Compositions in Oil Painting - By: Joe Koch

Composition is the process of selectively arranging the elements of a painting. Composition could be broken into its elements in compositional painting. It is crucial to understand the idea of composition because it acts as a guide and will help lead the eyes of the painter through a painting while painting it and preserves the interest of the painter towards his or her painting. Often, many will begin by making preparatory sketches and then provide shading for the objects in the painting according to the present light conditions. They work on multiple experiments until they find the perfect arrangement that projects the feelings of balance and novelty.

There are many elements of composition in painting. These compositions can help an artist better understand the techniques of painting. But a truly brief list would be space, shape, line and tone. Firstly, the space of a painting, which includes several forms such as two dimensional, primitive and self-created. The two dimensional technique is where the forms of objects are modified to fit into the flat surface of a canvas. The primitive technique is where the objects of a picture are distributed in a random manner without an evident feature of control. The self-created technique happens when the artist paints a painting leading to the creation of the painting's own sense of space incorporated into the painting at the point of painting, rather than having the sense of space predetermined. These techniques are several forms which paintings take and each of them generates vastly different effects to the viewer. Painters should consider in which form they would like to paint in as this would affect the painting's overall beauty. Next, the shape of a painting is determined by the areas of a painting marked off by lines, or different adjustments made to tone or colour. Shapes posses inherent abstract qualities by which the interaction of shapes in a painting can create sensations of agitation and direction in each shape independently. Subsequently, lines in a painting enclose and contain forms, and they could function as the edge markers of the intersection of two planes as well. Having a greater advantage than shapes, lines have their own distinct authority that creates the impression of movement and texture. Apart from that, tone is another important element of composition in painting. A tone simply means the level of brightness or darkness in a painting which brings mood in the painting for example employing dark tones for a sense or an indication of mystery or threat. These are the various elements of composition in painting.

Following the knowing of the elements of composition in painting is determining the way to employ these techniques. There are many paths that a painter can choose from to achieve the desired effect, but the outcome of this would be dependent on the aim of the painting, the experience of the painter and the courage of the painter to experiment new techniques. Painting draws the connection between the hope of the painter and the content of the artwork. An important point that artists should remember about this summary of the elements of composition is that these guides are neither exclusive nor comprehensive and will only be sensible to the artist after having studied actual paintings extensively or through having experienced practical painting.

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Composition is the process of selectively arranging the elements of a painting Composition could be broken into its elements in compositional painting

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