1. ## 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.

2. question if i were to do each assignment starting now( sorry i am late since i was too busy with school) can i post me results here? or can i pm them to you?

you said that i can post them here in your first post, but that would be annoying, with me posting late work while you giving me new assignments.

3. Leonardo DaVinci said that atmospheric perspective happened because as distance increased, there was literally more atmosphere between objects. That's sorta logic-in-motion. There is more air between objects that are further away. Since there is more air, objects further away become tinged by that air. I'm most cases blue, because of the way light travels through the atmosphere.
Last edited by Beonarri; November 9th, 2006 at 06:44 PM.

4. Seedling, just noticed you posted the link to the practice forum...thanks and I'll put my stuff there from now on.
Last edited by Thaelys; November 9th, 2006 at 09:43 PM.

5. Seedling really cool exercises here !.... I suggest that you put everything in a PDF file And use some images as example... Really thank you for this sharing knowledge

6. Hi Everyone!

Sishir – Sure, you can post the results of assignments here. You can do them in any order you like, or skip any you don’t care to do. I’m not grading anyone’s work or expecting anyone to use these in any specific manner. They’re just suggested assignments for sketchbook progress.

Ledd – I’ve got my hands full writing this stuff at the moment, but thanks for the suggestion. :-)

7. Nice to see this is still going, I should have my thigns up pretty soon.

This stuff is awesoem Seedling, you are a real asset to this community.

8. Hi

About how much time should i spend on each assignment? This is a 20 minutes pic for assignment nr1..

9. Registered User Level 4 Gladiator: Meridiani
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## a lamp

This is a GREAT thread. I'm going to try to do these. Here's mine for task number 1:

I want to learn oils, too, and I really liked your idea about a 1 hour study a day. Think I'm going to start doing that.

10. Hey, nice work you two! You get bonus XP for being brave and sharing. :-)

Crisis, I would put the upper limit at an hour for now , but the time limit is pretty much up to you. Spend as little or as much time as it takes for you to learn something and make the exercise worth your while.

Sease – sweet! And good job with the rim of that lamp. Foreshortened circles are a royal pain.

Pound, thanks! I look forward to seeing your work.

Wheee! Thank you, whomever quietly stickied my thread!

There’s more of this yet to come. . .

11. So we can post our results for the excersises here?

Foreshortened circles are a royal pain.
I'm glad to hear that foreshortening circles is infact tricky, because i've been drawing for awhile now, but only recently have i realized that it's difficult to reproduce an accurate foreshortened circle from life.

12. Sure H.K., posting here suits me fine. :-) And yes! Foreshortened circles are one of those simple-but-killer-hard things that can pull the rug out from under a piece of art. I did a bunch of paintings of round objects in my sketchbook recently because I'm not so good with them myself.

13. Here's a picture for the second assignment. It's a selfportrait with android features. I'm not so sure it looks like me though, but that might be because of the sudden hair removal. I crushed the timelimit with an hour, but i couldn't stop, didn't want to post it when it was to sloppy.

BTW seedling, this is a great thread, it CAN be fun painting "boring" things. Never used real life for reference in this way before, but of course it's a great practise to make stuff look more realistic.

14. Haha! Crisis, that's great! The time limit is just a suggestion, really, to help get people into the habit of drawing in volume. Heck, everything here is a suggestion. :-)

15. These are great exercises. I will have to start on them when I get home. Keep them coming.

16. ## Perspective from Life

Q: How do you make that jump from cubes, in perspective, drawn from imagination, to items observed in the real world, drawn from perspective?

A: Loosely sketch the basic shape of the object as you see it, without worrying about vanishing points or whatnot. Once that is established, get out the ruler, and start laying in lines until your squiggly drawing meets all the requirements of perspective. Then, once your observed object has been cajoled into being a tidy set of lines, start working in the details.

The first few times you try this are likely to be sloppy, tedious, and perhaps disastrous. Turn the page and try again.

Well, honestly, this may work better on big loose sheets of paper than in your sketchbook, what with the unwieldiness of a ruler bonking into the sketchbook binding. But work with what you’ve got.

For more on perspective, try Perspective 101.

