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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How to Discover Simple Compositions for Paintings

'Over Golden Fields'         4x4       pastel     ©Karen Margulis  $35 Etsy
Make every inch beautiful.  I wrote about this in a recent post and I am trying to remember this wonderful advice from Nancy Guzik.  Today a student brought in a pile of viewfinders she had made from black matboard scraps. The view finders are 2 inch squares which will be perfect for checking over a finished painting to ensure that there is something beautiful happening all over the painting.

But after the morning class left I had a great idea for the little viewfinders.  Why not use it to find beautiful little paintings within the painting!  Have you ever had a painting that didn't work but had areas that were great?  Or at least had possibilities?  This is the same idea.  I tried the idea using the demo I did for the class.

'Indian Summer Day'           16x20          pastel 

Here is the demo I did for the morning pastel class. We are working on skies and I will be posting more about that in future posts.  I took the little viewfinder and held it over the big painting moving it until I found a little snippit that I liked. Laying the viewfinder flat I then painted a small 4x4 pastel based on the simple composition in the viewfinder.

The painting at the top of the post is the result.  Since I could only see a small part of the painting the new painting takes on a totally different mood. It was also easier to simplify the composition since I was enlarging the simple shapes I saw in the viewfinder.

Using a viewfinder to discover new compositions
I am excited about the possibilities of using this little viewfinder. I can see how it will lend itself to uncovering possible abstract compositions as well as simplified landscapes.  We will be trying this exercise in class soon!

You might like to read my post on making every inch of your painting beautiful HERE


MarjRC said...

I love this idea! Very inspiring. Thank you!

Oli said...

Great idea, thanks for posting!