In my classes we have been working on composition, and recently we played around with two very simple concepts - contrast and placement of the center of interest, or focal point. The focal point was placed a third of the way up or down the paper and off center. It was painted with the most contrast - lightest light against the darkest dark, and with the hardest edges.

Painting on a small piece of paper with a fairly large brush ( #12 or 14 round) seems to be very freeing (is that a word?) and proves to us that we don't need a lot of detail.

The experienced students seemed to enjoy the review and had fun with the color mixing, and the beginners found out what they could really do with a few bold, juicy strokes.