Beach, Seascape Lagoon, and Dock Custom Oil Painting

Last summer, I was commissioned to paint a 16x20 oil on canvas of a beautiful beach and lagoon. The view extends from the beach to far out in the distance. Though I am certain that I took pictures while I was painting, today, they cannot be found!

But I can use this piece to show how the use of perspective creates the illusion of depth on a flat surface. Just read along to see (you can click images for a closer view):

The sky is first. There are two illusions created here:
  1. I begin with a darker blue at the top fading to pale blue below. The sky appears lighter near the horizon because we are looking through more layers of atmosphere (which scatters the blue) than when looking straight up. This is an instance of Aerial or Atmospheric Perspective.
  2. The clouds become smaller and form more of a line near the horizon. This denotes Linear Perspective. When things fade into the distance, they appear smaller and closer together.
Next time you look at this type of cloudy sky with an unobstructed view, look and perhaps you will see these two illusions:

Next is the far shoreline (below). I paint with soft, muted, cool colors here. The soft tones will make it seem far away once the foreground is painted. This is another use of Aerial Perspective.

When I include a boat creating a wake behind it and some islands I also keep them soft, without detail and quite small:

Next is the middle ground. There is a dock at the end of a small peninsula with a boat and flag waving in the breeze. I paint these with more detail since they are closer, but still keep the colors slightly cool (or blued). The boat is obviously larger than the one in the distance:

Warmer (more yellow, orange and red) colors and more detail begin to appear as the peninsula comes closer to shore. I paint the water a warmer blue also:

Finally, we are at the beach. The trees, beach, half-hidden overturned boat and water are painted with the most detail, the highest contrast, the largest scale and the warmest colors. This makes them visually appear closer than other parts of the scene:

In the finished piece, below, you can see the difference between the far distance, the middle ground and the foreground as created using the illusions of linear and aerial perspective:

The use of linear and aerial perspective makes a flat surface appear to have depth.
Ocean Lagoon, Dock and Beach Scene 16x20 oil on canvas painting
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found the notes on perspective helpful!

I'm happy to take custom orders. Contact me for a custom painting of your pet, home, garden, grandkids, favorite vacation spot or whatever your heart desires.
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