Saturday, May 14, 2016

Placement of the Horizon

How much does the placement of the horizon affect the effectiveness and emotional feel of a painting?

The placement of the horizon impacts the foreground, middle ground or background. When planning your painting, you must determined the portion of the painting you want more depth and interest.  The farther the horizon is from the center, the more dramatic the overall effect. On other occasions it is better to place the horizon higher up or lower down in the frame as it will give your paintings more depth and interest. The placement of the horizon line is determined by which parts of the scene contain the visual information you think is the most important.

Low horizon:
  • Tend to suggest greater depth of space (emphasis is on the sky/background);
  • Used if your sky is to be an important then make the horizon low to draw more attention to the large sky;
  • Select this option when top half of the frame was much more interesting than the bottom, you may want to adjust your composition so that the horizon is a lot lower in the painting;
  • Heighten the isolation of subjects at the horizon;
  • Can create an atmosphere of emptiness by contrasting it with the vastness of the sky.
Middle horizon:
  • Tend to make for a more static composition and painting, since there may not be any hierarchy between foreground, middle and background;
  • Suggest that there is no distinction between what's important, or that everything is important (if that is possible);
  • Make it look more like two separate paintings;
  • Can be effectively sometimes when you want to catch mirror reflections in pond or lake scenes.
High horizon:
  • Highlight lots of land or water and little sky;
  • Focus the landscape as the most important part,
  • Focuses the interest onto the subject and foreground;
  • Enhance sense of distance.
One final point, in fact it should have been the first point, wherever you decide to place the horizon in your paintings, make sure it is level, a slanting horizon looks unnatural and unbalanced and could easily spoil your a painting.

In addition to the photo, today I'm sharing this Youtube video of CORNELIU DRAGAN TARGOVÄ°STE's painting

Have a great week

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