I believe and have been taught that a picture needs a foreground, middle ground and background. The main focal point is usually in the foreground. I’ve often strayed from this and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. An example of it not working is the painting I did called Garden Stairs.
The stairs themselves should be the focal point and they are in the photograph this is based on. I didn’t like the foreground flowers so I changed them. This resulted in a muddling of the focal point. I was going to toss or paint over this canvas but there are some who like it so I left it as is.