Landscape Painting-Creating Depth and Distance!

by Neadeen Masters on June 23, 2012

Landscape Painting Concepts that draw you into the distance…

When learning landscape painting you need to be thinking about ways to convince your viewers by creating the illusion of depth and distance? If you are not thinking about this, your paintings might be simply two dimensional or seem flat. When we refer to dimensional control in landscape painting,  we are referring to creating distance. Landscape Painting Concepts that draw you into the distance must be used. So how do we do this? As landscape artists, our goal is to recreate a three dimensional view on a two-dimensional canvas surface. If our goal is to create the illusion of distance; we need to know what these concepts are and how to use them to create this grand illusion.

What  do we need to know? Here are a few important concepts that will change your landscape painting forever. These artistic concepts will be used over and over again. It’s a good idea to study them in great detail and learn how to apply each one. Your paintings will be forever changed and always take on a professional look.

Landscape Painting - Asher Brown Durand 1796-1886 - Art Apprentice Online Painting landscapes – Creating Depth with illusion – Art Apprentice Online

Four Important Concepts for Landscape Painting!

  1. ‘Linear perspective’-  diagonal lines that converge at vanishing points make objects appear smaller the further away they are.
  2.  ‘Atmospheric perspective’  – Adjust colors in the distance to create the illusion of depth. The further away an object is the more dust there is in the air and the denser the atmosphere becomes. This effect reduces the intensity (brightness) of colors when seen from a distance. In the painting above, artist Asher Durand demonstrates the vastness of the valley. The viewer can appreciate the great distance between the foreground and the distant hills. Observe how the air seems to be veiled with a light grey-ish color. From an artistic point of view, this ‘veil’ reduces our ability to see the natural brilliance of colors across the valley.
  3.  ‘Lost and Found’ edges – Also referred to as soft or hard edges. This is a technique used to create actual space or distance between objects. Observe how clearly defined the objects in the foreground of this landscape painting are; compared to those in the middle and rear planes of the painting.
  4. Control Contrast – Use a broard range of contrasting values in the foreground relative to a smaller range of contrasting values in the distance. Observe the dark darks, and the light lights relative to value. Where are most of these placed..are they in the foreground or background? The range of values used in the distance have little or no contrast between them.

To learn more about creating depth and dimension, you may want to pick up our latest issue of the Art Apprentice Online E-Magazine…the focus of this issue is on Depth and Dimension.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: