Exercise: Aerial Perspective

09/11/15

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?

Aerial Perspective Oil on board Approx 12x10"

Aerial Perspective
Oil on board
Approx 12×10″

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.

Added 23/11/15

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.

Aerial Perspective Final Painting reworked.

Aerial Perspective Final Painting reworked.

 

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Exercise: Linear Perspective

6&7/11/15

Exercise: Linear Perspective

Now find a location in which there are hard landscape elements… Or you could find a location inside a large public space, such as a railway station or shopping mall, or work from a bench in the street… Note the outlines of buildings, roofing and guttering that can be represented as lines receding to achieve linear perspective… In this exercise, the use of line by drawing with a brush or a drawing medium will be more important than your use of colour and tonal contrast.

Linear perspective. Sketch onsite using liner pens. A5 drawing in A4 sketchbook.

Linear perspective.
Sketch on site using liner pens.
A5 drawing in A4 sketchbook.

Again the weather was against me, incessant rain and windy conditions prohibited me from sitting outside to draw. Instead I sat in the car after choosing a parking space on the side of road giving me a view down the street.  Other cars were coming and going all the time so I firstly concentrated on the roof line I could see. From the Drawing 1 course, I was aware that I should establish the eye level first in order to visualise the linear perspective lines. Unfortunately, I had to have three goes at this before I got it right. By coincidence, I had received my copy of Artists & Illustrators magazine, (November issue I believe), where there was an article on perspective. I remembered the advice given, that if you hold a piece of card level with your pupils and hold it flat so that all you see is a straight line, the corresponding point in your view is the eye level.  Once I used this technique, I was away. I had decided to use pen to avoid erasing lines of the actual drawing, although, I found it useful to draw perspective lines in pencil using a ruler as a guide. Once I was happy with the roof line and general direction of the street, I sketched in the cars parked along the road in front of me to further assist the perspective.

My initial intention was to make a preliminary sketch and then make a painting using Sharpie pen and watercolour on site.  However, my car battery had other ideas as it disliked my having the windscreen wipers on whilst the engine was off and slowly died a death, resulting in my having to wait for the breakdown guys to bring a new one! My enthusiasm for painting died with it! Before leaving, I took a quick reference photo for colour and placement comparisons to go with my drawing to enable me to make the painting at home.

Linear perspective. Painting using Sharpie marker pen and watercolour. A3 paper.

Linear perspective.
Painting using Sharpie marker pen and watercolour.
A3 paper.

Review your finished painting and make notes in your learning log. Have you been successful in creating a sense of receding space? Is there any part of your painting that doesn’t work as well as the rest? What could you do you put this right?

  • I think there is a sense of receding space due to the diminishing scale of the buildings and cars as they go away to the background.
  • Looking at the pavement on the right, it gives a sense of going uphill rather than flat and going round the corner. The drawing of the front car is not accurate enough compared to the sketch, I have tried to rectify this to some extent but not enough. The corner building in the distance with the triple aspect roof was particularly challenging especially as I hadn’t made my drawing quite clear enough to reproduce away from the view.
  • To put this right, I could have made more of the kerb of the pavement by indicating the kerb-stones (they being another set of parallel lines). The paving was cobbled not slabs so more tricky to show as they may have become overly detailed. Had the drawing of the car been more accurate (widening of the windscreen and making it less tall), the foreground would have been a better scale to show the illusion of items closer being bigger etc.
  • I’m convinced that, had I stayed in situ and made the painting, it would have been more successful.

Other than these things, the general feeling is of a street receding into the distance and my husband recognised immediately the place from where I had been drawing. I also enjoyed the looseness of the watercolour painting.

Pre-exercise Research: Perspective

04/11/15

Pre-exercise Research: Perspective

Make sure you are clear about the distinction between linear and aerial perspective before you start work on the exercises. Collect two or three examples of each and store these in your learning log.

Linear Perspective

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The Fever Van by LS Lowry

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Perspective drawing for the Church of Santo Spirito in Florence

 

 

 

 

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An example of linear perspective using natural elements.

 

 

 

Aerial Perspective

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Example of aerial perspective – contrast and detail gradually diminishing into the distance.

 

 

 

 

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Scene from the Last of the Mohicans paintings by Thomas Cole

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pieter Brueghel painted many scenes like this – distance is illustrated by increasing the blue/green hues the further you look. There is also an element of linear perspective in the river so the sense of distance is further heightened.