what is a focal point in art?
- The focal point is the main attraction for the viewer.
It's the what and why of the painting. Why was the painting done? What did the artist want to say?
It attracts the viewers, then their eyes move on to other areas of the painting.
does every painting have a focal point?
- It is up to the artist whether they want one or not.
If a painting is basically a display of patterns, there may not be a specific area of attraction.
Some paintings may have more than one focal area.
As an affiliate, I earn from Amazon sales with no extra cost to you. Learn More
how do you create a focal point?
There are a number of different tools the artist can use to attract the eye of the viewer.
Accomplished artists use one or more of the following methods to make attractive paintings.
- The easiest and the most valuable tool for the artist is value contrast.
Value is the contrast between light and dark. The eye is automatically drawn to contrast.
Artists use light against dark in many areas of the painting. But the strongest value contrast should be used in the focal point or the focal area.
- The lone egret attracts attention.
Viewers are more comfortable when objects are placed together or near other objects.
Solitary items will automatically attract attention.
people, animals and vehicles
People, animals or vehicles become the star of the show when they are in a painting.
Just be sure and give them adequate space in front of their face looking into the painting.
- Do not place people or animals close to the edge of the painting, looking out of the painting.
Their view will carry the viewer's eye out of the painting.
- Use more detail in the focal areas compared to other areas of the painting.
There is more detail on the chicken's face and on her feathers compared to the background which is somewhat out of focus.
The Details On "Lacey"
soft and hard edges
- Soft edges are easier to look at. Hard edges attract more attention.
Notice the hard edges on Lacey compared to the soft edges in the rest of the painting.
- Brighter, more saturated colors attract attention.
The red comb and wattles on the chicken are the brightest red in the painting.
- Complimentary colors vibrate when they are placed next to each other. They are great for attracting the viewer's attention to the focal area.
You will find complimentary colors directly across from each other on the color wheel.
- Blue and orange
- Red and green
- Yellow and violet
When you select colors for your paintings, complimentary colors are the ideal choice.
warm verses cool colors
- Placing warm colors against cool colors is another great tool for the artist to use in the focal point of their paintings.
The warm colors, red, orange and yellow automatically attract attention.
When we place them against cool colors, they really sparkle.
How to mix warm colors and cool colors.
Complimentary and Warm vs Cool Colors
- Use any or all of these tools to create a focal point in your paintings.
Your paintings will be sure to attract the viewer's attention.
art books for your interest ---