Dis­cov­er­ing Art: The Mak­ing of an Artist Part 78

Vary­ing Lev­els of Fo­cus and De­tail

International Artist - - Contents -

Vary­ing Lev­els of Fo­cus and De­tail & Italy, Pianello

By Barry John Ray­bould

When you are look­ing at a view, your eye sees only one part of the scene clearly in fo­cus. You see the rest of the scene in a more gen­er­al­ized way us­ing your pe­riph­eral vi­sion. You should do the same in your paint­ing by keep­ing the ob­jects in the fo­cal point or fo­cal area in sharper fo­cus com­pared with ob­jects in other parts of the paint­ing.

Avoid mak­ing your paint­ing look like a pho­to­graph in which the whole scene is in fo­cus.

Two tech­niques you can use for vary­ing the level of de­tail are:

Brush size: Use two brushes that have a great con­trast of size and shape so you can­not cre­ate too much de­tail out­side the fo­cal point. Use the small brush only in the fo­cal area.

Edges: Use soft edges in part of the paint­ing and harder edges else­where.

In this paint­ing, Gera­ni­ums, you can see the flow­ers and leaves in the fore­ground are much more de­fined than the plant pot and the ta­ble, which blend into the back­ground. The ar­eas of light hit­ting the pot also have some hard edges in their brush­strokes.

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