Thursday, July 3, 2014

Deciding What's Important

I have painted Fisherman's and Ram Island Lighthouse a hundred times and have always had the problem of the island competing with the foreground if I want to focus on the foreground .  The other day when I was painting it, it occurred to me that the problem was the red roofs of the keeper's houses kept drawing my eye out to the island when I really wanted to emphasize the calm waters and reflections in the foreground water.

Red is an especially powerful attention-getter.  So I just decided to eliminate the two houses out on the island.  The lighthouse became the "locater", but I subordinated it by its size and neutral hues. The larger shapes and the textures in the foreground then had a chance to take the spotlight.

Don't be afraid to eliminate some elements that are in reality there for the sake of keeping the viewer's eye on the elements that you want them to look at.

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