Well, yes and no. I think it’s a good idea to have a star in your painting. But not all paintings need to have a strong focal point to be successful. Paintings can have multiple focal points or none at all and still be works of the highest quality. In general I think paintings need a star and a supporting cast. The supporting cast is there to make the star look good! If everything was the star, then there would be no star! It’s the idea of simultaneous contrast; something is only light in relation to something that is dark, something is only tall in relation to something that is short. I’m striving for artistic inequality in my pieces. Something wants to be dominant.

There is more than one way to achieve a focal point. I like to use a variety of techniques to get there. We can use line, color + intensity. I tend to orchestrate all my actions in a painting to get my viewer to look to where I want them to look. If you take a look at this piece from my 100 Variation series, you’ll notice that the area of greatest contrast is near the focal point. Also the area of greatest intensity. All the movement and gesture of the piece is intended to guide my viewer towards the focal point. There is also a gradation from the bottom towards the middle of the piece which is intended to move your eye to the focal point and this is also true of the sky.

In fact all marks, value, color intensity it in service of the focal point.

With Warmest Regards,

Painting Minilessons
with Marla Baggetta

My free online minilessons in art are a fantastic way to learn more about your craft, regardless of your skill level. There are lessons available on everything from basic drawing techniques to complex painting methods, and no matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something that appeals to you. Whether you’re a beginner who’s just starting out, or a seasoned artist who wants to brush up on your skills, these minilessons are a great resource. These lessons are available anytime, anywhere. So whether you’re looking for a quick refresher or want to explore something new, be sure to check out some of my minilessons at Painting Lessons with Marla.

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