Importance of details in painting

Importance of detail in a painting

Paying attention to detail in everyday life is a skill that is important and necessary for every person.

Little things matter. Not only in the artist’s painting. Little things as following up on your clients who purchased a painting from you.

When an artist paints realistic, it is important that he pays attention to detail. If I, as the client, ask an artist to paint a scene with the Swellendam mountains as one of the focus points, it has to look real. I am living in Swellendam for about 35 years and see the mountains every day. When the painting is not realistic, a true version, it will be upsetting and I will not be happy with the commission work.

Another example can be our well-known Mother Church. If the client wants a realistic painting of the church, then I better make sure it looks like the church. I have to pay attention to detail as the small windows, scale, shadows, doors, outside gates, color, etc. If the painting ordered is not realistic, then it is unprofessional; to call it “abstract” or “my style” or “my version”. It is a commission so I have to paint as the client requests and pay attention to detail.

If you paint in another style as abstract, detail is also important. You still need to use detail, see below.

How to get detail

  • Be selective about where you put in details
  • Distribute detail throughout your composition
  • Allow certain area’s where the eyes can “rest”
  • Think of the details as little “treasures” to be found by the client
  • Dirt on bare feet is an example of the detail
  • Use white (light) to provide a focal point
  • Use contrast, value, and color for detail
  • Remember that people focus on places that contain the highest degree of contrast, the warmest colors, and the greatest amount of detail
  • Research.

Importance of detail

  • The client will feel cared for/thought of/took into consideration.
  • Attention to detail in your painting will inspire clients and other artists. They will see the painting as you see it, it is an invitation into your world and new ideas.
  • Appreciation of life and the world we live in.
  • As the artist, you will feel satisfied, as if your efforts are being acknowledged.
  • Attention to detail improve your patience, detail takes time.
  • paying attention to detail will help you draw better.
  • Looking at things in order to understand them is known as a critical practice, concentration.
  • Paying attention to detail helps support imagination. Paint from reference but your own idea and style.

A small detail in a painting can mean as little as paying attention to texture in clothes, hair, lace on a dress, or even go the extra mile as Gloria Zimmerman did. She wanted to make sure she uses the right color for her painting and “went up the hills and got a life specimen” to match the right colors she needed. See the video clip of her on YouTube we posted.

Da Vinci said; “Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail”.

You are welcome to leave your comments to help artists understand the importance of details.





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