Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pointers and Stoppers

A painting should make you feel as if there is nothing outside the edge of the paper or canvas.  I'm always aware of "pointers" that lead into the painting or to the focal point.  But "pointers can also lead the viewer out of the painting.  That's when you need a "stopper", something that will keep the eye from going off the page.

In this painting of Scipio Creek, pointers include the direction that the boats are facing, lines on the boats, the dock, ropes and rigging.  The lines on the far boats could point off the page without a couple of pilings to stop the eye.  On the left side of the painting, the nets and the dock are stoppers. 

Objects and elements that point or stop are consciously included.  Sometimes they have to be borrowed, invented or moved to come in aid of the composition.  Always think before including or omitting an object that could help or hurt the design of the composition.

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