Making an Entrance…

A sweeping staircase, a crystal lit foyer, open iron gates or a cobblestone walkway would be great, unfortunately many times we’re left standing on the curb with no path to the front door.

A painting can leave you with that same feeling, you want to get in but enthusiasm is lost trying to figure it out.

Here are some examples of welcoming ¬†entrances –

Miss Helen Duinham, John Singer Sargent



Breezy Day, Zhaoming Wu
John Asaro
Home Fields, John Singer Sargent
Vincent Van Gogh
Drying Out, Lori Putnam

Usually the most effective way to enter a painting seems to be-


I’ve found taking a photo of the subject with my phone, than making a quick cropping makes it easier to visualize the best place to cut off the bottom for a good design lead in, ¬†especially helpful when working from life.

Here is a subject I recently painted, and how I decided to crop it.irenelr

I began blocking this in from the bottom up. It’s tempting to start with the area of most interest, the head, and work down from there, but too many times I have been left with awkward shapes at the bottom, spending way too much time trying to “make it work”.

Latin Influence, Diane Eugster