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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > October 18 > Arranging objects and using colours

Arranging objects and using colours

Yael Maimon’s series on successful composition continues with advice about placing objects and using colour to achieve maximum effect, including combining photos and the Rule of Thirds


Bon Appetit 3, pastel, 171⁄2x231⁄2in (44.5x59.5cm).

This is a good example of the Rule of Thirds at work. As I watched my street cats eating, I tried to figure out what made it an extraordinary scene in my eyes. I wrote some notes about colour and mood and took several photos to use as reference. I decided to take the simple concept of two cats eating and aimed for it to have a strong powerful design

The Rule of Thirds states that if you draw lines on your surface, basically dividing your composition into thirds vertically and horizontally, then place your centre of interest either along these lines or at the junctions of them, you will achieve a more pleasing composition. With practice you won’t need a ruler when figuring out where the lines go, on any format; you can simply approximate where the lines should be placed in your mind’s eye.

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About The Artist

Welcome to the October issue in which many of our top-class artists celebrate painting in a variety of locations in all kinds of weather, from Pete the Street Brown in Havana, to Geoff Hunt who shows how not to let an unpromising day spoil your painting. Our artist-tutors also offer help and advice on colour mixing in oils, how to improve your compositional awareness, use gouache to paint atmospheric landscapes, create luminosity in your paintings by combining cold wax and water-soluble oils, and develop your skills by working in monochrome. Paul Talbot-Greaves suggests a simple exercise to help you loosen up, Julie Collins shows how to mix the right greens for your watercolour paintings, while Glyn Macey invites you to learn from the painting style of Lamorna Birch by following this month's demonstration. Plus, be inspired as we introduce many of this year's The Artist Open Competition amazingly talented prizewinners!