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Edge-Based Shading as a Depth Cue in Paintings

By May 27, 2015art, art & perception

marianne_venderbosch_painting

Research in Art & Perception 

Next to being an active artist creating my own works of art I have built up experience in doing research on visual perception, especially on how people perceive the works of art I create, this in collaboration with Prof. dr. S. te Pas, Prof. dr. J. Koenderink and dr. A. van Doorn at the Department of Experimental Psychology of the Utrecht University. This research focusses on the connection between the different techniques in which an artwork can be created and their effects on the visual percept of the resulting work of art. By developing or using existing scientific methods from the visual sciences I have learned how to study different perceptual experiences of an onlooker who is confronted with different kinds of technical aspects of two-dimensional renderings. Only drawings and paintings I have created myself are used in my scientific enterprises. I like to share the articles we published and will publish in the future with you on this website.

Here is the abstract of the first article which is already published. You can find the whole article through the following link:

http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/22134913-00002033

(Abstract)

Edge-Based Shading as a Depth Cue in Paintings

We explored how an artist who uses a particular monochrome modern painting style generates the impression of relief in paintings. Three portraits, painted after model, were created especially for the experiment. Photographs of the paintings were presented on a computer screen. To investigate the perceived relief of observers we used a gauge figure task. We expected an effect of background contrast on perceived total depth range of the relief, because this is well known in the case of pho- tography. We found that the contrast with the color of the canvas, white, gray or black, influences the perceived articulation of the relief but does not influence the perceived total depth range of the relief. The major difference between photographs and these paintings is that contrasts in the paintings are built up through edge-based shading, whereas photographs mostly contain tonal-area shading. The classical shape from shading cue does not apply to the impressions of depth evoked by the paintings. Perhaps surprisingly edge-based shading can be as effective as classical ways of creating pictorial relief.

Authors: Marianne E. Venderbosch; Andrea J. van Doorn; Jan J. Koenderink and Susan F. te Pas

Affiliations: 1: 1Experimental Psychology, Helmholtz Institute, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 1, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands

On the cover of the journal Art & Perception 2 one of my paintings is published.

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