Friday, June 1, 2012


Sunrise: Basic Landscape Perspective Study. This 16 X 20 landscape is part of a class I will be teaching next year in basic landscape design. The background for this piece is, what the students will be making. I have laid the large flower and the crane on it as an illustration of the many possibilities you can use to show depth and perspective. Without the flower and crane, the focal point is the sun. Using what I call the ladder or multiple planes technique, we will be working much like ancient Oriental designers composed. Starting at the highest point, you work your way down the composition, using horizontal planes of color value. To show distance, you make your planes more narrow as you work you way down and then wider as you reach middle ground. The colors stay in the blue range at the top, becoming green in the middle ground. Size, and color value suggest distance. The foreground greens are much brighter than the middle ground greens. No matter what form your landscape takes, this basic design is what you build on. Understanding how to show depth is the basis of all realistic landscapes. For extreme distance, in this case, we go from the overly large flower, to the middle sized crane, to the smaller sun. This shows distance by comparison. Size and scale. This is also the trick that photographers use.