Is it really flat?
Now you can use again your sheets of paper and squares. Take a green and orange sheet of paper. Put a red square in the middle of the green sheet and then a blue one in the middle of the orange sheet.
Both sheets of paper with squares on them are flat - that is obvious and no one will doubt it. But take a look at the first composition. It gives an impression as if the red square was closer than its cold background. But when we look at the second composition the impression changes - the blue square seems to be farther than its background.
Although your compositions are flat and no doubt two-dimensional you receive an impression of space. And all these impressions are caused by colours themselves and their very strange and interesting properties. We could say that all warm colours form an impression of being closer and cold colours - of being farther. This impression - which makes a two-dimensional composition hold depth - is called painting perspective.
Can we see the air?
There are many other methods of evoking an impression of depth apart from using painting perpective. We will experience one of them in a moment. The value of objects in the background weakens while the distance between our eyes and them increases, for example, we can see sharply and clearly a tree standing next to us, but trees which are far away start to fade and become invisible.
It happens so because the air between us and objects we observe is not perfectly clear - it contains some steam or simply dust. So if s "pillar" of air is wider, objects will look more faded and smudged.
Also in the world of colours there are such phenomena. But here additionally the air turns out to be blue! Just look at the sky on a sunny day. The blue sky above is nothing but the air, the atmosphere. We used to think that the sky, or to be exact this blue air is right over our heads. As a matter of fact, it fills every nook and cranny of space. A wide pillar of such blue air fills also the space between us and viewed objects of the background. The farther in a landscape objects are, the "thicker" a layer of air seems and the bluer objects become. This phenomenon used by artists who paint landscapes is called aerial perspective.
WORK OF ART |
CONTENT AND THEME |
MEANS OF EXPRESSION |
ARTIST AND AUDIENCE |
CREATION PROCESS |
HOW TO UNDERSTAND A WORK OF ART 1998