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Paint a simple landscape in which you exploit the three devices of aerial perspective.

  • Controlled loss of focus.
  • Loss of colour saturation.
  • Use of colour temperature.


I had done some research into aerial perspective during the drawing module, to refresh myself and to practice glazing with oil paint I followed a tutorial found on you tube.  Making up a fictitious landscape, painting it first in grey tones and then glazing with pink and blue.

I had to let the painting dry completely between each stage,, I can see the possibilities of enriching colours with the glazing technique, my use of it might be limited by the fact that I have little patience. Perhaps the answer would be to have several paintings on the go at once.

Heading out for my first real attempt at painting “en plein air” on a glorious day I made a neat discovery.

 The rear windscreen of a Ford Fiesta makes a perfect easel !! 🙂       (if you can park suitably of course)



I first did a sketch in colour pencil to familiarise myself with the view.


I began painting using another of my prepared bits of card and immediately regretted its use. The board was very light and the oil paint seemed to slide more on the acrylic surface than I’d experienced before. Whether it was the warm weather, or my inexperience or both, but I got very messy. I struggled to use paints outdoors and the whole business was much more awkward, trying to mix colour, keeping everything to hand.  I need to try to think of a way to keep everything organised, and expect over time every artist develops their own carrying kit. However, I was lucky with the weather so ploughed on.


I hadn’t quite got enough of the aerial perspective, not enough difference between the near and far and the paint was now too wet to alter much, as each colour smudged into the next.  So I grabbed a twig from the floor and tried scratching into the surface.


This had little effect, disappointed I took this home.  The scratching may have worked better if I’d not already had green and my ground colour.  Back to the drawing board……

Another day, another attempt.  Still good weather so out again to the same spot.


This time using view differently, portrait instead of landsape, and on a board with flat surface. I had tried mixing Gesso with acrylic paint to get a better tooth for the oils.  Drew the scene very roughly in chalk first.



Not a great painting but this achieved the aerial perspective better than yesterday.  I was getting very cold so packed up and took it home.


I have used the loss of focus and colour,and deliberately made the distance trees a bluer tone, however, I am very disappointed in the picture. I am finding the trees difficult this time of year, no leaves and from a distance they are just a fuzzy blur of twigs which is proving difficult to portray.



Final picture after more scratching to try to portray the wispy twiggy effect of the leafless trees. Added in the remembered fence posts and darkened the foreground hedging which has helped a little to distinguish the nearer.

Learnings this time.

  • Oils are very tricky outdoors… you cannot obviously have any drying time so pre planing the layout of the pic is more important.
  • Over painting additions have to happen later when you get home.
  • Scratching will be useful – but this will be conditional on the ground colour.
  • I did use a wok brush (useful for paralell lines)- of all things – for some of the scratching and twigs from the ground – so using what is nearby is an option to be exploited
  • take layers, clothes wise, as the temperature changes and you dont get warm standing still painting.
  • People are curious when they find you in the woods painting…..just go with it…..
  • Its harder than I thought, my trees need work.
  • and of course my rear window ford fiesta easel 🙂



Footnote: A day later….this happened….scrubbed on using credit card….written in sketchbooks section of blog.  Was starting to clear up from the exercise and using up the paint.  This has now happened a couple of times.  I’m wondering…. do I need to go thorough all the other stuff before I get to this… I really like it and really enjoyed doing it…