"Dust and Thunder" Update: Maintaining a Focal Point
While recently developing a couple of preliminary layouts for future drawings, I've continued to work on Dust and Thunder. Below is a photograph taken late this week, during one of its many (smile) "ugly phases".
During my recent research and readings about composition both online and in books, I am increasingly intrigued by the many ways in which an artist can create a dynamic composition by the handling of certain aspects of a drawing / painting -- color, contrast, edge control, and temperature, to name but a few. More specifically as applied to this current drawing, I have been giving a great deal of consideration to how controlling contrast can help to define my focal point. The focal point of a drawing / painting should have the strongest contrast of edges. This can be achieved not only through the use of color and / or value, but also through edge control, with hard edges providing the greatest contrast. Areas of high contrast other than the focal point, can actually pull the viewer's eye away from the focal point. For this reason hard edges throughout an image (guilty!) can be problematic.
In Dust and Thunder my plan is for the area of the appaloosa (spotted) horse to be the focal point. As I develop the background colors and foreground foliage, as well as continue to define some edges and soften others, it should become more clear as to how I am attempting to use the above information to do this. I'm interested to see how the conscious application of the principles pertaining to contrast may effect my drawing, both on this piece and in the future.