Author: Erin Aldana

This lesson will explore some of the approaches to perspective that artists use in order to depict the illusion of depth in two-dimensional works of art.

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Perspective drawing, Creative Commons Wikimedia, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Perspective_(PSF).png, Komehakubutsukan-passage, Creative Commons Wikimedia, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Komehakubutsukan-passage.jpg, Masaccio, Trinity, Creative Commons Wikimedia, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Masaccio_trinity.jpg, Leonardo Last Supper, Creative Commons Wikimedia, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leonardo_da_Vinci_(1452-1519)_-_The_Last_Supper_(1495-1498).jpg , Jump Rope, Creative Commons Wikimedia, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jump_Rope_circa_2002.jpg, Dai Jin, Creative Commons Wikimedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dai_Jin-Landscape_in_the_Style_of_Yan_Wengui.jpg

Terms to Know
  • Atmospheric Perspective

    A form of perspective in which the more distant objects are depicted in a greyish or bluish haze.

  • Linear Perspective

    A form of perspective in which the lines of manmade objects (roads, buildings) are at right angles to the picture plane and converge toward a vanishing point.

  • Overlapping

    A technique used to depict space in 2-D artworks in which the closer object covers up, or overlaps, the more distant object.

  • Positioning

    A technique used to depict the illusion of distance in 2-D artworks. The more distant object is shown through positioning over or on a diagonal with the closer object. Even though both may appear the same size, the eye reads the object that is positioned higher as more distant.

  • Scale

    Size relative to another object. Scale can be used to depict distance in two dimensions - the more distant object is smaller in scale.

  • Vanishing Point

    The point on the horizon where the straight lines of linear perspective converge. The two sides of a road appear to come together at the vanishing point.