Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Finding your focal point

The focal point should be the center of interest of your painting. Consider your subject; what do you find the most interesting? Where do you want to lead your viewer's eyes? Where do you want their eyes to rest?

The focal point of a painting is the place where the viewer's eye wants to go. The question is, is that where you want the viewer's eye to go? Is it the same place that you thought was the center of interest?

You can test this easily by turning the painting upside down (sideways works, too, as does looking at the painting in a mirror). Looking at a painting upside down takes everything out of context. Instead of seeing objects - a tree, a river, a couch, an apple, a person - you see things in terms of shape, value (light and dark), and color.

A big part of making a painting work is finding a way to lead the viewer into the painting, and to the focal point - making it the painting's center of interest. Finding your focal point is the first step.

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