Focal Point

Examine the uses of emphasis and contrast to create a focal point. The eye is attracted by contrasts. Contrasts of value, shape, direction and color are all simple and effective ways to engage the viewer. When visual information exhibits contrast, the eye and brain immediately begin to evaluate the information in an attempt to understand the difference it sees. These differences and contrasts attract attention and can be used to make images more engaging, in addition to drawing the viewer to specific areas of an image, in a specific order that the artist originally planned.

The area of greatest contrast may also be the area of greatest interest in a design. This area of interest is called a focal point. The artist is both the creator and manipulator of this area of interest. A focal point can be thought of as a visual starting point within an image. There are
many ways to create this area of visual interest but one of the simplest is through value contrast. To review, value contrast refers to the relationship between areas of light and dark.

Areas of similar value within an image are can be described as low value contrast and area with more extreme, pronounced value contrast can be referred to as having high value contrast.

To create a focal point using shape
1. Use complex shapes.
2. 2 direct the viewer using compositional or perspective lines.
3. Isolated the area of interest.
4. Interrupt a pattern.
5. Create emphasis with size differences.

To create a focal point using value
1. Place highest value contrast in area of emphasis.
2. In a high key design, dark values will create a focal point.
3. In a low key design light value will create a focal point.