Of special value are the sketches relating to the choice of the dominant features, details, and characters for the future composition. Dik's experiments with various means of expression demonstrate how carefully he thought out each element to render precisely the emotional tenor of the painting, and how its intonation was modified with even tiny changes. For example a solitary character sitting with a book conveys a certain mood, but when the artist puts a child next to him something else happens – now we see a man reading to a child and together they create a touching image of unity, a sign of passing on wisdom, of learning about the world. In the same way a picture acquires a new meaning when the artist puts a child with a couple like a conjunction mark between man and woman.
Walking a dog, two lady neighbors chatting, waiting for a night bus, crossing an underground passage – different settings and places of action, replacing one character with another or removing some of the characters or objects changed the atmosphere of the entire composition imparting to it a symbolic meaning. Dik used to move the same character or group it with some others, use it in different compositions, and stage different situations. For example, a multiply employed image of a stooping old woman with a stick as if half-buried in the ground was always painted in the same pose and from the same angle: from the back, with no face, somewhat from above and against a wide horizon to emphasize her smallness and "reverse growth" as it were. However, the change of characters in the picture and appearance of unexpected other details create each time a new theme and a different psychological atmosphere in the picture. Variation of the plot produces various shades of mood when the old woman's stooping silhouette appears on the road ascending a high hill, or when she is accompanied by a youth (an angel leading her away from us), or with a slender little child or a dog. When she carries a big umbrella she looks like a mushroom and suggests comical associations with a tortoise while at the same time inspiring poignant tenderness and almost a physical sense of a prolonged autumn rain.
Conditional interiors and landscapes providing the background for action in Dik's paintings serve as an additional element for enhancing the images. Several sketches, unfortunately not realized in a painting, demonstrate the process of image transformation. Two trees in twilight near an old house with a sloping roof and two windows; the same tree trunks and the same house but now with a light in the window as a motif of expectation; the same house in twilight and a female figure leaning on the tree as a more intense motif of loneliness.
The metamorphoses of narrative pictures turned into abstract compositions, genre scenes into still-lives, and the other way round, occurring in the process of Dik's artistic experiments were the focus of his interest in the later years of his life. Figures of nuns standing or walking to prayer in the predawn dusk are reiterated with the same rhythm as his still-lives painted at about the same time.
The organic properties of cityscapes, natural landscapes and still-lives with everyday objects are artistically transformed by Dik into abstract compositions. He continued to study the form and the limits of its ability to convey meaning and carry emotional loads, and he translated conditionally objective forms into abstract formulas of feelings expressed by means of colors, light, volume, and rhythmic patterns.