Please help me guide the viewer around an image
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.