Area of Interest

Have you ever looked at a painting and felt overwhelmed? This can be when the area of interest is not clear.

If your painting is of the Yorkshire dales and it's all about rolling hills and grazing sheep and do not fill the foreground with detailed daffodils. This will distract the viewer from what you want them to be focusing on.

The areas of interest need to be placed carefully in your pictures. To understand this further please follow the link below.

Interested in where to place the area of interest within your painting then consider .... Composition

surprised by rousseau

Tiger in a Tropical Storm by Rousseau is quite a busy painting but the area of interest also called the point of interest; to me is the tiger - eyes wide ready to pounce..

Emphasing the Point of Interest

There are various ways to emphasize the point of interest.

Focused and Unfocused

Your point of interest in your paintings could be part with the most detail. These part is in focus. To make it stand out from the rest of your paintings which is the less detailed .. almost in soft focus - slightly hazy.

In this painting the most focussed part - the trees on the horizon are detailed compared to the more abstract the painting style of painting for the foliage and foreground.

Choice of colour

A careful choice of colour can help the viewer to clearly see your point of interest

Whilst I was paintings this picture I was enjoying using complimentary, (clashing) colours to make areas stand out.

The suggestion of the path leading in from the right draws the viewer's eyes into points of interest; where the striking branch pierces the yellow background. So here you have complimentary colours and strong tonal changes. Both great techniques to experiment with.

HINT: remember the idea of focus / unfocused. The foreground is un detailed and just suggested at. Whereas the area of interest ... trees, branches and foliage is painted in greater detail.


As a mixed media artist I use lots of different textures in my work; for a paintings to feel cohesive and work as a whole I need the texture to be balanced across the painting and not just in one area. However the point or points of interest can be more textured.

The painting below is a great example of using more texture to emphasize the area of interest. Using gesso with a palette knife I was able to suggest the roughness of the stones and the uneven ground of the island. This bold texture helps the viewer focus in on the specific-area of interest.

north sardinia

Not every view you may want to work on has a clear point of interest but by using some of the techniques we've explored I am sure you're be able to enhance the subject and develop one.