Exploring Composition for a Painting


To create a composition that will adapt to the 48″ x 60″ canvas I used a Proportional Scale to calculate a reduction that would fit my tracing paper.  My Sandhill Crane tracings were various sizes, some too large and others too small to realistically portray the birds at the same distance, so I used the enlargement or reduction calculator on my copier to size the drawings.  The copier would jam if I tried to use tracing paper, but I found if I manually fed two pages as one it worked!   As I designed, certain images became favorites and I worked to find a way to utilize each of them in the final layout.


The drawing in the above photo is one that I later discarded.  The composition stage is one that many beginning artists fail to comprehend, and often just copy a photo.  I ask, if you just copy a photo, why paint?

More tomorrow,

Gail Niebrugge, wildlife artist

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  1. This is going to be most interesting to watch, Gail, and I am glad you are going to share it on your blog. The shapes are already looking alive!

    Noella xxx

  2. Noella,
    It is always a risk to post the progress of a painting before it is finished, it could self destruct and my ego would shatter 🙂

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