Focal Area


Every good movie has just one main character, the hero or the heroine.

This character gets maximum screen time in the movie. Others get far less footage.

Good directors do not allow the the supporting characters or even the villain to hog more limelight than the main character.

We artists should have a similar approach. Every painting is like a movie and it is our job to design just one area where we want our viewers to pay most attention.

If you get tempted to emphasise two things, paint two separate paintings but don't try to fit both the things in one.

That's the focal area of the painting.

But how do you ensure that that area gets most attention?

Here are 3 suggestions.

  1. Shapes in this area should have high value contrast and most saturated colors.
  2. Implied lines in the painting should lead the viewers' eyes to this area and
  3. This area should be positioned in the painting using good compositional thumb-rules like rule of thirds or golden ratio

And there you have it, the focal area of your successful painting!

Now I want to hear from you. What's the most important thing you got from this short post and how do you plan to implement it in your paintings? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Painting!

P.S. If you want to learn the art of creating captivating compositions, my course on Mastering Composition in Visual Art will help.