Art Composition
Intro
Composition is all about placing the elements of a painting (or drawing) where they deliver most impact, and adds to the balance of the art work. If you have ever studied the art works of the masters you might have noticed how they have an almost calming effect, even though they can be quite complex and extremely detailed. This is because the artist has taken great care in placing the various elements of the painting in the right places. The important elements are usually placed where they create balance and communicates most efficiently across to the beholder.
TIP 1:
Remember this when starting on a new piece; place the important elements of your work where they are most pleasing to the eye and in a way where your piece communicates it's message most efficiently across to your audience. A poor composition can ruin an otherwise good painting and a less good painting can become good with a proper composition. In other words; remember it.
Good composition can be accomplished in many ways, and one of those is to conform to the rule of thirds. By dividing your piece into nine equally sized rectangles or squares and placing key elements on, or close to some of the focal points and along the lines, you can create a much more eye-pleasing piece of art. The four spots where the lines meet are called focal points where the upper and lower right spots are the most important. The reason for this is that most of us were taught to read from left to right and so it is the most natural way for us to look at an image also. We start from the left and work our way towards the right. Study the composition below and memorize it.
Rule of thirds
More Composition Styles
There are many other ways to compose an art piece; the L-Composition, the Iconic composition, and the Cross composition just to name a few. They each have their own strenghts in communicating to an audience. Look at the illustrations of the three different compositions styles below. By placing important elements on top of or along the lines, or directly on the focal points you can create a more powerful work of art.
Art Compositions
Returning shortly to the rule of thirds it is important to mention that the focal points do not necessarily need to be covered by solid objects. For instance, if you wish your piece to be spacious you can easily let the area surrounding some of the focal points have alot of space. Also, you should avoid having more than one important focal point in your paintings. If you don't the different focal points will compete with eachother over the viewers attention and become confusing rather than solidify your art work.
TIP 2:
Try to compose your work in a way where the beholder ends up looking at the most important element/s of your painting. This can be done by leading the viewer using objects, lines and colors etcetera. Just make sure the leading is not too obvious. Think of your painting as a maze where the exit is your most important focal point.
A Few More Words
That's pretty much basic art composition. Please bare in mind that this short tutorial is only the first few steps into the world of art composition and a reminder that composition in art can make or break your hard work. Solid composition can make a mediocre piece look good, and a good one look great. Once you are comfortable with the basics you can even combine different styles of composition but that takes a little more practice to master. The possibilities are pretty much endless.
Wait, there's more!
Before the final punctuation of this art tutorial, I want to share a link to one of the best in-depth composition tutorials the web has to offer (well atleast in my own humble opinion).

Advanced art composition tutorial

Enjoy!