Composition in Practice

What is a Watercolour Composition?

After my sharing about the placement Focal Point and Perspective, I would like to share other things about watercolour composition, but this composition can be used to another kind of painting/drawing.

There are many things to consider in composition, these sharing are from my comprehension which are easy to remember.

Let’s Learn about Watercolour Composition.

*Scale and Proportion
  • The size of an object compare to other objects in a painting ( a child to an adult, a person to a tree, a cup to a tea pot, food/fruits to its container, etc)
  • The proportion of an object to itself ( human’s face to human’s body, arms to body, a cup’s handle to the cup, mouth to nose, eyes to nose, etc)
  • The objects are not collected on one side
  • Do not put all the details or objects on one side
  • Symmetrical or asymmetrical arrangement
*Simplify the painting

Too many objects especially focal point in a painting will make the viewer tired. This is not a kid’s puzzle – to find one different creature among many of its own community !

  • The objects in a painting can help lead the eyes of the viewer to the focal points.

A road, stream, wall, gateway, railway, or whatever.

  • The objects in a painting that show movement as if communicating with the viewer.

Moving waves, cloud blowing by the wind, flapping flag, flow of river, pointing hand, people walking toward a position, people looked at something, or whatever.


Foreground is the closest area to the viewer. But, we must be careful not to put too much detail. Keep the foreground simple.


Contrast is a distinct difference between light and dark on a subject.

Contrast can help the viewer to find the focal point in a painting, usually with highlight that leave the paper white.

Sometimes contrast is created by using a colour that is different / in the contrary with the surrounding colour. A little bit red around cold colour (blue,grey, or earth colour). I will discuss colour in another article, Wonderful Tone.

I wish this sharing could give advantage to others who may concern.

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