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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > January 19 > Space and perspective in the landscape

Space and perspective in the landscape

Clare Bowen shares her colour-mixing ideas for achieving aerial perspective and creating a feeling of space in landscape painting

The term aerial perspective describes the way objects in the distance appear lighter, bluer and hazier than those closer to us. It is the presence of water vapour and dust in the atmosphere that filters red light from distant objects giving them a bluish taint. There are many ways to help create the effect of this depth in a painting: using dark to light tonal values, warm to cool colours, and big contrasts to small contrasts.

In this painting I have used warm to cool colours in combination with high to low saturation to portray the feeling of receding space. The view really lends itself to aerial perspective: an open space with close, rich greens and far away pale blue hills and sea on the horizon line. Although the painting is mainly about colour, it was also important to get the tonal values right as they help to create the feeling of space. The tonal contrasts appear strongest in the foreground with the full range of light to dark – the trees and bushes are the darkest tone. As it recedes back into the distance the tonal contrasts become weaker and close together.

Working process

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About The Artist

Welcome to the first issue of 2019 to inspire and inform your artistic development, including all the information you will need to plan your entries to the best open competitions throughout the year in our extensive 5-page guide. We also see the start of two new series, by Ruth Buchanan on how to draw and paint animals with confidence, and Mark David Hatwood on all aspects of marketing and how to make money from your artwork. There are practical articles and demonstrations showing you how to adapt your painting techniques for coloured pencil work, with amazing results, how to paint a self-portrait as well as a stunning faded rose, both in watercolour, and how to make your watercolours more dynamic by using watercolour grounds. Our top artist contributors also share their expertise on best practice for working on the spot, how to plan a complex composition, paint your first realist still life in acrylic, use your sketchbooks to work out your ideas, how to paint successfully from your photos and which colours to mix in oils to achieve a sense of space in your landscapes. With all this and much more, there's plenty to keep you drawing and painting over the festive period. Enjoy!