Oregon's Mount Hood rises sharply in the distance, as a sprawling lake fills the foreground in this iconic painting of the Pacific Northwest. The artist uses the scene as a study of vanishing points, horizon lines, and linear perspective. Artists use linear perspective -- the illusion of space and distance on a flat surface -- first by picturing the canvas surface as an "open window" through which to see the painted world. Straight lines are then drawn on the canvas to represent the horizon and "visual rays" connecting the viewer's eye to a point in the distance. The horizon line runs across the canvas at the eye level of the viewer. The horizon line is where the sky appears to meet the ground. The vanishing point should be located near the center of the horizon line. The vanishing point is where all parallel lines (orthogonals) that run towards the horizon line appear to come together like train tracks in the distance. Orthogonal lines are "visual rays" helping the viewer's eye to connect points around the edges of the canvas to the vanishing point.
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Episode #502 / Length: 26 minutes