How to create the illusion of space head

Six Ways to Create the Illusion of Space

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When it comes to drawing and painting, it is important for artists to be able to create the illusion of space on a 2D surface. In reality, all realistic or representational art is dependent on creating an illusion.  If creating realistic art is what you're after, then having the ability to create the illusion of space on a 2D surface is a skill that you need to master.  There are a few tricks that you can use to create the illusion of space.  In this free drawing lesson, we examine six ways to create the illusion of space on a 2D surface.  Use them together to maximize the illusion.

How to Create Depth

1. Linear Perspective- By using either 1 point perspective, 2 point perspective, or 3 point perspective, an artist can create the illusion of space.  Linear perspective is a drawing method that uses lines to draw objects in space.

2. Overlapping- When one object is positioned in front of another object, part of the object behind it may be blocked from view.  This is called overlapping. 

3. Size- Objects that are closer to a viewer appear larger than objects that are further off in the distance.

4. Placement on the Surface- Generally, objects that are positioned lower on the picture plane will appear closer than objects that are positioned higher on the picture plane.

5. Color and Value- Objects that are closer to a viewer appear darker in value and warmer in color.  Objects that are further away appear lighter in value and cooler in color.

6. Detail- Objects that are closer appear more detailed than objects that are further away.

Six ways to create the illusion of space are illustrated in this video...

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