A lesson and video about perspective in landscape painting.
Perspective in Landscape Painting
Perspective in landscape painting is the same theory as in perspective drawing.
Things appear to be smaller in the distance. The size of things in your paintings is determined by a set of rules.
You must learn the rules of drawing in perspective
It doesn’t matter how beautiful the colors are or the scene looks, if the perspective in landscape painting is wrong than the painting is wrong.
Take some time to watch the short video and then go outdoors and see how buildings and roads line up with imaginary construction lines.
Perspective in landscape painting takes a while to sink in
You might not find imaginary construction lines so find a photograph of a street or a bridge or a set of cupboards and draw extended lines along the straight lines in the photograph and soon you will see how the lines head for one common point.
This point is often called the focal point and it can often be on what is called the horizon line.
Don’t put this in the too hard basket, perspective in landscape painting is very important and once you become familiar with what is meant by the horizon line and the construction lines you will see them as imaginary lines whenever you wish to check a painting for correct perspective.
There is more to it
On this page we are looking at perspective in landscape painting as the size and position of items in the landscape.
Tones of colors is the next major factor to put your landscape paintings into perspective.
First learn the perspective drawing aspect as shown on this page and then very seriously look at tones of colors in landscape painting.
Go to tones of colors
by Len Hend
Following is the transcript of the ‘persective’ video.
We are not going to talk about tones in perspective here; we’re going to talk about the perspective drawing, the actual structure.
One thing that is very important is the horizon line.
The horizon line is where you eye is, the level, and why it’s important to be level is that most buildings are level, most of them are square and also water is perfectly level, it finds its own level automatically.
So what we call the horizon line is, you’re looking straight out level.
Here’s a house, we’ll build a house like that and my horizon line is there so you’ve got trees and things here, your eye would be about there so that would be the horizon line.
If you paint your house with a roof like that, well this is pointing up here, it’s no good, everything must point towards the horizon line.
So let’s rub that out.
We had our house like that. Our new house something like that okay. There’s your horizon line again.
The house has to point to somewhere on that line, the roof has to be there like that.
Everything must point towards this horizon line, that’s your eye level, everything is level.
It’s not hard to look at a drawing and see if it’s right or wrong.
So first thing is – I see so many houses that are like this, that’s no good.
Everything must go towards the horizon line so if you have building building building building, everything on those buildings must come towards that horizon line.
They might not all have the same vanishing point, one building might be turned a bit and it’s vanishing point is different.
But everything must slope down there, and if it doesn’t slope down there it means they’ve built the house with the roof at an angle instead of being level.
You can have a look at a picture of a house or anything, get something at a good angle say you’re standing on the corner and you’re looking down the side of the house and you can draw those horizon lines.
You can get the photograph or drawing and draw them in and you’ll find that all the lines meet in the same point. Practice that a have a look.
Now we’ll have a quick look at how you draw things.
If you’ve got a square or anything, a rectangle and you want to find the middle of it, you cross it, okay there’s the middle.
So if you’ve got a telegraph pole here and you’ve got another telegraph pole here, and you want to put a telegraph pole in the middle and you want it to look in perspective, you mentally do that and that point there is the middle between those two telegraph poles. And the top is there and the bottom is there but the middle point is there.
If you have a fence coming towards you. Okay you’ve got a horizon line and you’ve got a fence, it starts there and comes to a big post here, there’s the fence along a road, put the road in. You want to draw the middle of the fence, there it is, you want to draw the post between that, there it is, the post better that, there it is, and so on, you try it, you draw the cross and that finds the center.
With fences and things – if you’ve got your horizon line there which is supposed to be my eye level and you’ve got a fence coming towards you and the fence is below the horizon line, the fence post comes to here, it doesn’t matter if it’s above or below the horizon line, the telegraph poles might be above, they might be here and the fence is lower, you still do your crosses.
Another problem people have, they paint their water, say you’ve got a creek coming towards you and the creek will come towards you like this, it looks like it’s standing up, it can’t be like that.
If the creek is twenty foot wide there it would have to be three mile wide up here somewhere.
All these things that are coming towards you have to come towards you like that; they have to get bigger all the way as they come towards you.
You can’t have a bush track that weaves its way towards you like this okay, and then it comes like this, it’s too narrow there. You have to think about this and it’s not only to narrow there it’s too narrow there also. If a bush track was coming towards you like that it would have to come bigger all the way, you see how that looks like it’s laying down, that’s not perfect but it’s still better than as it was.
So think about your perspective, it’s really necessary for you to get it right, if you don’t get it right then I’ll help you which I don’t mind because I really want you to get it right, you might spend a week on a painting and if the perspective is wrong on the building or the fence or the road or the water then your painting is no good, it’s a waste of time.
Don’t worry too much if you can’t get it right, we’ll slowly get it right and when you finally get it then you’ll know and you won’t have to think about it again because you’ll do it right every time.
Okay let’s start painting.