Handling Strong Diagonals in Composition

Sometimes I see the use of strong diagonals in a painting leading the eye directly into corners of the canvas. This makes for a very dull and static composition. 

No matter how well drawn, artworks won't "work" if the composition is poor. 

In order to make a better composition, I work to offset these diagonals so that they miss the corners.

A primary rule of composition is to "make nothing equal." This includes both positive and negative space.

I have illustrated this concept below in the most simple way I can think of.

In this illustration the composition is static and boring as the diagonals bisect the corners - an artistic no-no.

This illustration (above) makes for a better composition as it misses the corners and offers unequal and thus better shapes.

This last illustration takes exactly the same elements and rearranges them (in just one of any  zillion "right" ways) to make the most interesting composition of these three. Both the positive and negative shapes are (relative to each other ) "unequal."

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