Picture Plane

When an artist creates an impression of space within a painting, the picture plane is the transparent division between this fictive internal space and the real space outside, in which the viewer is placed. In traditional illusionistic painting using perspective, the picture plane can be thought of as the glass of the notional window through which the viewer looks into the representation of reality that lies beyond. In essence, the picture plane helps you to break the image before you into shapes so that you can actually recreate it more easily or view and appreciate it in an orderly manner. In practice the picture plane is the same as the actual physical surface of the painting.