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Digital Subscriptions > Leisure Painter > Nov-17 > In the frame

In the frame

Part 2 Tony Paul looks at classical compositions and how to apply them to your work



How to compose your paintings

Understanding how various classic shapes can enhance your work

Even in the early medieval times artists used formal compositions in their paintings, particularly in religious subjects. Figure 1 (below left) shows a diagram of a typical (probably egg tempera) altarpiece, Virgin and Child Enthroned by Fra Angelico, which he painted in 1428 to 30. Its ‘A’ composition, with the Madonna and child centrally based, has similarly balanced gangs of angels to either side. The painting is opulent with rich gilding, and brightly coloured with lapis lazuli, ultramarine, vermilion and gold leaf decorated clothing. The characters within this work have tooled circular haloes that would reflect the lamp or candlelight wonderfully.

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About Leisure Painter

Time to take out your brushes and colours as you peruse the November issue of Leisure Painter. This month, build your confidence and skill set with new ideas from acrylic painters, Brendan Smith and Helen Elliott. For the watercolourists, there are demonstrations and practical advice for painting flowers, autumn landscapes, trees, animals, buildings and street scenes. Oil painter, Martin Kinnear covers 'how to paint a winner' with advice on how to see and think like a professional artist, while Elena Parashko demonstrates the painting of tulips in the same medium. Tony Paul continues his look at successful composition ideas, Tim Fisher (who completes his seven-part line & colour series this month) also reports on new sketching sets by Caran d'Ache, and there's even an article on how to paint a halloween-inspired cartoon. Enjoy another month of painting with the UK's best-selling learn to paint magazine.