creating a focal point

How do you create a focal area
that attracts the viewers into your painting?

what is a focal point in art?

  • The focal point of a painting 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 is the main emphasis that first attracts the viewer. Then the viewer's eye moves 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, it may not have a specific area of attraction.

In other paintings, there may be more than one focal area.

As an affiliate of Amazon I earn from purchases. There is no additional 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.


value contrast

  • The easiest and the most valuable tool for the artist is the use of value contrast.

Value is the contrast between light and dark. The eye is automatically drawn to a contrast between light and dark.

The artist uses light against dark in many areas of the painting.

But the strongest value contrast should be used in the focal point or in the focal area.

single element

  • The Egret attracts attention because it is all by itself.

The viewer is more comfortable when objects are placed together or near other objects.

Elements of the painting that are placed by alone 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 to head into the painting.

  • Do not place people or animals close to the edge of the painting, looking out.

Their view would carry the viewer's eye out of the painting.


detail

  • 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 of the painting.

The background is somewhat out of focus.


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.

Detail draws attention to the focal area.The Details On "Lacey"
Attract The Attention Of The Viewer.

color

  • Brighter, more saturated color attracts attention.

Notice the red comb and wattles on the chicken are the brightest red in the painting.


complimentary colors

  • Complimentary colors vibrate when they are placed next to each other. They are great for attracting the viewer's attention to the focal area.

Colors directly across from each other on the color wheel are called complimentary colors.

  • 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 colors are a good way to attract attention to the focal area of a painting.Complimentary and Warm vs Cool Colors

conclusion

  • Use any or all of these tools to create the focal points in your paintings.

Your paintings will be sure to attract the viewer's attention.

happy painting!


art books for your interest ---


more pages to check out

  • Painting Daily by Carol May

    Can painting daily really make you a better artist? You don’t have to paint perfect. Just paint more often. Regular painting will put your art into overdrive!

  • Artists Mix Paint Colors

    Artists can mix paint colors and save money at the paint store. Learn how to mix colors: greens, browns and black are easy to mix, so don’t buy them. It’s fun!

  • Critter Paintings

    Critter paintings are lots of fun! Oil and watercolor paintings of all the intriguing animals God created; dolphins, koi, giraffes, sea turtles, birds and more…

  • Using Values in Our Paintings

    It’s fun painting color, but values are the backbone of successful paintings. Use the light and darkness of colors to create strong, attractive paintings.

  • Art Dictionary for painting artists

    Did you ever wonder what an artist is talking about? The art dictionary has common art terms used by today’s painting artists, supplies and techniques, oil & WC

  1. Home
  2. Learn Painting
  3. Focal Point

Recent Articles

  1. Happy Easter Everyone!

    Apr 12, 20 09:30 AM

    A prophetic watercolor painting by artist Carol May Today is a special day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This prophetic painting the "Rose of Sharon" is from a few years ago. But it is timeless, it still applies to today. Look up, J…

    Read More

  2. How to Paint Ocean

    Feb 25, 20 11:01 PM

    Learn how to paint ocean. Understand what makes waves. Follow simple steps to create your own seascape paintings. Then you can enjoy the beach at home anytime.

    Read More

  3. Frequently Asked Questions

    Feb 25, 20 01:07 PM

    Find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions painting artists may ask about paints, supplies, techniques and much more.

    Read More

Recent Articles

  1. Happy Easter Everyone!

    Apr 12, 20 09:30 AM

    A prophetic watercolor painting by artist Carol May Today is a special day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This prophetic painting the "Rose of Sharon" is from a few years ago. But it is timeless, it still applies to today. Look up, J…

    Read More

  2. How to Paint Ocean

    Feb 25, 20 11:01 PM

    Learn how to paint ocean. Understand what makes waves. Follow simple steps to create your own seascape paintings. Then you can enjoy the beach at home anytime.

    Read More

  3. Frequently Asked Questions

    Feb 25, 20 01:07 PM

    Find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions painting artists may ask about paints, supplies, techniques and much more.

    Read More