Edges in Painting - The Artists Guild Fine Art | Bright Light Fine Art

Edges in Painting

How do I guide the viewer’s eye through a painting? How do I  control soft and hard edges? When does the brain rest on a hard edge and travel over the soft edges in a painting? The use of edges in painting is the subject of this blog. How do I achieve hard edges? Where do I use a softer edges?  These are technical problems that often baffle painters.

What do hard and soft edges do in a painting?

This blog explains the uses of hard and soft edges in oil painting. Most contemporary artists deal with edge techniques by giving formulaic solutions, but David Leffel will tackle this nuanced subject in a way that most art schools, art websites, and art classes never explain. You will begin to see how edge control is the soul of a painting, the thing that gives magic to a work. Most people use formulas to tackle edges rather than understanding  how to use them effectively. Students struggle to keep their work from having only hard edges, and this blog will help illuminate this problem. 

“Edges help the painter convey the illusion of three-dimensional form on a flat canvas.”

“There are two kinds of edges – hard and soft. A hard edge is clear and distinct, a soft edge is fuzzy.”

“The light on the lit side of an object does not start darker, but it does start crisply. When light hits a surface, it is as lit up at the edges as it is inside.”

“Edges are wonderful. You can paint a flat plane, then by just varying your edges, you can achieve a dimensional quality.”

“A soft edge shows continuity. The softer the edge, the duller the look. A hard edge shows ending. The harder the edge, the more riveting your painting is in that area.”

David A. Leffel , excerpts taken from Oil Painting Secrets from a Master.

To learn more,  watch my short interview with David about edges. 

To learn more, watch this Free Video!





Leave a Reply