What Is Perspective in Painting?

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When it comes to painting, the term "perspective" typically describes a very specific thing. Learn about perspective in painting with help from a professional and experienced artist in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Oil Painting Techniques
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Abbeth, and I'm an Artist in Portland, Maine, and I'm going to show you what perspective in painting is. First, get a dryer of turpentine and squeeze out some paint in any color. In this case, I'm just using black oil paint to keep it simple. Dip your brush in the turpentine to make the paint a little bit liquidy and draw a horizon line about one third down your paper. Now, I'm going to have you pick any point on that horizon line and you're going to draw two lines or paint two lines coming towards you or down on the page and angle from that point in the horizon line. So, form sort of an upside down V. Then, anything that you want to exist within this landscape is going to follow the lines of these two angled lines. So, I'm going to draw buildings coming straight out from these lines as if we're looking down a city street. And to decide where the top of these buildings are, you're going to sort of follow the angle of this line that's coming out towards you. And draw an opposing line with your paint. Basically, everything that you're doing is starting at that point that you've chosen your horizon line and coming out from it. So, I'm going to do the same thing on the other side and draw buildings coming down. And this is the road in the middle that we're looking down. So, I'm going to draw a dotted line down the middle of the road of my paint. And now, the nice thing of using paint is we can really cover up all these lines that we've used to map out the buildings and I'm going to make them look sort of like skyscrapers by painting windows and painting the rest of the building black. And you can continue to do that with all your buildings. This may seem a bit confusing when you first starting out, but you'll get the hang of it and just remember that things that are closer you appear to be bigger and as they get further away, they appear to be smaller. My name is Abbeth, and I just taught you about perspective in painting.


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