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10 Secrets to Success in Art Licensing

Lance J. Klass

Secret #5 – Have a Clear and Compelling
Focal Point

Studies in the advertising industry have shown that you have about 1/8 of a second to attract the eye of a viewer. Then the viewer looks elsewhere, only looking back if there is something compelling; some visual focal point that draws the viewer’s eye back to the art. That isn’t much time to create interest in your art. It has to have immediate impact.

What happens once you’ve grabbed the person’s attention and brought it back to your art? First the viewer’s eye tends to focus on a key unit of the piece of art, then the eye flits very quickly around the image and then repeatedly comes back to the key focus of the art. Studies of eye movement have shown that a viewer’s eyes can move half a dozen times a second as the viewer scans your painting and is drawn into it.

Studies have also shown that the best location for that key focal point is slightly above the dead center of the image. It’s less effective and compelling to have the focus of the image out on the side, or to have several major focal points in the image.

What do you do if you’re creating a landscape? The answer is simple: have an easy entryway for the eye. Use a road, a path, a street, a lawn, an open space —anything that will allow the viewer to go into the scene and become interested and involved in it.

Remember, your focal point is your eye-grabber. Don’t finish a piece of art without it.

Next: Secret #6 →

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