View Full Version : What grabs your attention in a drawing or painting?

04 April 2005, 04:56 PM
Why is it that some images take off like wildfire - get everyones attention, while others fall off of the radar and into oblivion?
I have seen may well executed images that just don't get the "press time" that it seems they deserve.
What are the things that grab you:
content (what type),
colour (any particular type of colour handling),
drawing style,

What background do you have in visual arts, and how (if at all) does that effect what artworks you like to look at. I am not thinking of the famous art you like, but the works you might - for example - find posted here on CGTalk?


04 April 2005, 08:52 PM
I started out drawing visual stories as a kid. Some of my work ended up in the back of books and what not, hehehe. Then I had my goals later set on being an urban craft artist building functional art. Now I'm a 3d designer and web developer. I learned a lot along as progressed to the point that I'm at now.

Art has to motivate us visually to be attractive. Is an artwork inviting us to look at it with some bold use of colors or topic that is alluring? Does an artwork tell us to use a product, visit a vacation spot or dance all hight at a rave event. If does not work like this it will almost be invisible amid all of the other distractions that are attracting our eyes.

You can draw a painting of the most beautiful tropical flowers on earth to attract viewers to their beauty. Then you place this same painting beside and image of a beautiful profile of an exotic womans face on top of a lush dark green jungle background environment. Add the flowers from the first image to accent her hair. The lighter colored flowers are placed on top of the womans head to attract the viewer to their beauty.

Here we have two images that share similarities but have different levels of visual attraction. On one hand the first image was created to look beautiful and to display the tropical flowers. The other image was created to “attract” viewers with a beautiful exotic woman and it worked to focus attention on the tropical flowers. The first image is just a visual of flowers and the second image was designed to direct our vision to the flowers.

The level of visual direction and detail that we build into art can control the way in which our art can work to attract our viewers.

Often artist use an image of a beautiful woman to attract us to their artwork. This design method is common because it works.

04 April 2005, 09:06 PM
As far as my taste in art goes here on Cgtalk, there are so many great artist works here to look at. I like cg paintings and cg 3d art that involve character usage and environment designs or a combination there of. The artist who have done some really outstanding work have a little trophy icon under their member names. Just do a name search and check out their artwork. You will see that they have mastered the ability to attract others to their visions.

04 April 2005, 06:04 PM
Hey, gordonm. It's a challenging question you ask -- I've started and quit writing a post 3 times so far. :D It's so much easier to point to an individual piece and indicate what I like about it, but I'll give this a shot.

One thing that catches my eye is complexity. If you show me a simple still life of a bowl of fruit, add an intricate lace pattern on the tablecloth underneath for complexity. I'm not a big fan of robots or machinery, but I've got a ton of respect for somebody that fills their picture with rich detail to the point that you can see what a machine does and how it works just by looking at the painting. I keep my own work simple, partly because I hate doing detail work. I appreciate those who stick with it.

I also like the complexity of concepts behind a painting. Last year there was a painting on CGTalk and I think the artist's name was Willy. It was a young man in the desert with goggles standing in front of his buggy. It looked different from any buggy I'd seen, taller and the seats had a zebra print. The goggles might have been to shield the sun or for welding his buggy together. The zebra skin on the seats looked odd, but what else can you find in the desert to cover your seats with? Sometimes there's such a focus on art technique that the artist doesn't flesh out the concept enough and think it through. :applause: to those who do.

I love seeing how other people use color. One might use desaturated colors to show a dry sunny day or lots of highlights to show a rainy night. Color is one of those things I can't explain too well, but I know when I like it. I don't have a good grasp of color theory so I'm highly impressed by those artists who can show me a palette I wouldn't have thought of using.
I'm sure I could think of some more, but right now I'm just happy to hit that Submit Reply button. :)

04 April 2005, 06:25 PM
I find that pictures in architecture are more interesting when many things on different places happen in the picture. My eye will be pulled towards the main object but searches over the image to discover things.

I'm a technical drawer who went into 3D visualisations and i always have to ask myself this question..

greetz sjoerd..

04 April 2005, 08:48 PM
Emotion is what I look for and what grabs my attention. You know that psychiatric test where they show you lots of weird ink splots and ask you what you see? I took one once for fun, and every one of my responses was something like 'submission', 'freedom', etc.

05 May 2005, 01:08 AM
realism in an artistic way...

05 May 2005, 01:48 AM
content (what type),
colour (any particular type of colour handling),
drawing style,

For me its a balance of all these things and does the piece evoke something inside that makes me want to get lost in the work. (stare like a catatonic idiot)

I just came from "open studios" where local artists (the non-digital variety) open their studios to the public... and I was contemplating why it was I liked some and not others.

the pieces I found myself drawn to weren't any one kind of subject... many were abstract, many literal, figurative, photography etc. most had a good compositional balance, but they all fired my neurons into thinking about "something". In some ways they all gave me a little insight into how the artist thinks about the world (or doesn't think for that matter)

I guess they were all competently executed and consistent into their own styles. Use of line and color is deliberate.

I will say that most of what I see on cgtalk seems to lean heavily on the illustrative side of "art". They tend to be narrative. most of what is here I would call sci-fi fantasy illustration. where is the cg "fine art"? less literal work? abstracts? THat's why I wen t to the open studios to get a little balance to clear out my head...some non-monitor time.

So as far as content goes for me it doesn't matter what the content (abstract, literal.. figurative...environmental...etc.) is as long as the artist is behind it and uses it effectively to provoke a mood, place, feeling..something that fires the gears. I do find a lot of work here on cgtalk that does that well, but I can't really pin down one thing... certainly composition is really important.

My background is in fine arts and computer graphics. I look at just about everything I can...looking at some work for technical process/execution and some for pure aesthetics.

05 May 2005, 12:23 PM
I was walking through an elderly home yesterday, I stopped and glanced at every picture in the hallway.. I guess I'm interested in everything made by an artist these days. It's fascinating how people just take art for granted :)

05 May 2005, 07:35 PM
well just a little digression or perhaps not.

maybe its sad, but I have to say that Ive noticed a phenomena here in the online art galleries where they count views on each picture. The most popular artworks are the ones with SEX on it. this can be pretty women, women and not limited to half naked, or naked women.

I am not answering for myself and ofcourse not all of you, but here comes the bomb:

sex sells

vfx fan
05 May 2005, 10:56 PM
The theme, color, and form.

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