Some helpful tips...
It is very helpful to PLAN a painting in every detail in your mind. Composing a center of interest, using analogous colours, complementary colours, darks,lights, good shapes, calligraphy etc. Your success rate will increase.

Compose your painting in your mind and or with the aid of a thumb nail (small 4"x 6" + or --) sketch or use other aids that assist your memory.

Place it un-equal distances from the edges of the four sides of your paper or canvas, to get the greatest advantage of excitement, stimulus and emotion possible out of a rectangular painting. It should be the first thing noticeable about the painting from across the room. Temp the viewer to want to see more. It could be anything, a being, a thing, a colour, a shape. Make it the star of the show.

Painters talk about colour dominance and analogous colours, to make all of the painting work together. Good colour use would not separate a painting into parts. For example if the foreground, middle ground, and background (sky) are all different colours, we may end up with separate bands of colour, like a flag. A better painting will have integrated colours. Try to use good colour imagination.

Are opposite colours on the colour wheel. They make each other look good when placed next to each other. Use them to attract attention to a center of interest. Complementary colours in appropriate places, create luminosity, vibrancy, sparkle (refractive index), and exhilaration in the painting.

Are often used to make strong centers of interest and to make a strong attraction. Therefore the STRONGEST darks and the LIGHTEST lights should always be near the center of interest. The lesser darks and lights can be assimilated.

Make the shapes as interesting as possible. Shapes in equal sizes, or perfect rectangles, triangles or spheres are a deterrent to attractive compositions. Shapes that share spaces and overlap are a better attraction. Shapes can be colour and or include line.Variation and alteration in shapes of any size, are an asset to any composition.

Often overlooked as an important feature in paintings and does not get the attention it needs for complementing an attractive composition. Calligraphy is many things, such as tree branches, board and batten, bricks, distant evergreens, birds in flight, fences, gates, hydro poles, wires, cracks in rocks and many other things.

When FINE ART painters can visualize a scene in their mind without reference and execute a competent, attractive, communicative painting by hand without any mechanical i.e. computerized aids, they have neared the realm of being an artists.

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