There's an exception for every rule. But it is worth knowing what the rules are - and adhering to most of them most of the time. - that allows artists to break selected rules successfully, and thereby to make the stunning, memorable exceptions! Here is a laundry list of pointers to keep in mind. Note how many of them apply to the planning phase.

  1. Render only what you love or what intrigues you. if you are bored, your viewers will pick up on it - and they may share you opinion
  2. Thumbnail sketches are worth the trouble. Thumbnails quickly give you a sense of the compositional possibilities. Do several.
  3. Think three-dimensionally in your design. Consider all planes; foreground, middle ground and background.
  4. Work on modelling skills. Well-developed modelling skills give you the freedom to rearrange, to manipulate shapes, lines and color, and to be loose without losing believability.
  5. Simplify. If you can get along without an object or detail, eliminate it.
  6. Include quite places for the eye to rest. Contrast between open and busy spaces adds interest.
  7. Mood is best made, not happened onto. Decide what feeling you're after, and support it early on
  8. Consider color early on. Color scheme can develop along with the rendering, but it's best to give yours some thought beforehand.
  9. Either warm or cold colors should dominate. Keep in mind that the human eye is more attracted to warm colors
  10. Watch format proportions.
  11. Start with big, simple shapes. Don't hamstring yourself with detail early in your rendering's development
  12. Leave something to the imagination. Omitting detail requires much greater discipline and skill than putting it all in. This also keeps the viewers mind engaged.
  13. Remember the finishing touches. Highlights, dark accents and bright jewels of color bring your rendering to life.
  14. Step away from your monitor after a couple hours. Rendering is a two-step process; application alternated with evaluation
  15. When you think you are through, give it time to cool. Turn your monitor off and revisit it later - once, twice, or several times more.

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