Art Tips: A Minor Change and Major Effect on Painting Composition

This post is a short note about painting composition.

Ever play those visual games where you look at two similar images but they’re not exactly the same and you have to try and find the changes?

Well, here’s a comparison of one of my paintings. The top image has something that is missing from the bottom image. It doesn’t have anything to do with any color shift caused by my using a different camera, but some object in the landscape was removed. Can you find it? Secondly, why do you think it was removed? (Sorry that the image is a little out of focus but you can see the finished painting here:

Painting Comparison showing composition change

If you still don’t see it, look at the foreground area on the left. Notice a difference? The cactus is missing! Why did I remove it? It was distracting and interrupting the movement of your eye. Notice how you want to look at it and your eye sorta stays there. By removing it your eye movement flows easier throughout the painting.


For an artist, it’s wise to review your painting and try and catch anything that does not support the overall composition. Even minor changes can have big effects and big improvements on your art work.

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