Five against One on Beryl Ave., Redondo Beach

five_against_one_on Beryl Ave, by frankeber 2012

Five against One on Beryl Avenue, Redondo Beach (2012)
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How interesting would it be if traffic could be brought to a standstill by those guys? In a city like this one, where the automobile is the undisputed king? Wishful thinking… *Nothing* will bring traffic to a standstill in LA, except of course, traffic itself…the ultimate irony? There could be another blog post right there.

Today, I would like to talk a bit about composition. At first glance, this painting is a simple H composition: something on the left, something on the right, and the shape of the distance connecting both. Upon closer inspection, you will notice that I have actually tried to make this a Z composition. The shadow in the foreground is leading the viewer into the picture, going diagonally to what I think is the focal point, namely the guy in the plaid, red shirt and the car under the tree.

From there, the shadow points left via the squatting skaters and onto the left side of the picture, finishing at the top of the building. The light post and the wires are taking you back to the right side and out on the top. Better yet, the eyes will hopefully remain in the picture frame and are being taken back down to the focal point by the transformer pole. Basically, I was trying to create a bit of a path through this piece.

You can see I have thought quite a bit about this. Does it work? I don’t know, it’s for you to judge, but I think the key is to think about what’s going on in our painting *before* we start painting! Once we pick up a paintbrush, it is too late to figure all this out.

fiveagainstone_on Beryl Ave_detail, by frankeber 2012

This is a street here in Redondo Beach, leading down to the ocean. About six brushstrokes signify that  there is an ocean. I also simplified the left side with the warmer buildings and all the cars except the right one. What is suppose to be the more distant part of the city is really just an abstract. The less you do, the better it is! Watercolor works that way!

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6 thoughts on “Five against One on Beryl Ave., Redondo Beach

  1. Aubrey

    Very educational -thanks! I try to plan but often probably don’t think deeply enough before beginning. Also, I’m new to Los Angeles and really cool to see such a local subject. Love it. And the loosely rendered style.

  2. Carol King

    I always learn something from you Frank. I never heard of an “H” composition or a “Z” composition. And really stopping to THINK about what i’m going to paint and how it should be is really expecting a lot.

    BUT, I will try. I do like your paintings. And your skate boarders do make my eye jump around and follow them.

    1. frankeber Post author

      You can do it, Carol. All I am trying to do is get people to think about their painting a bit before grabbing the brush. I know it’s a stretch to expect someone’s eyes to move around the way you think they should. But, it doesn’t hurt to have a plan and a strong composition! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a great comment, Carol…

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