The Dominant Eye

In Robert Henri’s book The Art Spirit he speaks of the compositional relationship between both eyes and how in life there is always the dominant eye.

Here is the full quote from the book on page 106.

The  dominant  eye.  Note  that  there  is  a  compositional relation  between  the  eyes—that  is, one  eye  commands  the greater interest. If you paint them equal, no matter what the position of the head, the observer will get no right conception of them. In life one eye always dominates the observer. In painting this domination must persist.

Robert Henri

I didn’t fully understand this quote until working on all these Fandom Fitness portraits. Now I see the wisdom in his words. If I draw both eyes with equal compositional weight then the whole portrait looses direction.

In this drawing of Sherlock it really clear which is the dominant eye. It’s closer to us and not covered in shadow like the other.

Sherlock drawing in charcoal

Previous Sherlock Drawing Posts

Today’s Gestures

Again I start getting deeper into motive and a groove about half way through groups of 25, 1 minute gestures. I would like to find some way to extend my gesture work so that I have more time with motive and communication.

Modeled Drawing in Watercolor

The importance of this exercise is waning on me. I try to visualize the form of the figure receding and advancing in space then match the value accordingly. But most of the time I seem to be outlining the figure.

Next time I’m going to pick an image of a figure that has a lot of foreshortening. Hopefully this will help.

modeled drawing in watercolor

Daily Composition

I’m drawing Pattie on the row machine. I wanted to communicate the action and tension that I see right at the point where she has extended fully into the stroke.

I pushed the gesture a bit further than normal here. Her posture and form is much better than what I drew.

daily composition

What went well?

Lots of art early in the morning. I love my weekends mornings full of art making.

What didn’t go so well?

I’m having some back pain again becuase I sat too much during the week and agrivated it again. But I’m not just complaining about it, I’m taking action. I stand up often and I’m changing my habits to always draw and paint standing up when I can.

What did I learn and/or how can I do better?

I’m realizing the importants of the dominant eye and leading the viewer though a composition.

Session Details