Pt 3, Pr 4, Ex 3 – Atmospheric pressure.

Deciding to start out with simple black and grey tones to explore the idea of atmospheric perspective and tonal gradation, I began with ink and a few pictures I took, a misty morning at the local shops and a few snow scenes I took in Bruges, Belgium. The snow in the air clouded the buildings in the background, lightning the tones as they faded into the distance and blurring the detail while the trees in the foreground stood prominent, sharp and dark. The snow created the perfect black and white scene so I could focus on the tonal fading without the complication of colour. The photo had not been filtered.



Before I went into the drawing I spent a bit of time looking at the grey scale and working out how to get the desired shades. It was simple enough and by using a pipette dropper I could measure out in ML 50% ink/water gave roughly value 5, 25% ink water gave value 8 etc, so I used this method to measure out 8 pots of each shade and added a little water from the brush here and there to get them lighter.

Once I was comfortable with manipulating the shades I started the scene with very light tones, layering the ink as I brought them darker and darker. Once I reached around value 9 in the background I continued to darken the middle ground, adding detail until I reached around value 5 on the grey scale. I then carried on adding darker tones in the foreground until I had reached the desired contrast. Finding this a pleasing and systematic way to bring out the atmospheric perspective the ink it complimented the task very well.


Tackling the tree and roof tops photo I used a hazy yellow ink to get that early morning mist effect set in sharp contrast to the silhouetted trees. This was successful but I also experimented with pencil which proved too messy and amateurish. I tried a chalk haze which satisfactory, but only gave a pastel glow to the background whereas I was looking for a cleaner, sharper effect, I decided to stick with inks.


this gave the perfect fade in the far background as the shadow dissolves into the sunlight. I mixed the black and greys with the yellow to give the effect of the light enveloping the buildings. The further into the distance the subject is, the more light from the sky it seems to reflect, so by mixing the sky yellow/blue in with the black shadow of the foregrounds then diluting it with water more and more at each stage added to this effect greatly. The sharp contrast of the sky and the foreground trees was set with defining lines thanks to the wet on dry technique and the wet on wet was used to create the hazy fades in the background giving the picture a subtle, yet striking sense of depth.

Describing the leaves with a dappling of dry brush strokes using different sized stiff bristled brushes gave a convincing tree canopy including a range of different trees.

I liked the way the sun almost burns through the leaves and sets that radiant glow that shrouds the backdrop which lazily reaches sharp focus on the nearby trees.


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