composing paintingsScroll down and check out our video tutorials--Downloads & DVDs.

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Series Eighteen: Balancing Angles

Balance is equilibrium of opposing forces.  If we are physically thrown off balance, we will fall.  If our psyche is thrown off balance, we become an emotional wreck.  It is a necessary force to facilitate out ability to comprehend and discern so that we can perceive and appreciate.  This series of tutorials focuses attention on ways to balance angles so that the visual movement in the painting is neither one-sided nor stuck in one place.

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Series Sixteen: Selecting & Placing

Selecting and placing are our first acts of creating. Selecting comes first and begins when something captures our attention and calls to be made a subject of painting. Some call this inspiration. For others, it’s called noticing or paying attention. Placing comes next when we begin to make decisions about how to align images for the most pleasing balance.

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Series Fifteen: Translating Notan

Notan is a Japanese word meaning dark/light, a concept both philosophical and functional, centering on the unity of opposites. As a design principal this principle finds balance and unity between dark and light. In visual art, we can find notan in the shadow and light construct, a solid approach for forming the value design for composing paintings. This series explores ways to achieve this concept with value and hue variations.

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Series Fourteen: Orchestrating Visual Paths

A visual path is a tool for leading the way through a composition, keeping the attention within the work. Among ways we create these paths are placement or repetition of images, the colors we select, and with value contrasts or the direction of strong linear elements. Often these paths are found in the subject matter, ready for us to use or even exploit–and if not, we create them.

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Series Thirteen: Creative Focal Points

There are several ways to create focal points. Isolation, converging lines, contrasts, directional viewing, an image different from surrounding ones and placement are among the most common. But focal points are methods, not a must and when one exists in a subject, it might not be where we’d like it to be. This series explores four creative ways to change a focal point from its obvious location to another place as well as how to create a focal point where none exists.

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Series Twelve: Perspective without Rules

These four lessons show you ways to find correct linear perspective without having to learn the rules of perspective.  Unique to teachings about linear perspective is Lesson Three, addressing the perspective of light rays.  Lessons One, Two and Four show how to find correct angles using the clock.

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Series Eleven: Visual Rhythms

One of the most ignored composing principles is rhythm, even though it plays a huge role in the dynamics of any painting.  These four lessons address the four major rhythms available to the visual artist, showing in detail how each can work for the painter.

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Series Ten: Transposing Color

To transpose means to exchange places.  To transpose color, we substitute a new color for the local color of our subject.  These four lessons address more methods for transposing a subject into a new color scheme.

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Series Nine: Exploring Value Patterns

The pattern of light and dark forms the structure of any two dimensional artwork.  These four lessons show how to locate a light/dark (or value) pattern, and demonstrate how three traditional value patterns can work to influence the expression of a painting.

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Series Eight: Working with Values

Of all the visual elements, values are the most important. In this series, Dianne takes you through in depth explorations of how to decipher values, how to find and use value relationships, and how to use value gradations. Once you've done the exercises of each of these lessons, you should have a working knowledge of values that can deeply enhance your paintings.

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Series Seven: Brush as Communicator

How we use the brush is as important to our composing of paintings as the way we arrange shapes, colors and values. In this series, we explore how to use the brush to communicate whatever we are expressing or translating.

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Series Four: Reading & Mixing Colors

Seeing and mixing the right color can be a challenge for the painter. In this Series, Dianne breaks down the four components of color--value, hue, intensity and temperature--and demonstrates the science of how each works. Without the science we cannot have full freedom to express the art.

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Series One: Black as a Color

Many artists ignore black as an option, but the video lessons in this series show how black can be used to create new colors.

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Fifth Friday Feature

Our Fifth Friday Feature is a full length (about 2 hours) video in which Dianne takes a painting from conception to finish (well mostly) . Whereas in the regular lessons, she does vignettes and studies to illustrate a single principle, she brings together in the Fifth Friday Feature principles taught in previous lessons. As she is painting, she refers to the lessons and explains how that particular principle is working in the painting.

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Notan: How & Why

This video now available free on YouTube gives you a feeling for Dianne's method of teaching. Here she demonstrates how to do a notan and shows its value for creating a foundation for a painting. Download the free Value Scale as a supplement to this lesson.

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MAKING COMPOSING PAINTINGS COME ALIVE!