All good drawing or painting is compositional

Ghost of the City (black and white photograph)
Ghost of the City (black and white photograph) by Paul Politis
Ghost of the City (black and white photograph)
Ghost of the City (black and white photograph) by Paul Politis

“Here is the model with light on his face, a white collar, a brown coat, black tie, black hair, gray background.

I have named enough things to make a great picture.

Get the most expressive design out of these, each one treated as a simple mass.

See how much beauty in shape can be got out of the association of these notes: flesh, collar, coat, tie, hair, background.

They must all fit into the area of the canvas.

They must act and react on each other as the notes in music act and react on each other.

These six notes may, through their contrasts of shape, of colour, of texture, produce powerful emotion.

To work this way is to work as a designer.

All good drawing or painting is compositional.”

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

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