Including a gradation in a shape is a great way to attract and hold our viewers attention. Gradations are the gradual change of value from light to dark over a distance. A shape or element of your painting that is made with a single value can be boring and monotonous. A shape with a gradation however, is much more interesting and can lead the viewer’s eye. Take this blue shape; it’s pretty flat and uninteresting. The one on the right with a smooth gradation is much more appealing. Next, the piece below is from my variation series. There is a gradual gradation from the bottom of the piece to the horizon and likewise a slight gradation in the sky from the top to the horizon. This technique, draws my viewer right to the focal point of the composition and then keeps my viewer’s eyes circulating in the piece.
Once you start to use this in your work, you’ll start to see lots and lots of painters using it. One artist who employs this technique with great skill is Richard Schmid whose work is shown here is spectacular and I very much admire!
With Warmest Regards,