Chap05shape and form

More copies of the square in a row across the screen

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Unformatted text preview: es from light to dark in the squares. The Illusion of Depth In paintings, artists often create the illusion of depth. When you look at these paintings, you see objects and shapes, some of which seem closer to you than others. You seem to be looking through a window into a real place (Figure 5.19). This idea—that a painting should be like a window to the real world—has dominated traditional Western art since the early Renaissance. There are several terms that will help you as you talk about and create depth in a painting or drawing. The surface of a painting or drawing is sometimes called the picture plane. The part of the picture plane that appears nearest to you is the foreground. The part that appears farthest away is the background. The area in between is called the middle ground. Perspective is a graphic system that creates the illusion of depth and volume on a two-dimensional surface. In the following pages you will learn techniques artists use to give their paintings and drawings perspective. FIGURE 5.19 Panini excelled at capturing the interiors of famous buildings. Notice how he tries to focus your attention on the arch at the end of the hall by using converging lines. After reading about perspective on the following pages, try to find examples of each of the six perspective techniques in this painting. Giovanni Paolo Panini. Interior of Saint Peter’s Rome. 1746-54. Oil on canvas. 154.3 Washington, D.C. Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund. 196.9 cm (60 3 4 771 2 ). National Gallery of Art, LESSON 4 How Artists Create Shapes and Forms in Space 113 Overlapping. When one object covers part of a second object, the first seems to be closer to the viewer, as in Figure 5.20. FIGURE 5.20 Overlapping. Detail. Objects with clear, sharp edges and visible details seem to be close to you (Figure 5.23). Objects that lack detail and have hazy outlines seem to be farther away. Look closely at your own hand. You can see very tiny lines clearly. Now look at someone’s hand from across the room. You have trouble seeing the lines between the fingers. All the details seem to melt together because of the distance between you and what you are seeing. Size. Large objects appear to be closer to the viewer than small objects, as in Figure 5.21. The farther an object is from you, the smaller it appears. Cars far down the road seem to be much smaller than the ones close to you. If you stand at the end of a long hallway and raise your hand, you can block your view of a whole crowd of people. You know that each person is about your size, but at a distance the crowd appears to be smaller than your hand. FIGURE 5.23 Detail. FIGURE 5.21 Size. Placement. Objects placed low on the picture plane seem to be closer to the viewer than objects placed near eye level. The most distant shapes are those that seem to be exactly at eye level (Figure 5.22). Color. Brightly colored objects seem closer to you, and objects with dull, light colors seem to be farther away (Figure 5.24). This is called atmos...
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This document was uploaded on 09/23/2013.

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