-By Jesper Ejsing
|Clear silhouette, contrast and details around the face, rest is toned down almost fading down to flat shapes.|
I wrote an article previously about focal point. In the article I compared the painting with a water surface. You drop a stone on the most important part of the painting and the ripple it makes, is guidelines. The further out from the center the less contrast, value, detail level and so on, you need. What I meant is you take away stuff, so that the stuff left behind has the more impact. It is like a nice dish; too many flavors and it all falls apart and you do not know what you are eating.
Yesterday I was sketching an orc for fun. In the process I used the blur tool to even strokes out since I did not want to waste time rendering. But; as I did so I was reminded why the focal point is so important. The human eye works like a camera lense. It can only focus on one thing at a time. So if you equally render every detail of a panting with the same sharpness or detail, you kind of ruin the illusion. I always wanted my artwork to be small windows into another world. In copying the "eye" effect I add to the illusion, that the image is real. If I dont mimic the "lens effect" my painting looks flat, more like a symbolic representation. I am not saying at all that my fantasy paintings looks like reality. But in using this focal rendering idea I add credibility to an unbeliveable universe. And, it makes people look where I want them to and notice what is important in my pictures.
To me it has always been a matter of clarity and readability. What ever you can do to simplify makes the image read better. You; as an illustrator, are telling small stories, but in order for the audience to be able to read them, your images needs to have as little confusion as posssible.
|The eye/lens effect|