Here's a Fredrick Waugh. Waugh has used a Z or an S design to lead your eye through his painting. The lines of the composition take you through a series of switchbacks to the crashing wave.
The Z is really a classic composition and artists use it routinely in the landscape. Sometimes the Z is in the form of a receding road, that's been used so much it is sort of a cliche. If you do that one, you have to hide it a bit. All of these design stems work best when they aren't too obvious.
Here's a painting of Vermont, by Emile Gruppe. Every time I go to paint in Vermont the weather looks like this. Those mountains around Jefforsonville are gathering places for gray weather. Gruppe "bent" this landscape into its Z configuration
It may have suggested this treatment, but I am sure he made this design happen.
Here is an example by William Wendt, the California impressionist. And below you can see the Z in his design.
The S design is particularly compelling and will lead the eye of the viewer through your painting nicely. It also has a rhythmic quality.
If you are currently painting from photos, and want to go on to the next level, imposing a deliberate design on an image will improve your work. When you look at the photo, ask yourself, how do I want the viewer to move through this painting. Where within this picture do i want to lead their eye? If you could draw that onto your photo you would probably have the root of a good, effective design. The Z design is a good one tom begin with if you are just starting to add some subterranean geometry to your paintings.
I am still collecting images for the next reader critique, please send them to email@example.com. I will of course remove your name from the art and not reveal whose art it is that I am critiquing.
The details are being finalized for a workshop to be held the weekend plus one day, either Friday or Monday ( so it will be a three day workshop ) of the 19th of September in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. September will be beautiful in the rolling hills of southern New Hampshire. More on that soon.