When is balance in a painting a bad thing?I knew when I started this composition there would be a point when a decision had to be made. Of course this decision should normally be made before you start to paint, but then my approach is hardly ever normal.
The problem is the ever sought after and much in demand...focal point. Where does an artist want the viewer's eyes to begin and how long does he want those eyes to remain there? These should be deliberate decisions by the artist. When I have a painting that is weak in composition it is most often because I haven't made a decision about the focal point.
The analogy is often made that the focal point should be the star of the picture and everything else is part of the supporting cast. Not having a focal point in a painting would be like not having a main character in a play or movie. The audience needs a reason to care or in the case of a painting a reason to spend time looking.
So here we are right at the point of deciding, two actors are standing on stage, one on the right and one on the left. Who should be the star of the scene?
It is too balanced, even though the bush is round and fat and the pole is thin and straight, that diversity is not enough . We need a star to care about. So, I must make a decision: the hydrangea bush or the bird feeder? Something must stand back and support the other.