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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Focal Point in Painting & Composition. 3 Art Studies

The compositions of most good paintings have a focal point. A focal point attracts the viewer’s eyes. The focal point attracts viewers by location and/or elements of art. In Goya’s painting, The Third of May (1814), the focal point is the man with the white shirt. The white is the lightest value (gray scale) in the painting. The man’s shape is emphasized by his upraised arms. The rifles point at him. If one looks at the man’s location and considers the rule of thirds (a location of pleasing proportions; emphasis: similar to rabatment and the Golden Mean), he is approximately one third from the left side of the canvas. There can be a secondary focal point in a painting but the secondary focal point should not compete with the main focal point. In my opinion, the secondary focal point is the first man on the right with the rifle. His silhouette is distinct from the other soldiers. He stands in front of a light square form.

In my painting, Crashing Waves by Lighthouse, the lighthouse is my focal point. It has the lightest and darkest values. The lighthouse stands isolated. The horizontal distance to the lighthouse is the same as the vertical side of the painting. This rabatment is another place of emphasis. In this painting my secondary focal area was the waves.

In my painting, Storm Cloud over Land, the church is my focal point. It is the lightest value against the darkest value. The shape of the building is different from the other shapes in the painting. The diagonal lines in the foreground point to the church. The church is isolated. It is close to the golden mean of the painting.

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