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VIDEO: 5 Simple Design Elements That Will Improve Any Painting

If design and composition isn’t generally something that you think about while painting, it probably should be. A good design ensures that your viewers will stay interested in your artwork, even over a long period of time—and the truth is, good design doesn’t have to be all that complex, either.

In today’s video, Mark Mehaffey shows us several simple design elements that can easily be incorporated into any work of art. He covers shapes, size contrast, value contrast, focal area, and eye movement. Take a look:

You can also find Mark Mehaffey’s full-length video tutorial at Creative Catalyst.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

Painting from life always brings with it a certain set of challenges, but perhaps the biggest challenge is finding a way to recreate those vibrant, light-filled colors that saturate the air around us—all while using opaque oil paints. Forget correct proportions and drawing skills; just getting the colors right feels like an impossible task. Or is it even possible to achieve bright, realistic "lights" and colors in an oil painting? Well, as you'll see in a moment, it IS possible. The trick lies in using contrasting complementary colors to fool our eyes into thinking the colors we see are more vibrant and more intense than they actually are. In today's video, Caroline Jasper demonstrates some of the basic ways that our eyes naturally search for colors where none . . read more

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