9 Proven Ways to Create the Illusion of Depth in Art

“Several proven methods to create the illusion of depth.”

In art, when drawing in a realistic style, it is important to draw from direct observation or by using reference images. However, for an initial sketch or when drawing from imagination, there are several proven methods to create the illusion of depth.

1. Volume
Unlike flat objects, 3D objects appear to have volume and therefore indicate depth in the painting. A three-dimensional object will have highlight and shadow areas depending on where the light source is located.

2. Size
According to the rules of perspective, the farther an object is, the smaller it will look. For that reason, when drawing similar objects in different sizes, one can conclude that smaller objects are farther away, thus create a sense of depth in the painting. Size can also be used to create a sense of space. Adding small objects to a defined space will make it look big. Adding big objects to the same space will make it look small.

3. Overlap
A body concealing part of another body indicates that the body it is hiding is farther away.

4. Position/Height
Objects that their base is positioned higher on the painting surface will look farther away. Topography conditions, such as mountains, hills or valleys, are important in object placement. In most cases, the base of closer objects will be lower on the drawing surface and the top part of close objects will be higher than far objects. The reason is the observer's visual angle, meaning not measuring in meters but in degrees, in perspective.

5. Contrast & Details
The contrast between the dark and light areas decreases, as does the amount of details, as an object is farther away. That is to say, when drawing or painting, areas with high contrast will come forward and areas with less contrast will recede.

6. Edges
When an object or surface ends in a sharp way, it means it has a hard edge. Soft edges are when objects end in a gradual way, from dark to light. Foreground objects will have hard edges and therefore in focus. Background objects will have soft edges and therefore blurry.

7. Horizon
Dividing the painting into ground and sky by a horizon line, mountain range, vegetation or any other way, attests to depth. In addition, by adding ground to the painting, the objects stop "hovering".

8. Perspective
By using linear perspective, it is possible to demonstrate depth in a realistic manner.

9. Foreshortening
Objects in front of the viewer, such as buildings, trees, mountains, people, etc., will look smaller as they are farther away, but will maintain the ratio between height and width in the painting. This means that there will be no distortion.
On the other hand, when we change the object (or our) angle of sight, and the object is now along the line of sight, it will get shorter in that direction. This distortion is due to the angle of sight. The more an object is in our direction of sight, the more it will be distorted (becomes much shorter in that direction).

1. https://www.britannica.com/art/oil-painting
2. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/watercolour
3. https://www.artistsnetwork.com/art-mediums/pastel/drawing-or-painting-with-pastel-which-is-it/
4. https://creativesaints.com/
5. https://www.smmally.com/
6. http://graphicwebdesign.in/
7. https://ranartblog.com/blogarticle20.html
8. https://ranartblog.com/blog.html

Papeel Arts - Pamela Reis

Hand Painted | Paintbrush

Pamela Reis, is a born Artist and a Graphic Designer, expert free hand painter for 12years. Believes that creativity knows no limits and loves using various stuff such as pyrography, brushes, digital illustration, etc. to showcase her creativity. Her hand painted artwork won The Gnarly Magazine Tank Art Contest #2019. Along with art, she is passionate for music as well, combination of art and music together, formed - The Papeel, where her creativity expresses freedom as she works with combination of various techniques to get the best for you.

Leave a Message

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *