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    Atmospheric Perspective

    Atmospheric perspective is one of several ways to give your paintings and drawings depth. If you are unfamilliar with the term, it means that the farther away a subject gets from the camera, the more gas you are looking through to see them. So, the farther away the subject is, the more it becomes the color of the atmosphere.

    It is easier to understand atmosphere if you think of a thick fog. In a thick fog, your hand looks perfectly normal one or two feet in front of you. The highlights are still bright, the shadows are still dark.

    Look at someone’s arm twenty feet away, and the values and colors are all going to be a little closer to the value and the color of the fog.

    Farther away still, and that arm will be just a silowette that is the color of fog, but a little darker and a little bit skin-colored.

    Atmospheric perspective occurs on even the clearest of days, which is why distant mountains become blue or purple. The color they become is the color of the sky, darkened by the color of the mountains.

    You don’t need to work in color to practice atmospheric perspective.

    ***********Assignment #8: Atmospheric Perspective Still-Life*************

    Find two objects of the same variety: two forks, two bishops from a chess-board, etc. Set them up on a table-top so that one of them is as close to you as possible, and the other is as far as possible. Then arrange yourself so that you have an eye-level view of the table-top. You will want to be able to see those objects as close to overlapping as possible.

    Now, unless you are living on Jupitor or are on top of a mountain in a cloud, you’re not going to really see any atmospheric perspective to draw. You’re going to have to make it up as you go along.

    Hint: sketch in both objects lightly. Then darken the closer object.

    You don’t have to get into crazy shading to do this assignment, but some shading is a bonus. There are two ways to handle the shading: either assume that the paper is the color of the fog, and darken all shadows down from there accordingly; or assume that the paper is the color of the highlights, and shade the empty spaces down to the level of the fog. (Or work on toned paper, using a dark meduim and a light medium.)

    The goal is to make the second object appear to be properly far away, rather than looking like a smaller version of the same object.


    ******Assignment #9: Atmospheric Perspective From Imagination********

    Try assignment #8 again. But this time, draw two characters from your imagination, or two robots, or two dragons, or. . . you get the idea.

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