Birmingham Museums for Kids

Art icon (cartoon paint brush)
Art

Art - Learning about landscapes

landscapes icon - cartoon of a landscape painting.

Have you ever noticed that artists use special tricks to make their pictures look like they are going back into the distance?

Let's explore some of their tricks and tips.

 

Horizon Line
The horizon is the line where the land or sea appears to meet the sky.

If an artist wants us to feel like we are looking at the painting from higher above, the horizon line will be put further up in the painting.
If an artist wants us to feel like we are looking at the painting from below, the horizon line will be put lower down in the painting.

The horizon line - where the land or sea appears to meet the sky.

 

 

Aerial Perspective
Landscape paintings are split into 3 main parts: foreground, middleground and background.

Land in the background appears more blue and pale than land towards the front. Artists makes things look further away by painting them a pale colour. They make things look closer by painting them a dark colour.

aerial perspective - pale colours appear further away.

 

Linear Perspective
Artists give a feeling of distance by making the hoizontal lines of objects and bulidings meet at a 'Vanishing Point'. The point is placed on the horizon line. Objects in the distance get smaller as the lines move together.

linear perspective - horizontal lines meet at a vanishing point.

 

 

 

Landscapes in the Gallery
There are lots of landscapes to see at the Birmingham Art Gallery!

 

A landscape with mountains and a bridge in the background and people in the foreground.

 

'Landscape Near Rome with a View of the Pont Molle' by Claude Lorrain.

The artist makes us feel as if the
painting goes far back
into the distance using aerial perspective. Colours in the background are much paler than those in the foreground.

A cityscape with the horizontal lines of the buildings leading back to the vanishing point.

 

'Rue a Pontoise' by Maurice
Utrillo.

This landscape could also be
described as a cityscape. The artist uses linear perspective in his painting, making the horizontal lines join together at the vanishing point.

Printable art activities | Let's investigate 'The Last of England'

 

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