The element of direction can have a powerful
influence on the mood of a painting. It is something
often overlooked, but making a conscience decision about
the dominant direction in a painting can have a
noticeable effect on the atmosphere of the work.
the subject will dictate the dominant direction.
Sometimes the subject will allow you to impose a
direction on it.
In the paintings below the subject dictates
the direction. The strong horizontal lines of the water,
boats and buildings in the first example give a feeling
of stillness and calm. In the second example, the
diagonal lines of the shoreline and the rocks reinforce
the feeling of movement. The third example has a dominant
vertical direction which adds a static orderly influence
to what might be a random chaotic painting.