Thursday, December 11, 2014

Vincent van Gogh's Irises Shows How to Use Color to Create a Focal Point

Now that we have learned how to use definition to create a focal point (, let's talk about using color to do so.

An effective way to attract attention to your focal point is the use of color. If your painting is full of blues and greens, as is a typical landscape, a red barn or bright yellow sunflower will provide an eye-catching burst of contrasting color (although be aware that a red barn is an extremely cliché subject). The color doesn't have to be bright, though, just different: In Vincent van Gogh's painting, Irises, shown above (click on photo for larger size), a lone white iris stands out from its colorful bluish-purple peers and the reddish-orange ground because it is so singular. The colors in this painting are already very vibrant, so it was a canny choice to make the flower white, instead.

Les Irises by Vincent van Gogh from Wikimedia Commons

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