The planning of a painting is a particularly exciting event! Among the decisions we have to make, format is one of the most important. There are also psychological reasons why one way may be better than another. Horizontal formats mimic the sleep position and are restful, peaceful and non-stressing. Vertical formats are more energetic and lively. A diagonal subject on either conduces a bit of anxiety as we mentally determine which way that subject will fall and reposition itself. Very exciting. I guess that I prefer a vertical format, probably because I enjoy painting the human figure. Even my landscapes are likely to be vertical. Today I am painting a beautiful sleeping cat in a horizontal format. Because I like to overstate my preferences, I usually prefer verticals and horizontals that go beyond the standard rectangle sizes....i.e. twice as high as wide, or twice as wide as tall. "Long Tall Amy" is a painting of a tall thin young girl. Even though she is seated, I hope to provide evidence for her beautiful aesthetically pleasing height by using an extreme vertical format.