Being faced with an artistic object always makes you feel. Feel something that is more than what you see. In particular when looking at a character in a picture, this feeling can be well produced when the character “stares” at you back.
The artist’s work is to produce this feeling in order to express his ideas effectively. In order to do so, the artist has to distinguish the very little details to get our attention. So what does that mean? The artist has to distinguish where and how to portray each character, where each character has to be located and how attention should each character demand.
Much of the techniques Rafael used to make his paintings more realistic were implementations of Leonardo de Vinci’s writings. Leonardo developed this subject and even wrote a book in which he describes how to paint a convincible painting (for the viewer). He insisted that the characters which are to be most noticed should be in the center of the picture, while other main character should create a pyramidal formation that expresses their importance.
Likewise, he was the first to define the character’s eye as his/her anchor. Using the directions of the stares became the engine for making the picture vivid. He also gave instructions to shed light on the parts which should be most emphasized.
In addition to the general instructions, Leonardo has also formed some concrete techniques. Pointing up fingers to raise attention to a character, pointing them towards the viewer to express shame (“don’t look at me, you should not see it!”), using of snakes to play with the viewer’s emotions and using eroticism to draw attention.
Another great development of Leonardo is with feet. Leonardo focused the attention by using either the lower parts of the painting. Till then, these parts were considered to be less important; so much as the painter sometimes did not precipitate them. Leonardo claimed the lack of interest in the character’s feet to be a mistake, as by their position much can express greatly. Contra Posto – A way for drawing attention:
Another example – a man stepping on a woman’s foot. You may recognize an emotional bound between the two: