When you start painting a painting like this, do you make decisions first on composition? I started to study composition and am looking out for it in all the paintings. I could say there is a good composition in this one, using the ship as an entry point (or focal point 1) leading to the man on the ship, following the coast-line in the background leading to the castle. Following the castle up to the sky, going with the clouds, meeting the bird and back to the ship. Furthermore you used a yellow-bluish contrast or warm vs cold.
Is this right and did you do this on purpose and had it planned out before starting the painting or am I just interpreting things to fit my studies?
Hmm - good question. Alot of my paintings are happy accidents. I didn't take a lot of care in the very first steps. Just blocking in colors and see what it could be. Or sometime I really have an idea in mind of what the painting should be. Then I start working on the composition and colors first. Later on I add details and refine the composition - if its necessary. But mostly the composition is a gut instinct (sort of). To a certain point I have the feeling that this is right and I keep going that route.
For this image it was mostly planned. I already know that I wanted some big thing on the left, followed by the coastal line. The guy on the small ship was added later on - to push the eye in the right direction and to add some story elements to it