Thursday, October 01, 2009

3 Compositional Strategies for Landscape Paintings

Composition in landscape paintings is something that is partly intuitive, partly culled from observation and partly learned.

Below are several compositioinal strategies that you can apply, adjust and manipulate in your landscape paintings.

The Serpent

The ancient symbol of the serpent, an "s" curve is a classic compositional set up in landscape paintings. This meandering shape slowly and gently guides the viewer through the painting for a satisying visual journey. Waterways, roads, paths, cloud formations, fences all have potential as elements in a serpent composition.

November Sunset, 9x12, oil on canvas panel

Perspective Lines

In this painting you see how the plowed rows in the field lead the viewer's eye into the pictorial space and contribute to the illusion of distanced. But farm fields are not the only situation where you can utilize perspective lines. City streets, sidewalks, buildings, all lend themselves to this compositional device.

September Field II, 12 x24, acrylic on linen

The U

This compositional arrangement works well with a square format which can often be a challenge. Below we see the two trees and the foreground are all dark in value and frame the lighter distance creating an interesting contrast between light and dark. Trees, buildings, rock formations can all be arranged into a "U" to frame an interesting and lighter distance.

Clermont Morning, 10x10 acrylic on linen

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Art-by-MSR said...

Great post! I learn so much from your blog...and love your style!
Thank you,

Brenda said...

Love the November Sunset!!!