WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > The Learning Center > Composition and Design
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Reply  
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-20-2019, 10:03 PM
__Eric__'s Avatar
__Eric__ __Eric__ is offline
Senior Member
Southeast Michigan
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 124
 
Hails from United States
Exercises or tutorials on choosing elements for a composition?

My brain wants to put everything it sees into the painting. It isn't possible. I've been told to "use my artists eye" to filter elements out and only paint what is essential. I have no intuition for this and it causes me to avoid anything but single element still lifes. I can take one thing out of a complex photo but pleine air is out of scope. I'd like to progress.

Is anyone aware of tutorials, videos, books or anything that can help with training my brain to filter out all but the essentials to compose a good scene? I know I just need practice but I don't know how to start. I've tried using random reference photos for practice but I always try to put everything in, I'm not sure how to filter. Youtube or online is fine but a dvd/video or book would be better for me. Any suggestions at all are appreciated and will be attempted.

Thanks.
__________________
Eric
C&C always welcome!

Last edited by __Eric__ : 04-20-2019 at 10:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-21-2019, 02:06 AM
~JMW~'s Avatar
~JMW~ ~JMW~ is offline
A WetCanvas! Patron Saint
Oregon
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,402
 
Hails from United States
Re: Exercises or tutorials on choosing elements for a composition?

I found the tips links in my siggy helpful -
Leave some calming areas , so the eye can rest and painting is not overly busy.
Does this object enhance the scene or not/is it really needed or not?
Where is the focal area and is there a interesting visual path that helps me move thru the painting to it.
__________________
JMW's Paintings
I found this section very informative - Partner: WetCanvas Live! with Johannes Vloothuis- http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=522
Composition Tips http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles/Jo...120/index.html
Reply With Quote
  #3   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-21-2019, 08:49 AM
virgil carter's Avatar
virgil carter virgil carter is offline
A Local Legend
Boerne, TX USA
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,462
 
Hails from United States
Re: Exercises or tutorials on choosing elements for a composition?

Well...this is a common problem for many early painters. Welcome to the group!

My suggestion: before starting to paint, figure out what story you want the painting to tell. What idea, emotion, feeling you want to share. Identify your point of interest, or your area interest, i.e., the "star" of the painting; the most important thing in the painting.

When you have identified the "star" of your painting, remember that everything else--everything--is secondary and has only one role: to support the star and direct the viewer's attention to that star.

Ruthlessly eliminate everything which is competitive with the star or which is not needed to direct attention to the star and support the viewer's focus on the star.

A final point: if you are doing landscapes, keep in mind there are up to three planes in a landscape--foreground, middle ground and background. Not every landscape has all three planes but many do. Whatever plane is the one where your "star" is located is the most important plane. The remaining planes are simply secondary and exist only to get the viewer's eye to the most important plane and the "star". Downplay the secondary planes and focus your attention on the important plane.

Said differently, don't throw a lot of detail into the foreground if the star lives in the middle ground or background.

Good luck with your painting!

Sling paint,
Virgil
__________________
Virgil Carter
http://www.virgilcarterfineart.com/
Reply With Quote
  #4   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-22-2019, 03:40 AM
SilverSwallow's Avatar
SilverSwallow SilverSwallow is offline
Senior Member
Dublin, Ireland
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 154
 
Hails from Ireland
Re: Exercises or tutorials on choosing elements for a composition?

You have already received some great advice so I will try add a little to it.
In my experience and from teaching, I have found that you can spend more time looking at tutorials, reading books,etc than study.

What you need to do is actually practice. The easiest method and one which I teach is to put yourself together a folder or collection of paintings you admire and enjoy. It doesn't matter if its landscapes,portraits,etc, just something you enjoy and inspires you.
Next, draw them out with a time limit of 20 minutes. Make little thumbnail sketches. Concentrate on big shapes and light and shadow relationships. At the end of 20 minutes, write some notes under each about the composition and what you have learned. Whats the light source, how do we read the composition. How has the artist done this or that. This will force your brain to draw with a reason, and not just mindless copy. Do an absolute minimum of 1 per day. After 100, you will see such a difference to your work. Better if you can do an hour at least. Remember its not about the drawings here. Its an exercise, not a work of art. No need to show anyone them. Work on inexpensive paper. I suggest the little "post it" stick pads. They are a great size and you can carry them anywhere with a pen and draw anytime. A4 printer paper is cheap and great too. All you need is a pen or HB pencil.

When your learning, its a long road, when you become a more experienced painter, its still a long road. Its a skill that requires more than one lifetime to master. Don't be in a rush, take your time and enjoy the journey. Put in the time and learn the fundamentals and you will be rewarded. Happy painting


In the words of Solomon J Solomon, "We do not get stronger by watching others lift weights".
__________________
Failure, the greatest teacher there is!- Master Yoda
Thoughts,tips,insights and personal critiques over on my new blog at https://art-beat.blog/
Reply With Quote
  #5   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-22-2019, 04:03 PM
__Eric__'s Avatar
__Eric__ __Eric__ is offline
Senior Member
Southeast Michigan
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 124
 
Hails from United States
Re: Exercises or tutorials on choosing elements for a composition?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~JMW~
I found the tips links in my siggy helpful -
Leave some calming areas ...
Hi JMW, thanks for the suggestions and the link.

Quote:
Originally Posted by virgil carter
Well...this is a common problem for many early painters. Welcome to the group!
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by virgil carter
... When you have identified the "star" of your painting, remember that everything else--everything--is secondary and has only one role: to support the star and direct the viewer's attention to that star.

I think this is exactly what my issue is I can find the "star" and I end up just having a single element and then give up because my brain wants to put in everything else in the reference too. Kitchen sink and all and so I leave it as a single element stand alone. The reason I am looking for a tutorial is that if I can watch a pro showing how they take , for instance a reference photo, and what strategy they use to pick and choose elements to put in and leave out I believe I can train myself to do it too. I'd ideally like to engage a live tutor but there are none here, and the closet college with an art program is too far. I got a suggestion from someone for a watercolor teacher named Sian Dudley who has a video course that is inexpensive and may be fairly close to what I'm looking for. Thanks Virgil for the suggestions. Anything I can get to help me is good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSwallow
You have already received some great advice so I will try add a little to it.
In my experience and from teaching, I have found that you can spend more time looking at tutorials, reading books,etc than study.

What you need to do is actually practice.

Hi SilverSwallow, thanks for the really good advice. I know I need to practice but I am a visual learner and I learn very quickly and in depth by watching complete examples. I have a number of dvd's that have examples to follow but they just scratch the surface of what I need, how to filter what I'm seeing. Practicing without knowing what to practice is not fruitful, at least for me. As I wrote above to Virgil I may have found one that was suggested to me.
__________________
Eric
C&C always welcome!
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:51 PM.


© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.