***********Assignment #10: Furniture from Observation**************

Furniture is ubiquitous, and generally boxy, so find yourself a chair or dresser or shelf. Draw it from at least two angles. You don’t have to get into crazy shading – just focus on getting the proportions correct in proper perspective.

Then, based on what you observed, draw a similar piece of furniture, from imagination, from at least two angles. So, if the first time you drew a Mission-style dresser, maybe the second time around make it a dilapidated and defaced dresser made by Orcs. If it’s a school desk, you could turn it into an elegant Elvish writing desk complete with inkwell and calligraphy set.

************Assignment #11: the Back of the Building**************

Pick a building in your neighborhood that you can only see from one side. Draw it. Good.

Now, imagine what the back of the building looks like. It could have a simple porch that matches the style of the front of the building. Or, it could have a third-story loading dock for dragons. Make it so!
Last edited by Seedling; October 18th, 2007 at 09:13 AM.

17. Seedling , again awesome exercises. This is so cool of you to keep coming up with interesting ways for us to practice.

18. seedling, this thread is something i've been looking for for a long time now! im printing these out and will complete what i can from assignment 1 on. im currently studying industrial design at the university of cincinnati, however i come from a heavy fine arts background and im trying hard to keep the fine arts part alive.these assignments would be a good thing for practice outside of school on my spare time to fine tune my "other half".

thank you for doing this.
keep them coming
-ryan
Last edited by Ryan DeMita; November 18th, 2006 at 01:49 PM.

I'm gonna have a go myself...

Rob

20. Hey Seedling, very nice and helpful thing you created here!
Great that you spent your time for helping us - this time is not wasted at all :-)
I will go through your assignments slowly step by step.
Thank you so much for your efforts!!

21. I got a spirit in my house and I know it ain't no mouse
I got a spirit in my house
In my house in my house in my house
Oh no

hehe.. This assignment was a pain in the ass. I'm really bad in painting enviroments and I wanted to make an outdoor pic, but since i live in sweden it's completely dark outside when i come home from work. So I ended up painting my kitchen table. By the way, the lamps are the invented stuff, all the other things are often seen in my kitchen.

When i have some spare time on a weekend or so i will try making an outdoor image too, cause i need so incredible much practise on enviroments. I'll probably do most of the other assignments over and over again too. Great practise. cya

22. Registered User Level 3 Gladiator: Catervarii
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Seedling why aren't you a professor? This is awesome! My respect for you definately doubled. tripled.

23. DARAF – thanks! :-)

Ryan DeMita – I’m glad to be of service. :-) Feel free to skip around – there’s little rhyme or reason to the order I’ve been writing these.

RobHughes – I hope you will share your results!

Pascallo – Thankee. :-) It’s okay to sprint through exercises, too, if you start feeling bogged down. Work at whatever speed keeps you going and learning.

Crisis – Woo! A picture! Hmm. . . judging by your neighbors, I’m not going to move to Sweden any time soon. ;-) That’s a good light study, particularly on the faces. I love how the fingertips of the left-hand creepy dude look pressed against the window. You really picked a challenging subject: the real portion is full of wide, flat surfaces, while the faces are small and intricately textured. It’s hard to get two so different subjects to play well together. Good job! One quick suggestion: try dabbing in some pure white in the center of those lamps. I bet they could be made to glow a bit more that way.

ArtEdGradStudent - Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww :-) You’ve made me blush. Hey, if you’re so inspired, I bet this forum would be a great place to test out class-plans or teaching strategies or anything else you might be inclined to share. I know I would be interested in a tutorial on oil-pastels, myself. . . hint hint. . . ;-)

24. Registered User Level 3 Gladiator: Catervarii
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Comin right up! Here's a study of a Renoir where I show how I use Van Gogh oil pastels. I know it's just a copy, but the main thing is the general order in which I used oil pastels. Man, I should do more of these for other techniques, I'm really best with water.

Before I get to stages here's the basic principles I use:

1. Since every color in nature is really some combination of brown, I try to put a bit of each primary color into everything. People generally warn against this, that it'll muddy your colors, but it works for me, with these pastels. I mostly try to put a touch of red in everything, no matter how blue, green, or yellow a thing looks. I think it helps connect all the parts together, and add vibrance/intensity to my colors - especially shadows.

