1. Focal Point: Choose one! The hardest part about painting is the vast buffet of visual stimuli Mother Nature puts out before you. Whether you are outdoors, painting a still life or using a photo you need to simplify thing so you don’t get over whelmed. If you are getting confused then most certainly the viewer will be confused. If you start by saying “my painting is about the barn and the cows and the tree, oh and for sure the puffy cloud and the fence… too much information!!!! Think is my painting going to be about the foreground, the middle ground or the background/ sky. One of these needs to be dominate and be a dominant shape.