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The Tyranny of Distance

South Texas Watercolor Artist

One of the great challenges of painting is to be able to effectively portray the illusion of distance. Lots of artists struggle with it and some never really get it.

Australia Felix- Sir Arthur Streeton (1907)

Sir Arthur Streeton was a fine exponent atmospheric illusion. Seeing his work “Australia Felix” at the South Australian Art Gallery some years ago, I was amazed at the sense of expanse he managed to achieve. Close up, the painting seems full of untidy brush strokes but take a few steps back and there’s a grand illusion of space. Photographs of this painting don’t even come close to matching its magnificence.

Thankfully, we don’t have to be Streeton to master the valuable painting asset of atmospheric perspective. We can stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before and even on those who live today. A great learning tool is to study the works…

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