Atmospheric Perspective, iii

This is the end of the first section of Phil Metzger’s book on perspective, which is all about atmospheric perspective.  This means, colors demonstrate depth.  Cooler colors and lighter colors recede, warmer ones move forward.  Of course, this is not a hard and fast rule, but one which is generally true.  For instance, warm colors become muted with distance and atmosphere.

As you can see from this scan, page 25 of Metzger’s book, he demonstrates this principle.  While I work in watercolor, he worked this particular study in oils.  The palette is very close to many palette choices by watercolorists.   As you can see from the study, cooler colors are in the distance, and while there are some warmer colors – namely yellows – in the mid-to-distant areas, they are muted.  Further distant mountains are paler than ones closer.  Pine trees in the distance are blue-green – atmosphere at work.  Detail is less in the distance, and greater the closer the painting is the viewer’s eye.  The same with colors – warmer to the front.

This is my quickie rendition of Metzger’s study.  My colors are similar although not the same in all instances.  To move the middle ground further away, along with the mountains, I glazed the entire area with a light blue wash; I also did this to unite the areas.  The yellows in the midground are dulled with violet as well.  The closer I got to the front of the painting, the more pure my colors became.  The oranges were sometimes straight from the tube.  The greens were mixed with yellows – that is green with yellow, green with raw sienna.  Oranges and greens were also used.  I added detail to the foreground using a rigger brush to create rock cracks and branches.  Watercolor is not oil painting, so my techniques were a bit different.

Some Thoughts

Metzger’s book continues to hold my interest.  In part it does because it is practical in its approach, beginning with color as that is what most painters “get” immediately.  From here, we will be moving on to other elements of painting.

I am enjoying the exercises and Metzger’s explanations.  There is enough detail to explain, but not so much I am bored or overwhelmed or both.

Finally, there is a freedom here – so far I am not doing horrid barns that lack perspective!  I have done a lot of those (which shall soon be posted), and am looking forward to the day that my grasp of perspective will be second nature.

Creek’s Edge – Another Study

Once more, Rick Surowicz has produced a video for study, and I did it.  This time it was more successful than the one on negative painting, probably because I used better paper and was not too fussed about things.  I had been to a workshop earlier in the day, and though I didn’t produce anything noteworthy in the workshop, I was warmed up and ready to go!

I watched it three times!  First to just see it, second to take notes, third time to follow along.  The biggest point to it, for me, was the cool greens used in the beginning were nicely complemented by the warm green glazes at the end.  I used a 300# paper, which is the first time I have ever used a paper that weight.  I was pleased with the end result.

The color differences are notable.  Surowicz used colors I don’t have, such as royal blue and peacock blue.  I’m not sure what the colors in my palette were as my color reference wheel is packed up some place.  I do know that I used cobalt teal in place of turquoise and a lot of Hooker’s Green, while he stuck with sap green, which is more yellow, and a lovely color.  I also mixed some greens differently, such as using cobalt teal and quinacridone gold.  The colors, while important, were not the main focus – the focus was to follow the steps and get an idea what to do!  The photo Surowicz used is for compositional suggestions only – the execution is very individual.