Using Diagonal and Curving Lines
Even if the focal point of your painting is fairly obvious, you should emphasize the center of interest by using visual “signposts” to direct the viewer’s eye toward it. Diagonal and curving lines often lead the eye from one of the corners of a painting to the center of interest. (For example, a diagonal street or a curving stream.) Curving and diagonal lines also can be formed by the placement of elements within the painting, as shown in the beach scene below.
COMPOSING WITH DIAGONALSIn this beach scene, the main elements of the painting—the boy in the foreground, the boy near the shore, and the bucket—are arranged in a triangle to create visual interest. The viewer’s eye is led through the painting, along the diagonal lines of the triangle.