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Simple Composition: Joe's Test Studio

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Published on Dec 17, 2010

http://www.cheapjoes.com Welcome to Joe's Test Studio!

Hi! I'm Joe, actually "Cheap" Joe from Cheap joe's Art Stuff. I want to talk a little bit about composition. There have been literally thousands and thousands of books written on composition. I've not read more than one or two, and I had to dig my way through that. It seems like its so technical and complicated. Composition goes back so far, the Greeks had a term called the golden mean. that was their compositional theory. Its actually a mathematical formula, like 1.66 and on forever. But Im a simple person and a simple artist, and I need quick simple things, so i simplified it into something that If I can understand, anyone can understand it.
Heres what it is, it's tic tac toe, just that easy.

So if this is your sheet of watercolor paper, lets say thats a half sheet or full sheet of watercolor paper, and you and I were going to play tic tac toe, I would simply come in here and line it off in thirds. Anywhere these lines intersect is a good place for your center of interest. In other words, where you want the viewer to look, where you want to direct the eye. So this would be a fine place right in here. If I didn't want it there I could come down here and have it here, or here anywhere these lines cross. It doesn't matter the shape of the paper, we can divide it this way. If we have a square sheet of paper, it works exactly the same way, a third, a third and a third, and heres my center of interest. We can have other things in there as you can see , it doesn't have to be right there. Its like if you walk into a totally dark church at night, and on the altar is one candle lit, flickering. Where does your eye go? Of course it goes to the candle, and thats what we want to do here. We want to direct your eye to this one place right here that will be the center of interest to this painting. So there would be that space right in there. Theres the center of interest right there. It could have been down in here, or up in here. And so thats the way we do it we can leave a light trail going into it if we want to, but thats the general idea. Thats's my simplified version of composition, thousands of books boiled down into tic tac toe! I hope you find that helpful.

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