Sunday, May 3, 2015

Aerial Perspective

                     "Mountain Village" by Maine Artist, Carol Jessen

Creating a sense of depth in a landscape depends on both value and color.

As things recede in space, they become lighter and lighter with ever so much more atmosphere between the viewer and the landscape.  Since the watercolorist usually proceeds from light to midtone to dark, the lightest value is the sky, the farthest plane is a light midtone, the middle plane is the middle to middle dark, and you will find the darkest values in the foreground.

Also in landscapes the coolest colors are likely to be found in the far distance.  Colors tend to become warmer as they advance toward the viewer.

In this painting of a little town in Germany where I taught for a year, I used a thalo blue-green, light toned color for the sky.  When transitioning to the farthest mountain, I switched to a warmer ultramarine blue which I grayed.  A little more ultramarine in the nearest mountain which is a little darker as well.  Finally the dark green foliage which surrounds the center of interest is warmer, too, because of the addition of yellow and burnt sienna. 

If you can begin to think in terms of these planes, your paintings will portray distance in a much more believable way.

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