Margaret Ingram—Visual Artist and Writer


Techniques for creating depth in a landscape painting.

Consider This

 Bold planes of dark, medium and light values create a feeling of space in this seacoast scene. Notice that the values (how light or dark) get lighter as they appear further away.

Diminishing size can also be seen in the scene, with the cliffs getting smaller and higher up in the picture plane as they move back into space.

Using Value Contrast

If you extend lines along the roof-line and the ground-line of these buildings the lines would come together in the distance at a point that is referred to as the “vanishing point”.  Using one-point linear perspective when painting a scene such as this will give the illusion of depth in your painting.

Using One-Point Linear Perspective


On this street in Ireland, notice how the houses and the cars get smaller as they appear to move further back in space. They are also placed higher in the picture plane. The last car is no larger than a speck compared to the first one on the right.

One-point linear perspective can also be seen in this scene.

Diminishing Size of Images

Atmospheric perspective affects the sharpness of the images in your painting. Notice in the photo– graph above how images and textures are sharper and easier to see in the area to the right and appear to be closer. This can be seen especially in the stones at the water’s edge. Notice, also, how hazy the mountains at the left appear. They also are painted very small. Look at how the rock wall and the walkway slant closer. This is an example of one-point linear perspective.

Atmospheric & Linear Perspective

Copyright © 2006 by Margaret A. W. Ingram