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Exploring How to Use the Dominant Eye Technique to Compose Your Portraits

5/02/2022 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

The technique of composing images based on the central eye or the dominant eye has been commonly used by the most famous painters in our art history.

As we will see in the video, traditional portrait painting such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Anna Zinkeisen, Raphael, Peter Paul Rubens and Jan van Eyck painted their portraits looking for the dominant eye.

This way of compositing is also used today by many important photographers, a good example being Steve McCurry, Apricot Berlin, Vicky Grout, and Alex Kibb.

The technique: Finding the dominant eye & when to use it

Instinctively, we compose our images and our subjects more centrally, as a whole rather than focusing on specific parts of the face. The idea of this technique, it is to focus your composition around the dominant eye of your subject, so when you run a line straight down the middle of your painting or image, the dominant eye is completely centered on your canvas.

For those of you wondering the dominant eye, is usually the eye closest to the painter. And the right moment to use this technique could be for tighter portraits

The central position of the subject's dominant eye seems to create a more dynamic piece of eye contact with the viewer. It's even been said that by composing this way, the eyes of a painting will actually follow you around the room.

There is no doubt that from now on we will use this technique much more to improve our portraits.

About Radical Eye Magazine:

Radical Eye Magazine is run by Jonny Flynn and Tom Butler. Together they create videos about photography, art and creative process. Let's Get Connected: Patreon | Instagram  

Images, and video thanks to Radical Eye Magazine