Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Multiple Centers of Interest

My last blog was based on "emphasis" and the concept of having one dominant idea in a painting and focusing on it. Yet I'm often asked, "Can you have more than one center of interest?" The answer is yes, provided that one area is the dominant center of interest and the others support rather than compete with it.

I like to divide the canvas or paper in quadrants and have something strong happening in each quadrant, all the while being mindful that one of these must be the star. And it's important to have balance. If you assign a weight to the visual strength of each area, then the dominant area must be equal to or greater than all of the other areas to have balance.

This is a big subject and I'll talk more about it in my next newsletter. In the meantime, here's an example of a painting that uses this concept. If you divide it into four equal parts, the top, left quadrant is dominant. I used color and tone to draw interest to the other areas, but was careful to subordinate them.