Exercise: Aerial Perspective
Paint a simple landscape in which you exploit these three devices of aerial perspective. Which device do you find most effective or is it necessary to combine all three to achieve the desired effect?
I found it a challenge to take a photograph of my painting above due to my iPad enhancing the colours. I have tried tweaking the settings for the photo and got so confused I reverted back to the original as the best of a bad lot. I had tried overhead artificial lighting, a daylight bulb and fading natural light – all were “enhanced”. Having said that, the photograph is more true to life on my lap top – even more confused.
My thoughts on the three devices of aerial perspective:
- Controlled loss of focus (in terms of sharp delineation between different tonal areas) and fading outlines are rendered through progressive loss of contrast in the distance.
This does give a haziness that implies distance as things further away are more blurred.
- A loss of colour saturation, ie a fading out of bright, saturated colours going into the distance towards more muted, faded shades.
This also works as generally, things that are not so intense in colour recede.
- Distance can also be achieved by colour temperature. Warm colours painted in the foreground will automatically achieve a sense of closeness against colder colours in the distance.
A muted blue/green hue does imply distance too, particularly in a UK light.
Generally, I would think that a combination of these devices is probably required to give an illusion of distance for locations further north. Mediterranean and hotter locations may reduce the need for this combination. I think it really does depend on what atmosphere the artist wants to convey.
Looking at the painting I thought there wasn’t enough contrast in the foreground so just added some splashes of colour. This worked in the actual painting, yet again, the photograph is so far removed but here goes anyway.