I am beginning my new class session today. We're focusing on color for the next 7 weeks - a good choice for winter, when color outdoors is a little more elusive. This morning's class is about choosing your color notes as part of the overall design and leading the viewer's eye with those choices. The students will choose still life props from a selection of strongly colored choices. When there's a lot of vivid color (or neutral color) you adjust your choices to direct the eye to the center of interest. Of course, there's a lot more to directing the viewer's eye; but in one class, we'll concentrate on one component of the equation, and I'll reference the others more tangentially.
Look at the image here, which, by the way, belies the snowscape outside my window this morning. This shows my block in, and finished painting for "Breakfast Al Fresco", painted outside in our neighborhood during the local art festival one May day. You can see in the initial block in, that the strongest color notes lie in the bottom left, red shirt, yellow table, blue flowers. Those decisions were made at the start of the painting. My idea was to invite the viewer to the table in this lovely outdoor setting. I lay in those richest notes very early, and kept them throughout. The luscious greens, flowering plants, everything else are just slightly less in chroma. Of course, there are a lot of other elements drawing your eye down and to the table, but for today... chroma is key.