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Monday, December 19, 2005

Center of interest or focal point

Not every painting, whether realistic or abstract, needs a focal point or primary center of interest. Some paintings are pattern pieces, based on a variety of colors and shapes. Create an eyepath that moves the viewer's eye through the painting by repetition of colors, shapes, lines, and other elements of design. As the late Ed Whitney said, invite your viewer into the picture and entertain him everywhere. Be sure you have a place here and there where the eye can rest, so all areas won't be equally stimulating. You can also create fast and slow rhythms that help move the eye. If your painting has a realistic subject at the center of interest, the same ideas apply to moving your viewer's eye through the picture to arrive at the focal point. A straight line from the corner is too abrupt. Let the viewer meander through the picture to find your subject.

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