Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Little More on Linear Perspective

I have had several questions concerning the eye level.  "I don't get it, there is no perspective in the painting, etc."  "What do you mean "structure"?"  "In the sky, the forest, the water?"  "Drawing, I thought you didn't need that to paint landscapes."

Eye Level Indicated

This is the beginning of a scene on the water.  If you observe water you will find it is always seeking to level itself and find the lowest level possible.  Gravity.  So here I have just indicated my eye level in thin paint.  It will disappear as I go, not to be part of the finished painting.  I placed the eye level above the middle of the canvas.  This was done to support the concept I had, not to follow some rule.

Darks of Features Added

You will notice that the eye level is above the shore line.  It will become obvious that shoreline features will run above and below the eye level.  Water (unless we are looking at a falls or a tidal wave) can't get above the eye level.  Here the eye level is at the base of a large hill.  If this were a lake in a flat desert the eye level would coincide with the horizon.  But here you can't see the horizon.

Features Added along with Shapes

You will see here that a shape on the right side has been indicated - closer to the viewer.  The hill value is beginning to be loosely brushed in and a start for the water and its reflections are beginning.  Note that water and reflection.  It is not the right value or colour at this moment.  However, it already appears different from the background.  I have already begun to indicate the linear perspective lines in the ripples in the reflections.  Here it is a reminder to me.  I showed it in my thumbnail when composing the shapes and values and locating the eye level on the canvas.  So I am using the eye line to guide the placement of these little indicators.  They go to the far shore and thus behind the shape (island) to the right.  In fact, the water also goes back beyond the shore line where there is a small bay behind a rock.  That small bay cannot have a water level above the eye level - or the drawing will not look right.  A discerning viewer will spot this immediately.

Coming Along

At this stage the little indications have disappeared having served their purpose.  It is not so obvious in this painting but there are linear perspective lines in the forest as well.  For this type of painting, the largest trees will be in front closer to you.

Now, having said all of this, there are many ways to skin the cat.  I'll talk about some of these later on.

Lower Lookout, 10x12, Oil on Canvas

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