This is another tip that my Mum has taught me, and it's about directing the viewer's eye to the focal point you want them to, well, focus on!
There are a few ways to do this, and they can all work together.
You can make sure the focal point has the greatest contrasts (the lightest lights and the darkest darks). As in the butterflies below.
And / or you can make sure the focal point has the brightest colours (here is a detail shot of the full painting at the top of this post, it's by Diana Battle).
And / or you can make sure it has the most 'found' edges. To explain. Here's a 'lost' edge.
It's blurry, not sharp... it's 'lost'.
Here's a 'found' edge.
It's sharper, painted more deliberately, more precisely, it's 'found'.
Here's another example of found edges at the focal point, in this mixed media painting by my friend, Nic Hohn (if you haven't visited her site yet, do go, it's lovely there).
Now you can look out for more examples of this tip! I was thinking Mona Lisa, Monet's waterlillies... and if you use it yourself, please add your links in a comment below.
And for the record, yes, I know it's Wednesday, but my son just bought himself an itouch and (strangely) our internet limit has been reached... so my speed is throttled and it's driving me slightly bonkers. Things are going to have to change around here, I'm thinking!