This tutorial presents an overview of the basic aspects of composition.
Source: Image of Feast of the Gods, Giovanni Bellini and Titian, Public Domain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Feastofthegods.jpg; Image of Allegory of the Art of Painting, Jan Vermeer, Public Domain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jan_Vermeer_van_Delft_011.jpg
The invisible plane that corresponds to the surface of the painting, the picture plane is like a window opening out onto another world.
The part of the painting closest to the picture plane, usually corresponding to the bottom of the composition.
The part of the composition between the foreground and the background.
The most distant part of the composition from the picture plane, it is usually shown higher, smaller, and more hazy than the foreground.