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     I promised you last week that I would give you the GRID to use in planning out a painting.  This is used to decide where to have the focal point of the painting.  It is very important because the focal point should never be in the middle under normal circumstances.  There are exceptions to this rule, but I won't go into that now.  Just suffice it to say that NORMALLY the focal point is located at one of four points on the canvas.  The GRID shows where those four points are.  I drew out the grid on a regular piece of paper 8 x 11.  So this would translate to a normal rectangular canvas, but also is used on a square canvas.  Basically you divide the canvas vertically into three even spaces and draw lines down. Then do the same horizontally, again drawing lines on the divisions.  You end up with nine boxes on the canvas.  The lines meet in four places.  I drew an X on each spot.  The focal point should be placed on one of those four X's.  I have a photo below to show what I mean.  When you do this your painting has MUCH more interest than otherwise and everyone thinks you are an instant artist!  But really, it is a VERY IMPORTANT principle to learn!



     So, once you have decided where your focal point is going to be, THEN you must decide how you will get the viewers eye TO that focal point!  This is also very important!  You can use a winding road, a winding stream of water, trees and bushes or even flying birds, flowers, rocks, etc.  But they start big in the front and get smaller as they go into the distance and the eye naturally follows them to the focal point.  PLEASE do not make the line straight however, as it takes the eye too quickly to the focal point and then gets bored!  Trust me on this.  You actually want the eye to move around the painting without LEAVING the painting.  It sounds hard but it actually isn't.  Just study paintings online or in galleries, museums, etc and pay attention to these details and you will begin to see a pattern. Trees lean into the painting, grasses lean toward the middle or the focal point, birds flying toward it, etc.  It is subtle but it is there!  A road never leads off to the side or top of a painting.  It curves into the painting, NEVER  OUT.  If a river leaves, it is cut off by trees, mountains, or something else to stop the eye from leaving. Trees, bushes, buildings, fence posts, animals, people, etc cut off the edges to keep the eye in the painting. It is always subtle, never really noticed as an eye stopper.  it does the job by turning the eye back into the painting.  It is so cool how it works! Look at my paintings below and see if you can pinpoint the focal point or it can be called center of interest.  It us usually a little brighter, more in focus, or stands out in other ways.  Some are more subtle, but the eye is always led to that place in the painting and hopefully rests there for a while.  That is the goal!


     Next week I will explain the VALUE SYSTEM.  The backbone of good paintings!  It is absolutely essential to understand the value system.  Without this, the paintings will have no depth and hence look flat.  I have a picture of a VALUE FINDER below.  Look at it and buy one if you don't already have one.  Or you can make one, but they are very inexpensive so I prefer to just buy one.  I ALWAYS have mine close by as I paint!  They are invaluable!




     Now, for my two new paintings.  I did a small beach scene and a little larger Caribbean painting.
I decided that I wanted to start a new series of paintings.  I got the idea from a picture of some Caribbean houses I saw in a magazine.  They are quite colorful and around here colorful is always popular!  So that was an easy decision.  I had a lot of fun and everyone loves it!  Great!  Onward and upward, as they say!  Ok, that's an old saying most of you won't know.  But it means "keep going" you are on the right track.  Anyway, thanks for looking, enjoy, and see you next week.  Practice doing some drawings using the focal point grid and see if you don't see a difference in your work!




"MORNING GLOW"
5 X 7
Acrylic




"HOME SWEET HOME"
11 X 14
Acrylic
     If you picked the orange house as the focal point, you are right!  Notice how the eye wants to go there and stay?  That is what the artist wants you to do! Even the slightly open door invites the eye to stay.  Subtle and effective.
     BTW, I am still working on the colorful seascape.  I like it better but it is not where I want it to be yet.  Hopefully next week...

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IT'S HERE!  THE BIG ART SALE!!

 PLEASE LOOK THROUGH ALL OF THESE AND CHOOSE AS MANY AS YOU LIKE!
Sale prices will be in effect until all these paintings are gone!

        I will accept cash..or a credit card.  If local, pick or or delivery has no shipping charge.  Shipping for 11x14  or smaller should be no more than $8-$15 (USPS priority) depending on where you live. Larger paintings will be more.  I recently shipped an 18 x 24 painting and the shipping (UPS ground) charge was very reasonable ($35) REST ASSURED I WILL SEND THE CHEAPEST ( while still safe) WAY POSSIBLE!

   TO PURCHASE:  TEXT - 904-710-6721 = OR EMAIL : dodsondara@gmail.com


                                   THESE ARE ALL ORIGINAL PAINTINGS!





















DESIGNING A SERIES

     So I wanted to come up with a new series that I thought would be popular.  I decided they needed to be large and showy, but not too complicated.  Since we live in a tropical area, I came up with the idea of "Looking Up", literally!

     I took some pictures of palm trees from below and began painting them in a simplified form on canvas that is 36 x 48 ( huge!)  I love it!  I only have one done so far, but I know that they will be popular judging from comments I have received on social media.  Of course I have photos below of the first ones for you to see.

     I am not the first person to try this, but mine are different from other artists.  Mine are just a little bit more realistic, yet still fantastic and fun.  Larger than life, so to speak in a painting.  I focused in on the area at the top of the trunk where the palm fronds branch out making the structure very strong and making it easy to see …
I have just been given the opportunity to display my paintings in Jacksonville, Fl at the most upscale Antique Mall/Interior Design Center in North Florida.  Needless to say, I am thrilled!  I was given a wall on the main aisle to showcase my art.  They were particularly interested in large pieces of art and I was happy to comply.  It works well for me as my small pieces are in demand here in St. Augustine since tourists prefer something that will fit into their luggage.  But for art shows larger pieces are in order.  So this new venue is a great way for me to show and sell them after the art shows!

     I forgot my camera when the art was hung, so I will have to return to get the display on film for the blog.  Hopefully next week I can show it to you.

     I painted another large painting the other day.  I got the bug to start painting later in the evening and ended up going to bed at 4 am!  You ever do that?  Probably most artists do that from time to time.  I was on a roll, …