Learning Composition

The last few months I’ve been learning about painting landscapes, it’s much harder than pet or people portrait’s because you need to consider distance, composition etc. It was only last month that the penny dropped on what composition actually means. Basically in layman’s terms it’s how the viewer moves their eyes across your painting. I visited Liverpool for a couple of days in June 2023 where I tried out  “compositions”. I have painted various landmarks in Liverpool over the past couple of weeks such as the Liver building, museum of Liverpool and the Albert Docks etc. I love the combination of old and new buildings which helped me to learn more about composition and perspective. I will add more examples of the other Liverpool paintings another time, I did ten paintings and sketches all together, by finding reference images while looking on google earth (as if I was walking the streets) and also sketched & painted more while I was visiting Liverpool, below is just one example:

On this watercolour example above (of the Albert Docks in Liverpool) I didn’t want the viewer blocked from the painting so I removed the metal chains on the railings, then in my usual swirly strange way I decided to allow the railings to swirl into the water towards the boats in the distance, the viewers eyes follow this swirl up until the painting faded into mist. This stop in the detail (the mist) prevents the eyes leaving the page and instead the viewer would go into reverse gear and follow their viewpoint back to the start (the life ring). I liked this composition because it keeps the viewer on the painting for longer, even though it’s a very basic image. It was painted in the very early hours, before the sun shone and no one was around to capture a peaceful morning misty feel.

The sky arts Landscape Artist of the year series 9 was being filmed on the 12Th and 13th while I was there, which will be aired in January 2024 so I was able to see some wonderful artworks being created by 50 wildcards and 6 pod artists at the Liverpool waterfront. There was a huge inflatable Octopus on the filming area next to the museum of Liverpool which was an unusual sight to see and several spectators viewing the painters. I would have loved to have stayed longer to watch the LAOTY contestants & wildcards painting at the Albert Docks the next day but my couple of day’s working was done and it was time to return home to Burbage village and my little dog. And no, I wasn’t painting the Albert Docks in a pod with LAOTY 2024 contestants, although I wish I was good enough to have been.