The shapes of the scene need to be viewed as if looking through a gauze curtain. This would make it hard to focus on anything or see any detail. You can achieve this by squinting at a scene. By squinting, you will just see the major values and shapes. Open your eyes and you will see the proper shapes and the proper colors and values. These shapes need to be edited and simplified.
Look at the shapes as if they are colored pieces of paper cut out with scissors. Design these shapes, overlap them, move them around. The placement and relationship of each of the shapes should give the illusion of distance, space and objects. This is the foundation of your painting. The details that you choose to put into the scene will help to tell the story. This foundation should give enough information so that you know what you need in the painting to make it complete.
This is the foundation, the composition.
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