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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Z is for Z Compositions

'New Day Dawning'             8x10              pastel          ©Karen Margulis

The Z wins it for me!   I love using a Z curve Composition in my paintings.  It is especially useful in a landscape as many elements naturally form curves.   The Z composition is just a variation of the S Curve which is simply arranging the elements of a composition to form a series of curves.  These curves lead the eye through the painting.

Edgar Payne in his book on composition prefers to use the term Compound Curves.  I like this term better because it doesn't limit you finding an S or Z in your painting design. You could very well have a sideways M or W. It could be big long lazy curves or tight short curves.  The idea is to use the curves to pull the viewer into and through the painting.

The curves don't have to be a feature such as water or road or path.  Many times the curves can be subtle like the arrangement of the light on the grass that pulls the eye around the painting in a curving manner.  I like to use Compound Curves in my wildflower paintings as well.  This is done in a very subtle way and I will share more about that in tomorrow's post.

My favorite Kiawah Island marsh view has perfect compound curves

Plein air version of the same marsh

a more subtle use of compound curves
This post concludes my month of A-Z blog posts.  I hope you enjoyed them. It was fun to use the a-z format to help me come up with ideas for new posts. For the month of May I will be back to my regular posting format. In June I hope you'll join me as I travel cross country on a wonderful art adventure! I will be blogging and sharing my art and the journey with you.


Anonymous said...

Thank you again for sharing all of your amazing information and knowledge (and talent). I see that you offer online mentoring--can you tell me more about it?

Kristin Heslop

Karen said...

Thank you very much Kristin. Online mentoring will be a month long session that includes phone chats, weekly assignments and critiques done via email. Sessions are limited to 5 artists each month with then next available openings in July. I can send you more detailed information if you contact me with your email. There is a contact button on my blog on the right sidebar.
Thanks again!!

angela j simpson said...

You might get this twice - last post didn't work! I've really enjoyed your alphabetical blog - might try it myself one day! Z's are appealing to me too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen,

I've only just discovered your work and your blog, and I must say you are inspiring! I love the work you do, and will make an effort to learn from it.
Thanks so much,
Peter Pochade

Karen said...

Thank you Angela! I hope you visit often!

Karen said...

Thank you Peter. I appreciate your comments and hope you visit often!