Tag Archives: Joan Fullerton

My Struggle with the Horizon Line

I consider myself an abstract landscape painter. As I lean more toward the abstract, I find myself struggling to completely give up the horizon line. As I looked at many abstract landscapes, I would say that about 95% have included one.

So I am wondering in landscape paintings, do people have a psychological need to see the horizon line? I spent about two hours trying to find some hint of information about why we like to see that line, but I could find nothing.

In defining this line, a common definition is that it is an imaginary horizontal line, sometimes referred to as eye level, which divides your line of vision when you look straight ahead.

Here is one of my paintings with an obvious horizon line.

painting show where the horizone line is.

Opposition, acrylic on canvas, 24x24x1.5 inches.

Objects below this line are below your eye level, and objects above this line are above your eye level. Artists supposedly draw horizon lines to accurately establish perspective in their work.

Perceived Horizon Line

According to the Creative Glossary, “It is not necessary to include the horizon line in a landscape.  However, it is important to include a ‘virtual’ horizon line in order to make a picture follow correct perspective. The horizon line is always one’s eye level.  If one draws a line perpendicular to the ground outwardly from one’s eye level, this is what is considered the horizon line.”

Then there is this thought: “Be careful not to confuse skyline with horizon line. Skyline is also where the sky and land meet, but is generally in reference to mountains which are almost always above the actual horizon line/eye level.” 

Skyline as Opposed to Horizon Line

Skyline as Opposed to Horizon Line

Here is an abstract landscape painting by Joan Fullerton. Can you see the perceived horizon line or where eye level is?

showing how to paint a perceived line

Aspen Textures, Joan Fullerton

How about this one by Stuart Shils. Where is eye level?

Stuart Shils Landscape

Stuart Shils Landscape

Where am I going with this? I don’t know. I am getting rather left-brained about this topic, but it is something that I need to continue thinking about. When you create a painting or look at a painting are you aware the horizon line or where eye level is? I would love to know what you think?

Using House Paint in Art

I never thought my art had anything in common with Pablo Picasso or Jackson Pollock’s work. Well it appears that we do have one thing in common. We all used everyday house paint on our canvases.

“Pablo Picasso, famous for pushing the boundaries of art with cubism, also broke with convention when it came to paint, new research shows. X-ray analysis of some of the painter’s masterworks solves a long-standing mystery about the type of paint the artist used on his canvases, revealing it to be basic house paint.”

Also, I found a reference detailing using house paint in art work and also the fact that one of Jackson Pollock’s most expensive paintings was done with house paint.

I went to a workshop last year given by Joan Fullerton. We used primarily liquid acrylics, charcoal and ink. However, she also had a small amount of light green house paint that I found very interesting. When I came home from the workshop I thought about it for a while, and remembered that I had almost a gallon of very light blue paint that I would never use again on walls.

I have been experimenting with this paint off and on for several months. I usually mix it with some kind of acrylic paint, or put acrylic randomly on a painting with the house paint. Since my blue paint is so light, I found it a good substitute for white acrylic paint.

Ann Hart Marquis-making art using house paint

Indigo on My Mind, mixed media on canvas, 14 x 14 1.5 inches.

Today I was looking at a rather dark painting I had almost finished that I knew needed more light. I got out my light blue paint and found it was just what I needed to finish the sky.

House paint is thinner than acrylic paint, enabling a painter to get smooth textures if desired. It also dribbles very well across a painting. I am enjoying it although as in this painting I use it primarily to lighten an area on the canvas. I have also used it with dark acrylic for some interesting effects. More on how I created the trees in a post to come.

I am not sure if I will continue using house paint, but I am having fun with it and I also have some light green paint. I also have a supply of available paint in the back closet, but I am OK with light blue and green for now.

Do you have any house paint that you probably won’t use again?