I’ve been doing these How I See Things posts to breakdown the elements of composition I find when exploring with photography. I find it fascinating how these elements lead your eye around an image, and I intentionally try to use them to my advantage when painting a picture. It’s like mind control!
I put a fair bit of thought into this painting I did for my brother a while back:
I want your eye to start at the face, so I made sure to make it the greatest point of contrast. Both in terms of value and saturation. Starting there, you’ll visually go for the ride down the path. Which I originally had receding to the horizon, but realized I could pull it right back into the face. Soon as I did that, I noticed my eyes repeatedly went around this happy little ride of doom, and was super pleased with how visually exciting it was to look at.
Two other things I’d point out, is that I attempt to enhance the visual impact of the hill by angling all the dominant straight lines toward it, and made an effort to place the two key points of interest on the 3rds grid to keep it reasonably balanced.
Let me know what you think! And remember that you can subscribe in the left sidebar if you’d like to see more of these posts.