Aerial Perspective

Aerial perspective is concerned with the three-dimensional effect in painting: in other words, making the distance look farther away and giving the effect of recession through the work. This can be achieved by rendering the closer features in darker tones and those further away, in lighter tones. But, exceptions may exist like a dark cloud over a distant mountain. However, this can be counteracted by the use of warm temperature colours reds/yellows/browns in the foreground with improved strength of detail. Warm colours tend to bring objects closer, whilst cooler colours blues/bluish-greys/mauve tend to shuffle them quietly into the background. Sometimes, a distant hill might appear to be on fire, therefore, the foreground needs to be more detailed and darker in tone. Distant detail is unlikely, although occasionally, a little can be suggested in cool colours and light tones, so allowing the foreground to still dominate.

Where one feature stands in front of another, by softening off the details on the more distant feature will give a suggestion of depth.

The effects of aerial perspective are most apparent in misty conditions when the softening effect of the atmosphere is accentuated. (Figure 2)