Free Download: 5 Simple Effects to Gain Atmospheric Perspective in Your Art
Diana Horowitz painted landscapes of New York City from the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center for 15 years until May, 2001. A few years after 7 World Trade Center was rebuilt in 2006, she took up residence on the 48th Floor—10,000 square feet of unleased raw space that provides a 360-degree view of the city. From this vantage point, Horowitz continues painting views of the city and of the construction next door of 1 World Trade Center (Freedom Tower).
To achieve an illusion of depth in paintings like Horowitz’s cityscapes, painters often employ aerial perspective, a technique in which distant objects are depicted as paler in color, less detailed and usually bluer than near objects.
The scientific explanation for this phenomenon, which is also called atmospheric perspective, is that light of short wavelength—blue light—is scattered most in the atmosphere, and the colors of distant dark objects appear bluer. Light of long wavelength—red light—is scattered least; thus, distant bright objects appear redder.
Aerial perspective techniques were used by Dutch landscape painters in the 15th century and were studied extensively by Leonardo da Vinci. Romantic landscapes painted by the 19th-century British artist J.M.W. Turner are distinguished by his ambitious use of aerial perspective.
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