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7 Keys for Aerial Perspective for Artists

Bac Son Valley Vietnam.jpg

What is Aerial Perspective?

As far as an Artist is concerned, Aerial Perspective is the illusion of depth and atmosphere created by the Artist in their painting or drawing.

We look through our earth's atmosphere all the time.


When we look straight up, we are looking through less atmosphere than when we look towards the horizon. The more dust and water in the air, the more 'atmosphere' we are looking through. The 'thicker' the atmosphere is, the more the following 7 Keys for Aerial Perspective apply (especially 3 through 7).

7 Keys for Achieve Aerial Perspective

1 - Make sure that objects closer to the viewer overlap those that are farther away.

2 - As objects move farther back into space, they are placed higher on the paper/canvas.

3 - Keep your colors warmer and purer in objects that are closer to the viewer.

4 - Make sure that your colors are cooler and more neutral in objects that are farther away from the viewer - the farther back an object is, the more cool and neutral the color should become.

5 - Keep in mind that as things recede into the distance, they become grayer and smaller.

6 - The closer an object is, the more detail you (and your viewer) will see.

7 - The farther an object is, the less detail you will see. Place less and less detail into objects as they recede farther back into space.

The next time you take a walk, look into the distance and you will see that the above keys come from keen observation of our world.

Are you an Artist of Photorealism? Does aerial perspective apply to, or belong in photorealism?

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