Design and Compostion of your painting can either help it or hurt it. There are several methods for creating good composition in your paintings: The rule of thirds, the golden mean, the simple cross. There is symmetrical and asymmetrical compositions. As an artist you will be making these decisions as you plan out your piece. I tend to use the simple cross method. you divide your canvas into four equal parts, you keep any major object in your design off of the four lines and out of the direct middle, you work your light to keep the eye moving and you are good!
Thanks for posting this Al, very informative! I use the rule of thirds when designing my painting. That could be light and shadow, like 2/3 shadow in the composition and 1/3 light or visa versa. The landscape too, place the horizon in thirds also. For a big sky feature, 1/3 land and 2/3 sky. Never place your horizon line in the middle.
I was thinking this morning (me thinking is scary in itself), anyway, throughout my design career, I never had to give “rules” much thought; I just started drawing. Looking back at some of those original pages and examining how we might recognize the rules naturally used in the process, I totally agree that my better compositions always adhered directly one rule or another.
I am by nature a rule breaker. I like apple pie for breakfast. Chocolate cake is good too! Painting outside the box thus fractilizes the rule’s boundaries, and just maybe leads us into an unexpected wonderland of brush made creation.
My mother tinted B&W photo-portraits using Q-tips, no brush work. They were/are excellent. I’ll continue to use my Rosemary brushes for oils, but someday I’m also going to grab a piece of cake for breakfast and then go into my studio and attempt to break some other composition rules as well. 🙃