Wednesday, August 8, 2018


In Alla Prima, Richard Schmid talks about the importance of how you treat the edges in a painting.  He feels that many painters ignore this important area.  When you focus your eyes on an object, everything in your peripheral vision is less distinct.  A camera, on the other hand, will produce a photo with everything in crisp detail.  Your focal point or main area of interest will naturally have harder edges than the rest of the painting.  If everything is equally distinct, then that pulls your eye away from where you intend to lead it.  If two adjacent areas are close in value the edge will have less contrast.  Jeanie Dobie, in How to Make Color Sing, suggests that each shape should only have one step in value different from the one next to it if possible.  Save the largest contrasts in value for the focal point.  Another way to soften an edge is to carefully brush along the edge until the desired softness is achieved.  Charles Reed also talked about the importance of soft edges in places to tie the figure to the background.  He says to look for places where the value in the figure is close to that in the background and lose that edge by brushing the areas together.  In Orange Sky I kept most of values close together rather than softening edges.  I relied on color contrast to create a focal point, but that is a topic for another post.

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