” This summer I’ve set myself the goal of traveling a bit more to take advantage of the season and soak up Mother Nature at her balmiest. When I go to the beach or camp out over a long weekend, I often try to sketch while I’m out. I often notice that trying to create the illusion of space—over valley peaks or a body of water—can be difficult! The distance over water is sometimes deceptive and the atmospheric effects of air, light, and cloud cover in a valley can really distort what I see despite trying to start with a perspective drawing of some sort and building on that.
Yes, you can solve some of these problems with a sound knowledge of perspective drawing. That is key for any sense of proportion in landscape artwork. But you can also get a good sense of the space from where you stand to the object in the distance a few other ways.
Bringing together the forms, textures, colors, and details you see in the distance helps make for a less fussy work, and effectively recreates the way the eye sees. When an instructor says “squint,” they usually mean reduce and mass.
This is a tried-and-true visual cue for artist and viewer alike. I know it seems elementary, but it bears repeating: the larger the object, the closer we think it is to us.”