You can look at a scene various ways and draw it differently each time. Claude Monet did dozens of paintings of haystacks, from different angles, at different times of day, in different
En plein air is a French term meaning "full of fresh air." It refers here to painting done out-of-doors. Because classic painting had been done in studios, painting outside was a radical move.
light. The Sandia Mountains, east of Corrales, New Mexico, where Lisa lives, for example, change from moment to moment, which is not always conducive to working on a deadline. Lisa moved her desk several years ago so she doesn't have a mountain view (she wasn't getting much done but mountain-viewing)—but she still finds a lot of excuses to get up and see them anyway.
Eastern Long Island, New York, where Lauren lives, presents landscapes and seascapes that change not only with the time of day, but every day. If there's a particular landscape in your worldview that captivates you, don't be afraid to draw it again and again and capture its elusiveness, like Monet.
A scene that seems familiar can present you with many variations. It is for you to choose how to proceed. Landscape depiction can be broken down into three scales:
1. Close-up studies of objects in nature are about the specimen, its shape, proportion, detail, and texture.
2. In the middle, there is room for a view with some detail in the foreground, objects, foliage, and/or structures in the middle ground, and a sense of space behind.
3. The big picture is about space, vistas, and purple mountains' majesty.
Faraway views might have some foreground detail, but are about the sense of space in the view. Aerial perspective, the progressive softening of color, detail, and distinctness in deep space, helps suggest that distance. You'll find more detail on aerial perspective in Chapter 16, "What's Your Perspective?"
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