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Painting Challenge 3 week 2

I think that the challenge we are currently exploring is creating a very healthy and supportive dialogue within the group. We all know how hard painting is - and how tricky our choices are in terms of all aspects of our approach to creating a study.

We discussed composition yesterday and how this can affect how we ‘read’ a painting. There are many ways to organise imagery and opinions vary around how successful different theories are. We have looked at the Golden Rectangle and I think that this is a good basis for understanding where items within a picture can be placed and it roughly conforms, as well, to the Rule of Thirds. ‘The Rule of Thirds is the easiest art composition rule to follow in a painting. It's a basic rule, popular among photographers, but equally applicable to the composition of paintings. Applying the rule of thirds to a painting means you'll never have a painting that's split in half, either vertically or horizontally, nor one with the main focus right in the centre, like a bull's eye.’

To do this divide a canvas into thirds both horizontally and vertically, and place the focus of the painting either one-third across or one-third up or down the picture, or where the lines intersect.

How we also use light, form, texture, shape, and colour impacts directly on our composition so in future notes I will cover each one.

I think that as we gain knowledge about pictorial devices it can seem like a constraint, but I would always advocate a playful approach to picture making - we can always apply critical thought to our work at intervals throughout the production of a painting or at the end!

As well as the photo from yesterday I have included a Rembrandt self portrait and a Cézanne landscape as demonstrating an interesting use of compositional devices.

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