2.Since you can go over and change just about anything with Van Gogh oil pastels, they're forgiving, so don't worry about messing up, just throw the pastels around and work them up in layers. You can fix just about anything. Craypas are harder to mix and change, and I usually don't use them.

3. The only exceptions to rule no. 2 are areas you want pure white or pure yellow. If that's the case, then carefully clean those colors and then lay them down first - the first color that touches the fiber of the paper stains it, and you'll never completely get rid of it. Another option is to leave the paper blank for white areas, as with watercolors. It can work, and I do it, although rarely.

So stage one is to first pick the dominant colors and lay them down on the paper. I'm trying to quickly lay out the image, and build all areas up together. I got more into working with layers of color after a course on multiplate color etching, although once in awhile I'll also "draw" with the pastels, putting in strong outlines, etc. Those work well for animals and people.

In this work the dominant colors (present throughout the entire image) were green, blue green, and lemon yellow. Sorry I don't know the exact names, but I usually tear off their paper and rub them sideways across the page. So these three images are all just from this first stage:

Remember, the initial colors could be anything. On gray days I might start with gray, sky blue (cerulean), and pink. On hazy, sunny days I might start with sky blue, pink, and a cream color (light orange). There was one master copy where I just started with cadmium red and dark, phalo blue, and then went in with warmer colors for highlights.

So, stage 2, I put reds in early, just to get them in the picture. If you put in a tad too much now (so it looks strange to you) this'll be good for adding in other colors later to shade it back a bit.

Now that I've gotten the basic proportions of the image, I can safely draw darker colors - I know they'll be in the right place. If I were wrong, I could fix it, but why waste pastels? So here's that dark pthalo blue

Now, because some areas are really thickly built up, and others seem whispy and unconnected, I start to look for lighter, atmospheric colors. These I can lay thickly around the dark areas, and layer over into them, to blend it all together. For atmospheric colors, I think of light blues, yellows, oranges, and pinks.

Note that I didn't use white yet. I like to try and find subsitutes for both white and black to get more vibrant colors, before resorting to them, although I do use them on occasion - white more often than black. So up to now, the work looks kinda good, and passing fair, but there's still no fine detail. So here in the final stage, I put in some white for highlights, I put in the details of eyes, clothes, etc. I also lightly brush a darker pastel (rubbing on it's side) over the water, so the paper fibers pick up some of it, and it looks like ripples. All the previous stages took about an hour all told, and this stage took me another hour. Note, this work is only about 9x12". A larger work takes much more time.

25. Wowwie! Cool. And thanks!

Hmm. . . this is good stuff, and it is going to get overlooked in here. You should copy all of that into a fresh thread. Then you can link to it in your sig, and point people at it whenever the topic of oil pastels comes up, and perhaps encourage others to try it out. :-)

26. Registered User Level 3 Gladiator: Catervarii
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Meh, lately I don't feel good enough to start really bragging about any of my work. My latest drawings are, I guess what I'd call intermediate level. They'll look good in a portfolio for any non-artist interviewer, but a real atelier master would see I'm still just a student of anatomy. Then again, this is the first time I've got serious about learning it, so it'll take time... I'll post em later, when I can empty my digicam memory card.

27. overdrive dreamer Level 2 Gladiator: Ordinarii
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This is a really great thread! After viewing your assignments, I suddenly get lots of ideas. The possibility is limitless! Definitely gonna try it!

28. These are awsome, thanks for the comment in my sketchbook, I will try one of these out immediately. Plus I will bookmark the thread and give you 5 stars

29. HI guys! I haven’t forgotten about this thread. In fact, I have a bunch more stuff to add to it; I just haven’t had the time to get it all written down. In particular I have some color assignments to add. . .

ArtEdGradStudent – You don’t have to be the World’s Best Rubberband-Ball maker to write a good tutorial on making rubberband balls. :-) There are lots of folks here who don’t know the first thing about how to use oil pastels, and what you have put together is a great tutorial! There’s no need to be shy about sharing it.

Pegahoul – thanks! I look forward to seeing your work. :-)

spazazo – Woot! And thanks, that’s very nice of you. Happy drawing! :-)

30. when I said I would try one out immediately I meant it, heres a go at adding A sci-fi element to a self portrait. I don't know whether I will shade it.
Last edited by Miles_; July 17th, 2009 at 06:29 AM.

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