How can I bring a sense of depth to my art­works?

Tom Cat­ting­ton, Ger­many

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation -

Viktoria replies

If you’re de­ter­mined to make your paint­ings look three-di­men­sional then there are a num­ber of art tech­niques that you’ll need to learn and mas­ter. But let’s start with this: your ob­ject needs to be well lit. This is cru­cial if it’s to look real­is­tic and have a recog­nis­able form. It’s the shad­ows of a lit form that helps a viewer in­ter­pret it as three-di­men­sional, so get­ting your form shad­ows and cast shad­ows right is cru­cial!

Paint­ing a still life com­po­si­tion is a sim­ple ex­er­cise that you can do to gain a bet­ter grasp of this con­cept. Set up a sim­ple still life of an ap­ple or onion un­der good light­ing con­di­tions, and try to draw the val­ues as cor­rectly as pos­si­ble. I prom­ise you that look­ing at still life set­ups will make your art de­velop at a rapid pace. You should also study per­spec­tive. De­pict­ing ob­jects that over­lap in a paint­ing is a sure-fire way to cre­ate a sense of depth. Fi­nally, the use of blurred edges for ob­jects that re­cede in space and sharp edges for ob­jects that you want to be prom­i­nent will ef­fec­tively com­mu­ni­cate a sense of depth in a paint­ing.

I use sharp cast shad­ows to push her chin and nose out from the plane of the face. The over­lap cre­ates even more depth.

This sim­ple sphere study demon­strates the im­por­tance of get­ting your shad­ows right. Blur­ring the edges on the fur­ther­most ob­ject pushes it into the dis­tance.

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