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This word perspective is as welcome in your thoughts as a seven letter word.........DENTIST.

In this day and age,neither should carry those strong negative thoughts that you have about them.

This article will give all the information you will need to handle Perspective, and have a warm fuzzy confident feeling,"I now understand position".  Modern Dentistry is no big deal now compared to a hundred years ago, so go ahead make that appointment now.



The illusion of depth on a two dimensional piece of paper, is one of the greatest challenges an artist faces.

We work on a flat surface, to create the illusion of space and distance in a painting we need to consider perspective.

There are two kinds of perspective that we need to understand.

The first is......"AERIAL PERSPECTIVE"  also known as atmospheric or color perspective.  It refers to the way we perceive things at a distance.

The second is......"LINEAR PERSPECTIVE"  concentrating on convincingly portraying solid objects in our work.



Known as "ATMOSPHERIC OR COLOR" perspective.  It refers to the way you perceive things at a distance.  Lets begin by looking at the five layers of hills that get closer and closer (deeper and stronger paint).  Don't worry about the color in this case, just notice how stronger the paint becomes as it gets to where you are standing.

Notice clouds do the same, more color and detail at the top of the page, smaller clouds as they float away from you.

That's it, that is all there is to know about aerial perspective.



And onto......LINEAR PERSPECTIVE".  objects close to us appear larger than those further away, even though we know that in truth they are of similar proportions.  Think of a long straight road, the distance between the curbs will diminish into the distance until, they ultimately become one and disappear.  This is called the "VANISHING POINT".



The road demonstrates one point perspective having just one vanishing point.

With a few construction lines to guide, we can add a row of houses to the picture.

Because the building is to be parallel to the road it will share the same vanishing point.


Using the construction lines as a guide the building can be sketched in.  Notice that not only do things get smaller but the space between them also diminishes with distance.  I will show you how this is portrayed accurately a little later.  We can now erase the construction lines.

I know this is not the most exciting pages you have ever read, but I am doing my best.  Read this, study, and you will thank me. It's tough, but you can do it.


Although the lines of the building have been drawn accurately I have deliberately not used aerial perspective in it's coloring, consequently the far end of the building is just as dark.

Students always ask, will I always have to draw all of the construction lines,most certainly not, get the idea of construction lines to the vanishing point in your head with your positioning the eye level and you are all set to make paintings realistically looking not having roof lines, windows and door lines all going off in strange directions.

One Point Perspective can also be used to place multiple same size objects throughout the picture going away from the viewer.  Note, the space between them with narrow.


You will now be shown how to place the poles equal distance from each other but in perspective.  This can be used for columns, arches, windows, doors etc.


Draw in the first post and place the VP your choice on the horizon line.  Now add the second post, now you will have to judge the distance that you see between the first and second post.


Mark both posts at their halfway point.


Draw a dotted line through both halfway points to the vanishing point.  Draw a line from the first post through the halfway point on the second post, all the way to the bottom of the triangle,at that point is where the third post goes. Follow the previous instructions for the fourth post etc.





You place the first dark line which will be the height of the building wall , it will be the nearest part of the building to you, The building could be on a corner.  Again place the VP's anywhere on the eye level.  Draw in the four construction lines to the VP.  Now for a window, you decide the distance from the corner and the height.  Now draw a line from the bottom and the top to the vanishing point.


If it is necessary to get the windows exactly in perspective follow the instructions given for poles to place them correctly.

Do I do all these construction line?.......NO, but understanding the very principals allows one to eyeball them correctly.

We will add a gable end roof to this building.  Firstly we will need to imagine that it is made of glass and include the walls we cannot really see.

First mark the ends of the building.


Assuming the building is not crooked and has a regular rectangle as a base, the front and back walls will be parallel s will the two ends.  So the same vanishing points can be used to create the walls we cannot really see



Where the two sets of dotted construction lines cross we establish the far corner of the building.


Without some erasing as we go all these construction lines can become confusing, however do not erase the vanishing points.


We now need to know the center of the buildings gable ends, but this is not just a case of measuring half way.  Draw construction lines from the corners where they cross establishes the center of the end walls.  Now draw a vertical line from where they meet and that will position the apex of the roof.  Draw in the height and pitch of the roof from your reference material.


The top of the roof is parallel to the front of the house so use the right hand vanishing point again.


Where the construction line passes through the vertical line at the far end of the house marks the end of the roof and we can place the final roof line of the far gable.


Get the eraser out again and remove all the unwanted lines. < /span >


Poorly drawn objects can stand out a mile in otherwise beautifully painted scenes.

Another common element you may wish to convey are rows of posts.  Fence posts, lamps etc.




Watercolor Basics

One of the biggest reasons that students fail in painting Watercolor is................. JUDGING YOUR EARLY ARTISTIC EFFORTS.



Watercolor for Beginners

Learn the basics of watercolor painting... from choosing the right paper and brushes to learning basic techniques of glazing and how to frame your work.



Watercolor Techniques

Learn just a few of the various techniques used most often by professional watercolorists to bring interest, texture and "life" to their watercolor paintings.

Each technique is fully demonstrated.


Painting Trees

Although trees are made up of many parts and endless textures don't let them become overwhelming, you cannot fall out of these painted trees. I know you can paint good looking trees with a little help. So lets see how you are going to do this without getting bent out of shape, irritated or what-ever you do when those Green Balls on sticks appear.......been there...done that.

Painting Landscapes

I am going to present to you a "non encyclopedia" approach and give you a no fuss, logical way to paint a watercolor landscape and have fun doing it. Before we start, get comfortable maybe a favorite beverage would be in order. Make your mistakes, goofs and failures work to help you in painting a watercolor landscape.

  • Four Seasons
  • Working With Fresh Transparent Glazes
  • Watercolor Painting in the Great Outdoors
  • Painting Clouds in Watercolor
  • Step by step Demonstration on Watercolor Winter Scenes
  • Demonstration of Painting Trees Trunks
  • Demonstration of Rocks and Sea
  • Demonstration of Watercolor Skies
  • Watercolor Landscape Painting Tips

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