Friday, February 4, 2011

Eye Path Reverse Analysis

Autumn Rhapsody- Acrylic; 12" x 19"

Discussion in my class recently have revolved around composition and one of the things that came up was the importance of creating an eye path in your work. A composition should take the viewer on a visual journey through the piece. There should be logical points of emphasis and uncomfortable pauses, starts, stops and "eye traps" should be avoided. I frequently seem to fall back on my old favorite Creative Illustration by Andrew Loomis to explain these concepts.

From Creative illustration by Andrew Loomis- click to enlarge

This page in the book discusses the importance of a comfortable eye path, which if done correctly will effortlessly guide your viewer through the piece, prompting them to linger where you want and then continue on and enjoy secondary points of interest along the way.



I thought it would be interesting to do this same sort of analysis on one of my own pieces. Sort of a "reverse engineering" of my composition. In hind sight it was interesting to discover that in this piece from The Touch of the Master's Hand picture book I indeed followed the important guidelines laid out by Loomis. One such essential tool is to have elements that stop the eye from going out of the picture plane, or if something does lead you off, make sure there is another place where logical re-entry occurs. Of course there are other elements to creating a successful visual journey such as hierarchy of values among others, but understanding that as an artist you have complete control of the visual journey your viewer takes is a great first step toward powerful composition.

Creative Illustration PDF at Alex Hays' website

11 comments:

mindfuldrawing.com said...

What an enjoyable and educational 'Reverse' post.
Thank you for sharing!
Paula

Candace Trew Camling said...

I just wanted to let you know how inspirational this blog is. I am illustrating my first children's book right now and I love coming to your blog for a little "pick me up" if I have a rough day!
Thanks!

INDIGENE said...

Beautifully done and wonderfully written!

Greg Newbold said...

Thanks everyone! It's response from readers that keeps me looking for interesting things to post. I am glad it is inspiring (that was the whole idea for blogging). Candace- Hang in there! The first book is always the hardest.

Patti said...

Interesting point of view. Also love the image and color. Nice job!

Tamara campeau said...

Thanks for the little lessons :) and great work , very colourful and stylised !!

penelopeneal said...

Wow! Greg, not only do I love your work, but I love your lessons! I'll now be checking for a daily instruct. Thank you for spreading your incites and wonderful work!

Coreopsis said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I monitored my eye path through your wonderful fall illustration before looking at your analysis of it, and that's indeed the way it works. Your picture is luminous and wonderfully detailed. That book Creative Illustration sounds interesting, but the only copies one can get from Amazon are well over $100. I'll keep my out out.

Greg Newbold said...

Coreopsis (and anyone else interested) Creative Illustration is a bit pricy so you might want to check out the PDF version you can find on Alex Hays' website http://www.alexhays.com/loomis/Andrew%20Loomis%20-%20Creative.Illustration.pdf

Jack Foster said...

Thanks for the amazing visual journey Greg! Bravo!

Alice Andreini said...

lovely work.I love the educational angle.