Please help me guide the viewer around an im­age

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation - Chin Hu Lim, Tai­wan


Sara replies

Start by defin­ing the set­ting of the im­age. In my coun­try people read from left to right, so I know that my eye will fi­nally alight on the bot­tom right cor­ner. In coun­tries where read­ing goes from right to left, you can sim­ply mir­ror the im­age set­ting.

Now that I’ve es­tab­lished the fi­nal point for the viewer’s eye, I just have to cre­ate a guided path. The eas­i­est way to ac­com­plish this is to use oblique lines that cross the en­tire draw­ing. I de­cide to draw a sor­cer­ess who’s cast­ing a spell. In this case, I think a good idea is paint­ing a bridge cross­ing the pic­ture. Plac­ing the char­ac­ter on the bridge, I fol­low the oblique line with the cape and the arm that casts the spell.

To stop the viewer from step­ping im­me­di­ately from point A to point B (see be­low), I insert some el­e­ments that bal­ance the move­ment of the im­age. I use a sec­ond vir­tual line that starts from the mag­i­cal staff to the foot. Now I only have to em­pha­sise the path with colour. The bright­est spots are the point of ori­gin and the fi­nal point. I paint the sor­cer­ess with warmer colours, but use the warm­est, most con­trasted colours for the end point (B).

The bridge acts as the viewer’s in­tro­duc­tion into the paint­ing. The sketch is an im­por­tant stage. It doesn’t need to be a com­pletely ac­cu­rate im­age, but it should help you com­plete the im­age.

Here’s the path that the viewer fol­lows in this im­age. It moves over a good part of the paint­ing and also cre­ates dy­namism.

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