How to Give Your Paintings Deeper Meaning: Pay Attention To Exactly What Caught Your Eye

October 16, 2019 1 min read

When you're flipping through your reference photos or looking out into the world, there will be a moment when something catches your eye and calls you to paint.

 

Michael Holter encourages you to take note of not just the object that you're interested in painting but the WHY behind that particular scene or object caught your eye. Maybe it was a lovely moment between a couple or the beauty of the light coming through petals. Maybe it was the serenity of a stream or the quiet of the morning.

 

Whatever it was, write it down and think about it. How can you use the tools at your disposal in your medium to paint the essence of what called you to the scene in the first place? How do you want your edges to convey that? How close or far should you be from the subject?

 

For example, let's say your taking reference photos at a carnival. If what caught your attention was the energy of the crowd, maybe you'll want to pull back to show a bunch of people interacting. But if it was the way a little girl looks up at a HUGE ice cream cone, perhaps the painting should be a tighter framing of just her face.

 

These are the choices you can make as an artist if you know why a particular scene caught your attention. Knowing this, you can create a painting that best tells that story. 

 

 


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