800px-Zentralperspektive_zeichnen.png7 ways to achieve the Illusion of depth

What is the illusion of depth? It is an illusion that takes place upon a flat, 2 dimensional plane, a picture plane for art purposes. The illusion is skill based in most cases. It is also a mechanical device. Of course like any good artist (Dali) It can be messed with, bend, distorted, pushed to extremes to obtain those desired effects (MC Escher).
Depth can be shallow or deep. It can also be a narrow field of vision or panoramic.
Escher_Balcony.jpgMC Escher was a master at Illusion

#1 Overlapping-egyptian
2kenna.jpeg book of the Dead

2geese.jpeg the geese of Medum

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Giotto, the Lamentation
Giotto was one of the first in 1300's Italy. this was Pre- Renaissance in Western Europe. He worked with over lapping, bending and fail emotions. Look also at the shading, the folds of the fabrics. Then there is the background where objects tend to get smaller. Giotto was a Shepards son or a Blacksmith's son, a man of good standing most likely in Florence and about 10 to 12 when he was discovered drawing by a Master Cimabue. His father was paid and his work at as this maste'rs apprentice began in Tuscany. Giotto was soon teaching the others his Techniques. Besides being a painter Giotto succeeded as an architect.
From Wikipedia-
"Vasari recounts a number of such stories about Giotto's skill as a young artist. He tells of one occasion when Cimabue was absent from the workshop, and Giotto painted a remarkably-lifelike fly on a face in a painting of Cimabue. When Cimabue returned, he tried several times to brush the fly off."
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Giotto, Christ

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Simplicity of overlapping with Cezanne's the Card Players

#2 Shading-these are examples of value changes and the marking techniques to obtain them.
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besides tinting and shading there is the use of complements for shadow.

#3 size and scale-egyptian- The largest is the most important. The smallest well, that would be the opposite of the most important.
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Size and scale also have much to do with Proportions.

Below we see the smaller figures are farther away and of course the larger ones are closer. They are also higher and lower in the picture plane respectively. (see #5 & #6 below)

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#4 Perspective, (defined below) 1, 2 or multi point and or Aerial perspective. Perspective is a mechanical or freehand method for drawing 3 dimensions.
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Examples of 1 & 2 point perspective
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Rhaphello-1 point perspective, School of Athens, Vatican Museum
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The Vatican Museums

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the Deposition


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Dali used perspective to the extreme. This is an example of 2 point for all intents and purposes.
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Ayuka Sugiura Example of multi point perspective.

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Frame and Beam, Ron Davis-multi point perspective.

*Foreshortening is also a form of perspective. It is based on an extreme point of view.


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Mantegna, the Dead Christ
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Oh that Dali, The Acension
Joseph_Mallord_William_Turner_-_Raby_Castle,_the_Seat_of_the_Earl_of_Darlington_-_Walters_3741.jpgTurner, Raby Castle1280px-Joseph_Mallord_William_Turner_-_Snow_Storm_-_Steam-Boat_off_a_Harbour's_Mouth_-_WGA23178.jpg
Turner, Snow Storm: Steam Boat Off a Harbours Mouth, 1842
examples of atmospheric (Value changes) Perspective

#5) Value changes

*As objects recede they lighten in Value (atmospheric perspective, Leonardo da Vinci).

*As objects recede detail is harder and harder to see.

*As objects advance Value gets more intense.

*As objects advance details become clearer..

#6 Position upon the picture plane-Chinese

1H2535O6-0.jpg The use of atmosphere and placement was used extensively by Chinese artists

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Raphael, The Annuciation

The higher things are placed in the picture plane, the farther away they appear to be.

The further down on the picture Plane, the closer they seem.

#7 The inclusion of Background, middle ground and fore ground.