A while back I commented that pictures that I mark out by drawing vectors that describe relationships between the objects in the composition (rather than marking out by grid) tend to be better pictures and I promised a post devoted to this subject.
What I am going to do is make a couple of posts on this subject, so that they don’t get too long. I will probably digress later also on to how I progress from the initial marking out and building up the underpainting and then the whole picture.
Well now I am working on a new picture (see the reference image on the right) that is a section from my ravine of the Jordan river picture that I did back in 2005. That picture was by the way, my first picture on canvas. Until then I had painted on board only.
What always amazes me (though I suppose it shouldn’t) is that whenever I analyze a reference photograph that I have chosen to paint, I always “discover” compositional features that “just appeared” there without necessarily any forethought. For example, a picture that just hangs together and has great composition “just happens” to divide on thirds and have great compositional vectors so that elements just lead your eye from one object to another within the picture.
In this one, the thirds “just happen” to come out on the bigger trees on the top right and bottom left and on the start and bend of the river. Those trees “just happen” to balance each other off and the river just flows between the other third marks. “Just happens” :-).