You must understand the horizon line when painting
Horizon Line When Painting
This page is not part of the Paint Like a Pro. DVD collection but it is very important.
Many students paint a birds eye view of the landscape.
You must consider the horizon line when painting landscapes.
Everything is above or below the horizon line.
The horizon line is not often the horizon.
If you are in a flat area the horizon line might be the horizon, a beach or a desert.
The horizon line when painting is the eye level at which the original scene or imaginary scene is viewed or the level of a camera taking a photo. It is an established height for every scene.
If you are laying down or standing on you head it remains the horizontal flat plain at your eye level.
It doesn’t matter if you look up or down or turn the camera up or down the horizon line stays where it is.
Why is it important to have the correct horizon line when painting?
Imagine showing your paintings and someone says to you “did you climb up in a tree to paint these scenes?”
To paint scenes that others can enjoy you need to paint the scenes as if the viewer is standing there looking at the scenery (exceptions to deliberate scenes from above)
That means you establish an eye level which is the horizon line and you place the trees and fences and huts etc. at a height according to the eye level.
And if you were to draw a person standing next to the tree or fence or hut with their eyes at the horizon line, the person should not be towering over the fence or so far up the tree that there legs would never reach the ground.
The horizon line when painting is a perfectly flat and perfectly level plain at the height of the eye or camera lens.
Not the eye level of a person looking at the painting or the eye level of the artist when touching up a painting. It is the eye level in the painting as if you were there in the painting.
On flat ground a persons eye level in a landscape is what would be about 5 or 6 foot off the ground and about 5 or 6 foot up any tree or wall in the landscape.
If you move up and down the horizon line moves up and down. Try it. Stand up and you can see over a fence, sit down and you can’t see over the fence. The fence didn’t move, you and the horizon line moved.
So think about the horizon line when painting and try to visualize the height that the ground rises to meet your eye level ( horizon line ) and what is below and above your eye level.