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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > January 19 > Complex compositions

Complex compositions

Yael Maimon concludes her series on composition by demonstrating how to design and paint a complex composition, with her ten top tips for success
Double triangle composition

Dinner is Served, acrylic, 17x231⁄2in (43x59.5cm).

In this painting I wanted to capture some of the street cats engaging whilst eating

Trying to incorporate more complex compositions in your work can be intimidating and challenging, but there are some practical ways to achieve effective results. One good way to learn is to analyse an artwork and apply what you learn to your own work. For instance, take a good look at my painting Dinner is Served (right); consider how I handled the composition, how I used colour, how I created depth.

Double-triangle composition: the placement of the cats creates two triangles (right). These triangles balance each other out well.

Circulation of the eye: the frame is filled with multiple subjects. The repetition of colour, as well as the shape and light variations, encourages the eye to travel several times around the composition.

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About The Artist

Welcome to the first issue of 2019 to inspire and inform your artistic development, including all the information you will need to plan your entries to the best open competitions throughout the year in our extensive 5-page guide. We also see the start of two new series, by Ruth Buchanan on how to draw and paint animals with confidence, and Mark David Hatwood on all aspects of marketing and how to make money from your artwork. There are practical articles and demonstrations showing you how to adapt your painting techniques for coloured pencil work, with amazing results, how to paint a self-portrait as well as a stunning faded rose, both in watercolour, and how to make your watercolours more dynamic by using watercolour grounds. Our top artist contributors also share their expertise on best practice for working on the spot, how to plan a complex composition, paint your first realist still life in acrylic, use your sketchbooks to work out your ideas, how to paint successfully from your photos and which colours to mix in oils to achieve a sense of space in your landscapes. With all this and much more, there's plenty to keep you drawing and painting over the festive period. Enjoy!