Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Importance of the Oblique


It's been said before:  horizontals are restful, verticals are formal and dignified, and obliques have energy.

     Obliques, which some people refer to as diagonals, guide the viewer's eyes.  Look carefully at this painting of Ocean Island, and you'll find lots of horizontals, a few verticals, and several subtle obliques.  The road is, of course, the most obvious oblique, and it guides you into the painting, stopping briefly at the focal point of the stone gate before continuing on to the trees on the island.  The bush on the left and the left side of the tree shape on the island also gently lead your eye back to the stone structure. The very small indication of some driftwood on the rocks is also an oblique pointer.    

One word of caution:  Diagonals cut things into two equal parts or shapes.  That's one reason to avoid starting them in corners.

Choose your placement of obliques carefully to come in aid of the composition.

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