Coincidences in Composition
A coincidence in composition is a technique that artists use to tie specific elements (coincide) together at point-to-point relationships to give the eye a visual path to follow. The more coincidences you have going in a particular direction, the quicker the eye will move along that path. Also, a coincidence allows the artist to direct the viewer to read their work in a certain way, while at the same time emphasizing what they feel are the most important directions in a design.
For example, in the painting below, “Girl on Stairs,” you can see how Laura Theresa Alma-Tadema uses coincidences effectively to relate and tie together specific elements in the design to give the viewer a feeling of unity and visual rhythm.
Drawings above by former students of Barnstone Studios demonstrating the use of coincidences in design.