How can I direct the viewer’s gaze and strengthen the overall composition?
Pepper Sandals, Australia
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.
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.