Design Tips For a Square Painting

I’m currently working on my first square painting and I was wondering if you compose differently for that shape as opposed to an elongated rectangle. I would be grateful for any tips or insights you’d like to share.

It is different from a rectangle so of course composition will be different. Each shape of canvas will have limitations of one kind or another. Some folks ascribe to the rule of 3rds but I feel composition is more than just that. Any and every rule can and should be explored and possibly broken at times.

I have found that the square format seems to lend itself a little better to a centered, or portrait-style composition. That said, I’ve also found the ‘rule of thirds’ composition to work well for that format too, especially if the painting contains elements that draw the eye to the focal point. Hope this helps!

Carol Marine has been painting squares forever and I recently purchased her book “Daily Painting” which is loaded with great info. I recommend it highly. It is available on Amazon.

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Squares lend themselves very well to centered paintings and compositions where the center of interest is at the outer intersections of your rule of 3rd lines.