Contrast of Direction
E. Phillips Fox’s painting of a Summer boating party in Paris, uses the element of direction to cleverly lead the viewers eye to a focal point of blue and white vertical stripes. The converging diagonals of the boat and stair stringer meet behind the focal point.
The radiating perspective of the stairs and the fan of ripples in the water also draw attention to the central figure.
A counteracting diagonal made by the boat mans hook and oar stop the eye escaping out the bottom right of the painting. The shadow easing the tonal contrast at the bottom of the stairs and up the left hand side of the painting also keeps the eye in the region of the focal point.
Surrounding the cool, Ultramarine Blue of the central figure with a dominant warm color temperature gives maximum impact to the focal point.
E. Phillips Fox (1865-1915) “The Ferry” – (circa 1910-circa 1911)