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Establish the center of interest.

First and foremost, know what and where the focal point of your painting will be.    Remember, placement of elements in the painting is always important. What do you want the viewer to see most in your painting?


  • Warm colors bring an image forward, cool colors recede.
  • Colors gray with distance and atmosphere.
  • Color balance and placement are important. Bright colors draw and focus attention. Use them sparingly, only in areas that demand attention. Soften hues where attention is not important.
  • Use of light and shadow not only add dramatics, but can be used to temper unnecessary areas.


  • The center of interest should always be away from from the center of the painting.
  • Unusual shapes change the focus of the eye and mind.
  • Establish a vanishing point to give depth to a painting.
  • Shapes are smaller and less detailed with distance.
  • Avoid depressed lines, especially those that lead the eye out of the painting or away from the center of interest.
  • Strengthen corners with convex shapes leading the eye into the body of the painting.
  • Establish lead-ins beginning at the edges of the painting Rocks and foam patterns can be important leads.
  • Blurring secondary areas gives the eye relief.
  • Extreme localized detail draws attention.


  • Direction of brushstrokes can be used to direct the mind toward the focal point.
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DVD Cover
"Rocks and Sea" DVD

Learn to paint rocks with this
58 minute video workshop.
DVD or Download.

DVD Cover
"The Protector" DVD

A colorful 89 minute video workshop, in close-up detail.
DVD or Download.

DVD Cover
"The Wild Sea" DVD

Learn to paint the sea with this 53 minute video workshop .
DVD or Download.

CD Cover
"The Breaking Wave" CD

The basic wave, 30 page e-book workshop for computer.
CD or Download.

Glacial Lake Missoula
"Glacial Lake Missoula"

See it on Nova Megafloods Website. Geologic commission. 

My back yard

A photo gallery of Oregon coast mushrooms 
Pickering family history
Oil painting video workshop to paint seascapes and ocean waves. Byron Pickering art, oil painting instruction builds confidence to master color, motion, and depth in seascape painting