Picture Composition – Balance By Opposition Of Spots

Spots or accents are in the majority of cases equivalent to a line. The eye follows the line more easily, but the spot is a potent force of at-traction and we take the artist’s hint in his use of it, often finding that its subtlety is worth more than the line’s strength. In the case of a simple hillside back-stopped by a dense mass of trees, a flat and an upright plane are presented, but until the vision is carried into and beyond the line of juncture the opposition of mere planes accomplishes little, the only thing thus established being a strong effect of light and shade and not until the eye is coaxed into the sky so that there be established a union between the pathway or other object on the hill and the distance, will balance by transition be effected.

This is one of the subtlest and most necessary principles in landscape composition. The illus. tration herewith is of the simplest nature but the principle may be expanded indefinitely as it has to do both with lateral and perspective balance.

In the ” Death of Cæsar,” the perspective line of the statues and the opposite curve in the floor are continued through the opposing mass of columns and wall to the court beyond, a positive control of the distance by the foreground, being thus secured.