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Old 03-08-2012, 06:43 PM
mackay333 mackay333 is offline
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Missouri
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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regarding buildings...

Are there any special composition rules regarding focusing on a building? For example, if I want to fill the canvas with an old church building, are there any tips? Or if in a photograph the building is centered and filling most of the page, are there any tips on emphasizing a portion? Or is it just adding more detail and color in a semi-arbitrary focal point using the rule of thirds, and removing some detail and color from the rest?

Please keep it simple, I have no formal art education and have lost a lot of intelligence in the last several years, so a lot of articles on composition are too difficult for me to understand. I've found plenty of articles on landscapes, but not too many on buildings in particular. In the reference library one finds a lot of centered bridges and buildings, so I'm finding that I might have to adjust the image. There are also old buildings in my area that might make interesting paintings, if I only knew how to do the composition in an interesting way.
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:49 PM
mackay333 mackay333 is offline
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Re: regarding buildings...

for example, what do I do with these two old wood buildings in town?



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Old 03-09-2012, 04:06 AM
Keith2 Keith2 is offline
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Re: regarding buildings...

Both photos are interesting, with fairly strong contrasts of light and shade.

With the first one, I think the house in the left background either needs removing when you paint the picture, or perhaps the camera needs to pan a bit more to the left so that more of it is shown. The eye level is unusual, as it's probably about 10ft above ground and level with the single pitched roof on top of the verandah.

In the second picture the tree on the left is partly cropped, and it will look odd if you include it in the picture.

I prefer the first of the two pictures.

When painting buildings I paint the eye level (horizon line) right at the start, and indicate the left and right vanishing points. Things become a bit difficult if one or both vanishing points are outside the edge of the painting.

There's a few pages of good advice on buildings in "Charles Reid's Watercolour Secrets"
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:48 AM
claude j greengrass claude j greengrass is offline
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Re: regarding buildings...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith2
...
There's a few pages of good advice on buildings in "Charles Reid's Watercolour Secrets"

Thanks for reminding me to re-read 'Watercolour Secrets'. It only took 15 minutes to read most/all of the text in the landscape section, but what a wealth of advice.

"One of my 'usually true' rules is that a painting with 75 percent large shapes and 25 percent small shapes will be more effective than a painting with 25 percent large shapes and 75 percent small shapes. Busier, fussier paintings tend to be less effective"

"Minimize the number of times you change values in a painting. If you see four or more values, squint to see if you could combine some of them so your composition will be more unified."

and my personal favourite: "Before you paint a scene, decide what interests you most. What first caught your eye? What part of the scene will be difficult to paiint, or will detract from the overall composition? Skip that part if possible, or find a way too deemphasize (sic) it."
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:51 AM
Keith2 Keith2 is offline
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Re: regarding buildings...

Charles Reid's book is full of useful advice, especially since most of it is applicable to painting in general, rather than just water colour.

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