Make your own free website on
  Pastel Art of James Southworth


Home | 2006 | Gallery | Workshops | Demo | Odds n Ends | Jean's Stories

Watercolor for kids
The Library
Tip 1


Composition Chalk Talk

Before I start a painting, I develop a good working sketch of the values of the painting.

If Iím outdoor painting, I use a pencil and paper to mark light, dark and middle values. I use this value sketch to help hold the composition together.


When Iím using a digital photo I compose using Adobe Photoshop. My goal is to simplify shapes, saturate colors, and emphasize the center of interest. Iíll use this work up for the first half of the painting to develop the main shapes and values and then work somewhat intuitively after that


The center of interest or focal point should have:

The most detail,

The most contrast,

The most saturated colors and

Other elements of the painting should support the center of interest.