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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > Aug-17 > Depth and flatness: putting perspective into perspective

Depth and flatness: putting perspective into perspective

Martin Kinnear brings his series to a close with some useful advice about atmospheric and linear perspective and a look at the alternatives, such as flat pattern
One, two and three point linear perspective
Gennes from Les Rosiers Sur Loire, oil, 36×48in (91.5×122cm). Spatial ambiguity: this study of Gennes was intended to place ’air’ in the painting

Paintings, by virtue of being 2D, are naturally flat, so when you think about it, the whole idea of making them appear otherwise is rather absurd. In fact creating a credible illusion of depth in two dimensions by using perspective is not merely a trick, but might even be ‘the’trick for most western european artists since the Renaissance. After all, creating something that looks real has for centuries been considered to be the mark of an accomplished artist.

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About The Artist

Watercolourists will love award-winning featured artist Janet Kenyon's city scenes and learning more about her approach and working methods, whilst practical watercolour articles include Paul Riley's focus on the importance of the negative shapes within your paintings and Paul Talbot-Greaves' inspirational demonstration showing how to place the warm and cool colours for best effect in your landscape compositions. Paul also sets you this month's painting challenge. More watercolour articles by Judi Whitton show you new ways to capture the effect of summer foliage, while Barry Herniman reveals the contents of his plein air sketching kit and demonstrates a bright summer scene featuring woods and water. Jo Quigley shows how a systematic approach can help to achieve a realistic seascape in acrylics, Haidee-Jo Summers explains how to exploit shape and suggestion in your oil paintings to maintain a painterly style, Martin Kinnear demystifies perspective, and we welcome back Aine Divine who provides an infectious account of how to complete a mixed media flower painting that you'll definitely want to try for yourself! Ian Cryer suggests that a break with old habits can open the way to refresh your painting style, Phil Tyler encourages you to explore the art of the self-portrait, Liz Seward shares her love of working with watercolour pencils, and David Questa shares his love of busy urban scenes that will see you reaching for your drawing materials. All this and more to keep you inspired and full of new drawing and painting ideas over the summer months!
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