Influencing The Viewer By Directing The Eye

Upon a Hill watercolour vertical

People scan images constantly. Looking for pathways of least resistance. The easiest routes have no hard sharp edges that act as ‘shut gates’.

Upon a Hill  watercolour vertical
Upon a Hill Watercolour vertical cobalt teal/indigo


Upon A Hill has several  “open gates”    Soft Edges that allow the viewer’s  eye to easily travel up and through the image. This painting is very easy on the eyes for the viewer,  the softness provides a gentleness yet moves the eye upwards and through the painting. Vertical format, horizontal across the top, with a gently inferred diagonal as well.


Directionals to Influence and guide the Viewers eyes.

We scan and interpret automatically the 3 main directionals Horizontals, Verticals and Diagonals. Each of these, represents something entirely different.

Artists can very readily influence the viewer simply by choosing a dominant directional in which to guide the viewer. The creative artist realises this and uses this information to their advantage!


Verticals typically can imply and infer  a more energetic, uplifted sense, mood, atmosphere.   All 3  of the Images shown here have Vertical Formats, as I chose to create in each a feeling of being Uplifted.


Horizontals can relate to a more serene, peaceful calm feeling and atmosphere.   Pink Lake Repeats, has a very strong horizontal theme  that is almost ‘cage-like’  with the bands being almost bars in appearance.   This is avoided by the Vertical format of the image which counterbalances this issue.   Pink Lake Repeats is a pastel and charcoal small study done from a trip to Esperance, Western Australian where we drove out to the famed Pink Lake.   I enjoyed the horizontal bands and smooth calm serenity of the location.

Pink Lake Repeats
Pink Lake Repeats charcoal and pastels
horizontals in vertical format


Diagonals typically will create a very vigorous, assertive, sometimes aggressive sensation and feeling.  Into The Wind incorporates overlapping bold ink directional lines that includes vertical, horizontal and diagonal.  The extra line movement definitely provides a more vigorous and restless sensation.   If,  I had wanted a Calmer version,   3 less directional lines would have done the trick.

Into The Wind mixed media
Into The Wind mixed media diagonals within a vertical format

Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

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