Attention to good detail is important whether you are painting realistic floral arrangements, fruit, vegetables, sharp focus still life, landscapes, animals, or portraits. The glint of light in an eye or on a water drop, pollen, tiny stamens in a flower center or bug bites on a leaf; good details give your paintings life and a spark of realism.
Details in the Center of Interest
Whether a detail is major or minor is dictated by its location in the painting. When painting the details in the center of interest area, they are developed to the fullest extent as the center of interest has the brightest and warmest colors, strongest value contrast and sharp focus. These attributes will help attract the viewer’s eye to the center of interest area. As details on objects move further away from the center of interest area and into the supporting areas or background, contrast is less, details are not as sharp-focused and therefore developed to a lesser degree to keep them softer and make them less eye catching.
Details in the Supporting Areas
In the supporting areas away from the center of interest, details should be calm, quiet, soft and subdued. Softer means less noticeable but not poorly painted; they should be neatly and carefully executed. Control of value, temperature and intensity are the important factors in keeping details quiet in the supporting areas.
Line work and Brush Control
Detail line-work should have graceful flow and clean edges. Detail and liner brushes in excellent condition are important tools. Paint must be the proper consistency in order to make perfect lines. Detail strokes should be executed with one continuous flowing stroke and not be over-painted, overworked or have cleaned up edges. It has been said many times that practice is the key. Practice is the only way to achieve good technical skills and brush control. Skillful and beautifully painted details will give your painting a professional touch.
Find out more about solving problem areas of painting and learn about finishing touches that are vital to improving your skills at Advancing Your Skills class – Friday, May 18, 1-5 PM – SDP Conference in Wichita.
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