The casual observers with amateur eyes may go unnoticed about the principles of design, which is a common foundation of the all types of artwork. The world of modern art paintings remains unapproachable for the people unfamiliar with basic rules of creating great artwork. Art enthusiasts besides having an emotional response to canvas paintings of any discipline should have a solid understanding of the underlying design principles that brings high artwork into being.
Everything an artist imagines is real. However, to become a sophisticated, mature artist you must learn to manipulate the key elements of perception, composition and how to use light and shadow in your paintings. The arty tenets are instilled in the painters from the earliest levels that keeps on evolving to reach the most advanced echelons of mastery. But, this happens when an artist has a remarkable understanding of the basic rules of composition for creating a great art.
The principles of composition are largely related to the technical aspects of a executing a specific brushstroke, or where add detail and where to keep the brush movement minimal, where to position a certain subject, rather than the aesthetic concepts. Let’s have a look at some of the tips related to basic composition techniques of paintings that are essential for all those people who wants to draw in a convincing, expressive way with minimum effort and frustration.
Composition refers to the layout of all the elements in your painting such as color, tone, line, space and contouring. Start with shape and plan out with large contours for your entire painting.
Draw preliminary sketches of what you want to draw. If you start working with the smaller shapes and individual objects your drawing will lack definition, beating the convincing factor. Therefore, first do the basics right and then go into minute details.
Lines and curves guide the viewers through a painting. Curves appear more natural than the horizontal/vertical lines.
A pleasant sensation comes through curves, while horizontal lines that commonly occurs in landscape paintings convey peaceful feelings. Use diagonal lines to express emotional strain in your painting.
Colors highlight the idea of light or dark. The monochromatic or black and white art needs subtle approach and therefore, you need to use the palette colors accordingly. You can define your very own color combination depending on the aesthetic idea you want to draw. Intensity in a painting comes from how saturated or vivid colors you use.
Tone or shading is directly linked to the color element. Shadows and special effects in a painting brings the viewers a sense of gravity and penetration like in the landscapes or abstraction. Tone helps creating three-dimensional perspectives in your painting. Use this element prudently or it could obscure the whole theme.
Space, positive (space filled with objects in a painting) or negative (space between drawing elements) plays a vital role in making a piece of art effectively persuasive and captivating. It depends on what type of painting you are into. In the western contemporary art, color or shading is used to cover the negative space, while in the Asian modern art paintings it is left blank as the white space that’s effective in its own way. However, whatever type or medium of painting you use, never keep the same amount of negative space in compositional elements of your artwork. Make it more interesting with differentiated size and shape of the negative/positive space.
Take care of balance and unity in a painting composition as these are the hallmarks of a great piece of art.
- Keep the proportion of small objects minimum in your painting as it could distract the viewers.
- Position the most prominent subject of your painting slightly off-center because it will bring a nice flow to the viewers.
- Avoid placing the horizon line in the center of your painting; place it high or low, demonstrating more sky or ground as per your painting idea.
- Better to place each element in the ratio of 3 to 5 with respect to any other compositional element.
- The repetition of a few elements of composition is a key to unify your work.
Painting is just another way of keeping a diary of thoughts that should communicate your ideas clearly and coherently. Follow these tips on the fundamentals of composition, design techniques and demonstrate your canvas paintings as done by a professionally mature artist, not an amateur.