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Consider your value shapes to create emphasis.

Today's note is about organizing your painting by establishing your composition.  An easy way to think about composition, is to realize that the goal of composition is to inform the viewer of where to look and when.  Your job is to create a visual hierarchy within your painting.  This is often done by organizing areas of your painting by value.

I gleaned this idea from a favorite book that is just dedicated to composition,  Composition: A Painter's Guide to Basic Problems and Solutions by David Friend.
2.  Techinique - Values
Composition: A Painter's Guide to Basic Problems and Solutions by David Friend
Ch 2:  Light and Dark Shape Relationships, p 52, 54

Light value masses in opposition to larger [dark] value masses can be used to reinforce and enhance the since of mood and action of the predominant two-dimensional geometric shape motif.
Light value masses can also be used to focus interest on the focal point of the painting. This is especially true when two thirds of the format is dark in value and the focal point is the only object in clear light.

This notecard is about how you organize your composition using values.

The first idea presented about a predominate two-dimensional geometric shape motif, is an idea I first learned about when attending a lecture given by Daniel Sprick.  He likes to organize his compositions into big value shapes, and each shape is given a very distinct value range to work within.  This allows for detail to be included, but if you squint your eyes at his work, typically you can discern the distinct value shape areas that divide up the picture plane into specific areas.  

The second idea, is all about visual emphasis, just think of a Rembrandt self-portrait.  Typically, his forehead and check are brightly lit, everything else falls back into a murky atmosphere.  Those murky areas are not important, but the focal point is.  

In the next two weeks, I want to encourage you to try out one of these ideas with your painting.  I think you will enjoy the exercise.  
Copyright © 2019 eLIZabeth Floyd Fine Art, All rights reserved.

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