Let's get more into details for the rules of composition.
I prepared a path to follow
You have an idea! Sketch it down, work on it. Try different composition in the way that follows
Decide the dimension of the final work:
Square, rectangle, size.
You can use your figer shaped in 2 "L" and creating a frame to help you decide when looking at a subject. Or you can use a View Finder.
You can divide the scene or area you work on with "intelligent" lines to which your subject more or less should adhere to.
Here I use photographs for reference but the same apply to any painting or drawing
Oh, I used the "Crop Guide Overlay" in the Develop panel inside Lightroom 3.0 to show you the hidden divisions inside a nice looking picture.I exagerated the thickness of the lines and colored them in red for the purpose of showing you those guide lines. In reality, Lightroom looks like that:
So let's start with the...
...Rule of thirds
See how the lighthouse is about following the left red vertical line? And the horizon the top horizontal red line?
Known since the ancient time is a proportion rule of beauty in nature and geometrical shapes.
here is a step by step illustration on how to find the golden mean on any rectangle:
and so we also made the...
There is now the...
...Golden Spiral (roughly highlighted)
That's what composition is all about!
What is the main center of interest?
Often the main center of interest, or focal point, is in one of the intersection of the "lines" shown above:
Here the focal point is the top left intersection with the top of the lighthouse roughly positioned on that point.
The focal point should be the spot with:
now follow some tricks to have the eye of the viewer follow a path leading to the focal point:
Mark Mehaffey’s full-length video tutorial at Creative Catalyst.
The Creative Catalyst Production(CCP) is a great way to find lessons online and immediately start to learn composition, watercolor. painting, drawing...And you can also rent the videos!
You can read about Richards ideas for making a successful painting here.
Richard's McKinley encourage to plan your painting from the very beginning...choosing the size and shape of your painting. Read on!
Here is Richard McKinley's Book: