How can I direct the viewer’s gaze and strengthen the over­all com­po­si­tion?

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imagine Nation | Artist Q&A -

Pep­per San­dals, Aus­tralia

Char­lie replies

There’s so many meth­ods re­lat­ing to com­po­si­tion, I like to keep it sim­ple. I don’t want to be over­lay­ing Fi­bonacci’s Ra­tio over ev­ery one of my paint­ings!

A Rule of Thirds ap­proach can help you check where you want the area of fo­cus to be. You can draw in a sim­ple box grid at the sketch stage. Hav­ing the fo­cus of your paint­ing ly­ing close to one of the cross­sec­tions can be more in­ter­est­ing than just draw­ing the viewer into the im­age cen­tre.

Build on the fo­cus of your paint­ing by adding sup­port­ing el­e­ments. The fo­cus in my ex­am­ple is the char­ac­ter’s face, but I also want to lead the viewer around the rest of the im­age. The lantern is an­other area of in­ter­est, which again sits closely to one of the cross-sec­tions.

Fi­nally, fram­ing can guide the viewer fur­ther around the im­age. I’ve used mag­i­cal swirls to en­force the path that the char­ac­ter is tak­ing, and to hint at what may be ly­ing ahead of her.

Jan­uary 2016

Here’s a sim­ple grid show­ing the Rule of Thirds, how dif­fer­ent el­e­ments can lie on the cross­sec­tions, and how you can frame the im­age.

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