You Create The Star Of Your Art

You control what the star of your art is.

Just like a movie, a drawing or painting needs some star power.

To create interest …to grab a viewer's attention…

… and pull their eyes into your art.

(I'll tell you more about that in a moment.)

But, remember this…

You don't need Julia Roberts or George Clooney to be that attention-getter.

The star of your art can be almost anything.

There may be a whole cast of characters in your overall design.

But, most of the time you only need one or two elements that are a little more important than the rest.

It could be large or it could be small.

It just needs to be something that focuses the viewer's attention.

Even if it's only for a moment.

Something that contrasts with the rest of the painting or drawing.

Creating the star of your art gives the viewer's eyes a definite destination. A place to linger and rest.

When there isn't a place to stop for a moment it can be like running a marathon with no water breaks.

The viewer's eyes bounce around the art until fatigue sets in, and he or she moves on to something else.

In this drawing, I don't give you any choice as to where to look first.

I purposely focus your attention on the model's left eye.

But, notice how that was done.

I used a number of little tricks from the artist's tool box.

I'll examine more of them another time, but here's one of them.

I didn't completely define her head. I created visual surprise by leaving her right side unfinished.

That helps pull your eyes to the part of her face that is my star.

And it creates interest and mystery.

While your eyes wander through and savor the rest of the drawing, you always return to the star of the art.

It's like a magnet.

Remember the work of Zhaoming Wu I showed you in the previous blog post "Painting Ideas And Tips From A Master"?

He did the exact same thing.

In his painting of the woman, you couldn't even see her face. But her head was still the star of the painting.

In the drawing I showed you, he created his star in the man's right eye and cheek.

Almost every other artist I could show you creates a star in his or her work to grab your attention and hold it.

And they all use the same basic ways of doing that.

The same basic tools that are in every artist's tool box.

Basic tools that should be part of every beginning artist's core art skills.

That should be taught in every class of painting or drawing for beginners.

But aren't.

Best Wishes,
Gary Gumble
Founder of
Without art the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. (George Bernard Shaw)

P.S. I can remember back to art school my days at Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

My classes had an abundance of time spent on the mechanics of drawing and painting. 

But I can't remember a single minute spent on teaching simple, basic things like how to create the star of your art.

Most of us are left to try to discover that on our own.

Well, that's going to change.

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