Objects at a distance

How do you paint a scene, in which objects are at different distances from you? In this lesson, you will learn to observe two key facts about the way objects look as they go farther from you. Firstly, as you might have already observed, they look smaller as they go farther. See the first sketch.

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You can see everything gets smaller – the height of the walls, width of road, size of houses – all of them reduce as their distances from you increase. The reason for this is the perspective projection in our eyes. And such drawings are aptly called perspective sketches. More on perspective projection and how an in-depth knowledge of it can greatly improve realism in your paintings, later. But, for now, observe that objects get smaller as they go farther. You can see this when you are walking down a long street or while looking out through the window of a high rise building, or if you get a chance, in the view from the top of a mountain.

The second effect is that objects get lighter at distance. See the below painting.

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You can see that distant trees are painted in lighter colours. Again, you can observe this when looking at a vast scene, if the lighting is more or less uniform. The reason for this being light rays from objects get blocked gradually by air or fog before reaching your eyes. The farther the object is, you see less of it.

Make a painting equipped with these two observations, right away! 🙂

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