Whether your painting style is tight and realistic, loose and impressionistic or somewhere in between, a focal point is crucial to getting the viewer’s attention.I do a lot of florals and landscapes; my technique is very quick, juicy, aggressive and brushy. I’m also fond of portraying an almost-unfinished effect. Yet I still give considerable attention to the painting’s center of interest. That’s usually the area that has the most light hitting it, and it’s where all my intense color, hard edges and starkest contrasts of light and dark colors will end up. I suboordinate, play down and soften edges on most other things in the painting to strengthen my focal point.
Peg Lopata is an artist and writer living in Francestown, New Hampshire.