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  • Atmospheric Perspective Painting


    Description: Students will explore atmospheric perspective

    Purpose: To show that atmospheric perspective creates depth in a drawing

    Length of Activity: 30 - 45 minutes


    • Photo or painting that shows atmospheric perspective
    • Paper, one piece per student
    • Paint, especially white and blue
    • Brushes, sponges, other tools for creating texture
    • Palette, one per student - foil pie plates work well


    1. Show students the photo or painting demonstrating atmospheric perspective. Have them note the typical color (shades of blue) and indistinct shapes.

    2. Ask students to copy the photo or painting using paints. They will need to try to match the colors by mixing paints together.

    3. Ask students to try different brushes or other tools such as sponges to try to make shapes in the distance less distinct and more fuzzy.


    What’s Going On?

    Anything in the far distance will appear to us to be less in focus and slightly bluish. This is a natural phenomenon due to the earth's atmosphere and how our eyes work. When we reproduce that in a painting, we achieve a feeling of depth or 3-D.