Friday, February 23, 2018

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How much detail in your painting?

I want to demonstrate with a painting how you don't need a lot of detail in a painting - just enough in the right place. Too much detail can be a distraction

Broomshil Staunch, CambridgeshireThe watercolour shown below is of a sluice on the River Cam not far from Cambridge. If you look carefully there is a lot of vague shapes, but just enough details to bring things into focus. For example the brightly coloured people on the right hand side, and the sluice gate gantry on the left in outline and made really sharp with a pen. It 's not necessary to have lots of detail everywhere.

But take out ALL the detail, as I have done with Photoshop in the second reproduction of my painting, and you can see that there isn't enough to explain what it going on, or to lead the viewer's eye to points of interest.

As artists we need to think about where the points of interest are that we want the viewer to engage with, and then add detail just in those areas.