Painting Focal Points - 5 Main Elements of The Center of Attention: Secrets of A Modern Painter
Secrets of A Modern Painter: Painting Focal Points - 5 Main Elements of The Center of Attention

Painting Focal Points - 5 Main Elements of The Center of Attention

Still Life 1, 2011 (In Progress)
Every mark in a painting both calls attention to itself and directs your attention elsewhere.

As a musician seeks to control every aspect of a note to flow in balance and harmony with the rest of the song, the painter should seek to be aware of all dynamic components inherent in their marks - it is then that the subtleties of time can be controlled. Time here has dual meanings: individual marks and sections can be varying speeds as well as the space between distinct and related patterns of colors and shapes throughout the canvas.

When you put too much emphasis on a singular focal point, you will not fully explore the impact of your canvas; try to develop other areas of interest as secondary focal points. However, don't think of this development in terms of details, think of it in terms of counterpoint to your primary area of interest and dominant theme - feel how it can relate and use it to generate energy and imply direction.

5 Elements of Focussing Viewer's Attention

1. Get beyond simply dividing in thirds - learn the proportions of good space division in regards to the Golden Section to understand its power - then see your painting as a series of further divisions within each section.

2. Look at your angles - you want to point toward or away from a section or subject. Direct the viewers attention.

3. Isolate components of color, texture, and value, and realize that the more one element is downplayed, the more the other stands out in contrast. For example. where there is little or no pure color, a spot of color will leap forward. Paint freely while being aware of the connections among variables.

4. Set up your final marks by tempering what surrounds it, build up to the crescendo, the highest notes, and let them fly (they'll probably be the quickest most fleeting marks in regards to time.)

5. Be able to step back and clearly see the sequence of the most important notes from a distance and notice the shape they create through the canvas - that will be a potential path the viewer's eyes will travel.

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