View Full Version : composition advice please

05-01-2007, 08:33 AM
I am planning to do this as my next painting but after figuring out a lot in Photoshop, I cannot make up my mind at the moment about which shape the painting to do in.

The first Photoshop set up is less rectangular than the next, which is much wider than its high. The wider one would fit a standard piece of pastel paper and frame (!) better, but although it would be handy it should not decide what to go for.

The more squarish one shows a bit more of the man's head and there's more space underneath his hand. There are some other differences in colours etc, but I am only wondering about the overal shape of the painting now. Anything else I'll figure out during the painting process.

You might not see that much difference (I am going on about nothing??:confused: :p ) but,

which one do you think is better?? The top one or the bottom one?

This just a photo edit - no painting yet!

Thanks! Cannot wait to get started...

05-01-2007, 09:04 AM
While both comps have their merits I feel that the bottom one is a little more intimate. I'd possibly suggest that you keep the base at the same position as the top piece. That way you can get the space under the hand and those wonderful lead ins with the folds on the sleeve. While I wouldn't suggest removing much of the man's head perhaps zooming out a bit to add some more space to the sides may help combine the best of both layouts.

05-01-2007, 09:50 AM
I like the bottom one also.

05-01-2007, 10:06 AM
Hi there,

I prefer the bottom one.
It transmits better, not only visually but also in terms of sensations, the cumplicity/love (sp?) between both.

Kind regards,


05-01-2007, 10:36 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-May-2007/15421-comp3.jpg Thanks for that...
going by your advice - I amended it like this....added a bit on the left and right....

Suppose I better get started...LOL


05-01-2007, 10:48 AM
Oh yeah, that last one works great. Good advice, Leigh. It looks like this is going to be a fantastic piece, soap. :)

I'm just curious: is this something you painted digitally from a photo reference, or is it an edit of an actual photo?

05-01-2007, 10:53 AM
Annie, I just digitally painted over the photo. First to get rid of the background, then I moved the man about a bit, then I 'painted' to get rid of some edges, change colours etc etc. I hope I solved some problems at this stage, not only composition, but also edges, dark and light etc. No doubt the actual painting will look completely different, LOL!!
Thanks for your input!

05-01-2007, 11:05 AM
I'm looking forward to watching this develop. The new comp is perfect

Karen Margulis
05-01-2007, 01:41 PM
I vote for the bottom one as it seems more intimate. I can see why you are excited about starting...this is going to be wonderful!!!


05-01-2007, 03:36 PM
Hope I don´t make things more difficult with a different opinion. I woul´d cut off some from the right side to make it even more close together. But you can allways make the final desicion with matting, right. All in all it looks great!

Merethe T
05-01-2007, 04:21 PM
Pulling up a chair.....lovely comp, will be interesting to watch this come to life!


05-01-2007, 04:48 PM
This is going to be a really beautiful painting. How fantastic! you did this on photo shop? I have photo shop but have not learnt how to work it yet!! Man, I am going to have to learn!!
Love your comp !


05-01-2007, 09:44 PM
Just my personal opinion, but I would crop the right edge. I have done so in Photoshop.



05-02-2007, 01:18 AM
I believe the one you chose will work, but I do agree with the crop Don did, why? because the negative space around the child is a better balance and more interesting shape and adds energy to the comp. Notice the shape of the lower right corner negative space in each one ...just my 2 cents
pulling up a chair...although I should be sitting in mine finishing my own!

05-02-2007, 03:38 AM
Thanks all, and thanks Don for the crop.
I got started on a piece of Colourfix paper and I'll see where I'll crop it once its done or during the process....
I might start again as this Colourfix paper doesn't suit me at all - I cannot seem to layer much with the softer pastels as the tooth fills up so quickly! I only got it out since I am out of La Carte....grumble....

I'll keep you posted (another thread I suppose)

05-02-2007, 04:38 AM
Eager to see the progress on this. Great picture and composition.