May 25, 2018
We have seen on the previous blogs how artists use various tools like values, colours, etc. to guide the viewers eyes around the paintings, particularly to the focal area.
One of the items that acts as an eye magnet is a man made object. Examples include buildings, boats, bridges, cars etc. Also living things like animals and humans command our attention. In the example below, I am painting a scene in the beautiful Jasper National Park. Our eyes instead of admiring the majestic mountains and the Athabasca river, gravitated to the artist.
Painting the majestic mountain range across the Athabasca river in Japer
Eyes, particularly human eyes when looking toward the viewer are one of the most powerful attractions. In my rendition of Vermeer's famous painting "The Girl With The Pearl Earring" our attention is immediately grabbed by the eyes of the girl, it is only later that we scan the rest of the painting.
The Girl With the Pearl Earring, after Vermeer
It is therefore desirable to place these attention grabbing objects or subjects at the focal spot. If one intends to place more than one of these, it would be prudent to group them together so the viewers eyes do not bounce from one to another. A case in point. In my painting "Greenwich Village N.Y." There are several human beings (eye magnets) depicted. All of them however are grouped into one large mass (each one touching another - so all are connected) rather than being scattered around, this prevents the eyes from bouncing around. The one who garners most attention is perhaps the person in the black shirt. This is due to the presence of value contrast and the fact that he is locking his eyes with the viewer.
Greenwich Village N.Y.
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