Fantasy Landscape Glossary


Focal Point/Focus: The area or object in your drawing that pulls the viewer's eye first when they look at your drawing. There should be one main focal point, and then lesser focal points to help the eye move around the drawing (see flow).

Composition: The placement of  all the elements of a drawing. Interest, weight, values, focal points, and flow are all important elements in a drawing (or any art for that matter). Composition is a subtle and complex thing.  Even experienced artists who can draw the most beautiful objects may be dissatisfied with their work because the composition is not good.

Flow: When someone looks at a drawing, their eyes move around, picking out detail.  Drawings with clear focal points and balanced weight help them decide how to travel through the work almost like there were arrows directing them to go here next.

Interest: The appeal an object has for most viewers.  People are more likely to look for, study and remember a face than a rock.  Therefore a face has more 'interest'.  Textures, values, size, numbers and shapes all add interest.  It's a little bit like rock, paper, scissors.  A group of rocks would be more interesting than a single rock.  But a rock with texture, larger size or unusual shape might be more interesting than a group of rocks.  A squirrel (which has a face) would be more interesting than a rock, but a huge rock might be more interesting than a tiny squirrel.

Pattern Motif: A motif  is an element of the artistic work. It can be a single image or, the important emphasis for this discussion, a  motif may be an image that is repeated in order to create a pattern.  If you draw a circle several times, it is a motif for a pattern of circles.  If you draw a circle, a square and a banana grouped together, and then repeat that grouped image again in the same work, the whole group is a motif.  In essence, you can make a pattern from anything if you repeat it.

Values: Value is a term in art that refers to a scale of light to dark.  You should have at least three values - light, medium and dark, but will probably have more.  High contrast between light and dark adds more interest and can create a focal point in your drawing.

Weight: The combination of interest and values creates weight.  The area of your drawing with the most weight becomes the focal point.  Lesser areas of weight help guide the eye around the drawing.  A drawing with equal weight through-out seems flat and uninteresting.

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