Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Horizon Lines

The horizon divides the painting into two parts:  sky and earth.  But, placing the horizon at or near the center of the composition will give equal weight to each part.  By putting the horizon higher up, it becomes an "earth" painting (sea included.)  If the horizon were low on the paper, there would be more emphasis on the sky.

So it's important to ask yourself, Which one do I want to emphasize?  If it's the sky, there had better be some drama there:  clouds, color, light or dark values.  If it's the earth, think about having several planes, and perhaps more texture in the foreground.

In this painting of Grimes Cove, I wanted to emphasize the earth portion of the painting.  There are about four planes working forward:  The far island, the near island, the rocks, and the tree/foliage.  And as I worked forward, there were more and more textures to entertain the eye.

When composing a landscape painting, decide first which area you want to emphasize.  Give that area the biggest space and shape, and the viewer will know what you want them to look at. Then, using values, colors and textures, show him what you found interesting in that area.

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