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Up-close With Distance: Depictions of Atmospheric Perspective in Art

We asked artists on Instagram for their input on atmospheric perspective and we’ve compiled a lush, visual list of artworks that perfectly capture the differences between foreground, midground, and far far away.

Let’s explore beyond the pictorial plane and get closer to distance.

Fields of Stone by Zach Britton, @zachbrittonart

Fields of Stone by Zach Britton, @zachbrittonart

Zach shares his thoughts about communicating depth in his artwork:

“When thinking about atmospheric perspective, it’s important to remember that as objects move farther back in space, there is more of the atmosphere in between the viewer and the objects. So, the objects adopt the color family of the atmosphere. An example is the blue of the sky in this piece.”

As you can see in Zach’s example, the points furthest away from the viewer become cloaked in the surrounding atmosphere, implying space beyond the foreground.

Zach is a designer, painter, illustrator and can be found here: 

Oil on white enameled laminated aluminum.

Winter Stream by David Dunlop, @daviddunlopartist Oil on white enameled laminated aluminum. 

David is an artist, teacher, and host of the national PBS television series, Landscapes Through Time with David Dunlop.  David has written articles on perspective in his art education blog available at

Acrylic paintingA Tiny San Francisco by Mel Doskotz, @mellenill. Acrylic painting

Mel's painting is petite, but the distance depicted is large. Melissa is an illustrator, theater lover, and can be found here: 

Plein air oil painting by Elo Wobig, @elowobig Plein air oil painting by Elo Wobig, @elowobig

Interesting to note that Elo was interrupted by a park ranger while creating this plein air painting. Luckily for all of us, the artist was able to finish the landscape in the studio.

Perpetual One, oil painting by Tessa Houghton, @tessa.houghton

Perpetual One, oil painting by Tessa Houghton, @tessa.houghton

In an interview with Helen Mead, Tessa says “I like to play around with perspective, and using low perspective with focus on big skies can create a feeling of depth and distance.” Read Tessa’s full interview here.

Nocturne in Yucca Valley by Mike Adams. Oil on panel via @mikeadams.fineart


Nocturne in Yucca Valley by Mike Adams. Oil on panel via @mikeadams.fineart

Mike's use of texture and detail in the lower half of the painting helps to define the space as up-close to the viewer's perspective. By making the forms in the background less defined, the viewer is able to see distance.

Interested in seeing a time-lapse video of a landscape drawing? Visit’s Instagram page 

Special thank you to all the artists for sharing their work with thalo.