROUGHOUT.


Howver, since you asked so nicely, here are my thoughts:

.


Feel free to print this list out - I've got it hanging on my mirror to reflect on when I paint a piece....

With regards to Composition:

Balance - Is it in balance? Or if even easier – is it out of balance? Weighted too much to one side or another?
At the moment, it is weighted evenly. But again, a lot depends on what is going to happen at the bottom of the piece. This is critical to know.

Harmony – or shall I say Disharmony? Is there something there that just doesn’t belong? Color, value, drawing error, an edge?
The colour in the piece is harmonious so far although theer is little relationship, as yet, between negative and positive shapes in terms of colour. I presume you intend to have the model contrast strongly with the background.

Lines of Direction – Are the conspicuous edges of shapes or lines in the painting leading your eyes somewhere? Hard to say right now. At the moment, there is a hint of a zig zag taking us up to her head.

Movement – Rhythm
Do the shapes nudge you around the page? Is there a repetition of certain shapes that make things more pleasant as your eye travels?There is that Z shape I mentioned.

Values
Are they well defined, unbroken, and few in number?
There is a complete range of values. The piece does not seem to depend on a dominance one way or the other. You might want to think about that.

Focal point(s)
Is there a focal point? What is the center of interest? Does your eye get lead there? Well - no, not really. I am inclined to think that you want us to move up from the legs thro the body to the head....but instead, we get trapped by the strong contrast of fabric against body, at her stomach, and at her rear end. So, I do not see an obvious focal point right now.

Pattern
Are there shapes that form as a result of similar values pulling together in an abstract way? (ex objects, background light all of the same value pulling together)The pattern seems to be to revolve around the Z-shape, rather than anything else. There is some relationship between the dark shape of hair and fabric against her back, and the leg of the chair, but again, without seeing what you plan to do with the shapes at the bottom, and the tone to the left of the chair leg, this is not clear.


Many thanks for taking the time. I'll be at the easel with her first thing in the morning. It's interesting to see what you have to say...

Barb

Sorry, you have probably moved on with this as a result of the time difference with the UK, but I hope this helps a bit.

Nori
04-05-2004, 02:29 PM
Late to the party as usual. Now that all the learned comments have been made, may I just add that I instantly am attracted to the red vs. pale green/aqua. I love the subtle extent that the two colors show up in her skintones. There is something about the cascading angles of her body grounded in the curve of the chair that I find appealing too.

Really really nice. I look forward to seeing the finished version.

May I also say I wouldn't mind having skinny upper arms like hers.

siberart
04-05-2004, 03:13 PM
I love the composition also - everything is working well together.
Carrying your colors - the cruciform...skin tones.

A tiny suggestion/artistic license. IMHO I believe she needs a slightly larger boob to go with her body shape.