A portrait's progression
Stage 1For me, the composition is a really significant part to any painting and although it can often change during the course of a work (in fact I think it is essential to be open to new ideas whilst the picture is evolving) it is important to give it careful consideration at the start.
A friend of mine, Hannah, kindly agreed to sit for me for this painting. I was initially drawn to this composition because of the strong diagonal that appeared, when I cropped the image into a square. I liked the idea of splitting the canvas into two halves and the effect that this had of forcing the eye around the canvas in an anticlockwise motion, from Hannah's eye, down to her hand, around up to her neck/ear and back to the eye again.
Often, when a painting works really well, it has its own particular movement and harmony, leading the viewer upon a journey around the canvas, which is perhaps not really consciously thought about when looking at a work.