Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Photos for painting, Bicycle Cafe. Several photos were taken of the scene, with various possibilities for an interesting composition. My final choice would probably be the second one shown. (Click on the image to see three versions)


A dramatic or dynamic presentation of a subject in a composition is very important. The artist's point of view or perspective has a great impact on the final composition.

Some artists claim the composition is far more important than the subject. I have even heard this from teachers in a drawing or painting class, who said this in a classroom where many of the students did not have a very interesting view of the model, or of a grouping of several objects in still life. But there is no substitute for finding that best arrangement before beginning to work.

As can be seen when several pictures of the same subject are presented from different points of view, there is a difference. Preference has a lot to do with development of style, as well as learning to present a subject effectively.

The artist owes him/herself the extra time it takes to get the best possible point of view, whether photographing, drawing or painting the subject.

If a tree is the subject of a landscape, twelve different perspectives might result in several versions to get the very best one to convey its special quality. Hopefully, this in turn will capture the viewer and communicate the inspiration the artist experienced in the first place. Several exciting images could also result in a series.

Placement of the subject within the picture plane is also critically important. Composition and design attempt to present a subject in the best possible way, to convey the feeling, character, impact, or mood that inspired the artist in the first place.


This leads to the next group of blog posts, which will illustrate a variety of options for presenting a subject, or Subject Treatment.

Images and Writing are the exclusive Copyright of Ruth Zachary.

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