27 & 28/10/14
Exercise: Linear Perspective
I revisited my chosen location of the sluice gates to make studies concentrating on linear perspective. I decided to work on the two views that gave the most challenge regarding distance, using the sluice gates and the various walkways and bridges along side them together with the river itself.
I spent an hour working on site using line markers and Sharpie pens. I remembered to mark in my eye level as the horizon line, which unfortunately, aligned with the horizontal centre of my workspace. I continued regardless as this could be altered when working on the composition specifically.
On returning, I simplified the “looking down river” view into perspective and cross over lines. At this point I was still uncertain about this view, as it seemed too traditional. I was originally strongly drawn to the “looking towards the mill houses” view because of the rusty iron work etc, yet I wasn’t enamoured with the mill houses themselves as part of the composition. There were like an ill placed full stop in a sentence, the image stopped dead at their walls. I did then realise that from my eye level, I would see more of the bushes between the footbridge and the road bridge in front of the building, but the wall was still visible. After, making this second drawing, I was more confused than ever as to which to choose.
Looking back over the first view, I did like the sense of distance, even though the sluice gates were less prominent. I decided to sleep on it before deciding which to make into a larger drawing.
Back to work and I decided to work up both drawings to a larger scale.
This time using a tinted pastel paper on its smoother side, I used sepia liner and brush pens to help invoke a feeling of an autumnal scene without using a full colour palette.
Using the previous sketches and reference photos that I could enlarge on-screen to see more detail, I worked directly onto the paper with the sepia pens. The ratio for this paper was wider to height than the A5 size previously used. This worked much better in regards to including more of the machinery of the sluice gates. The distance down river works well and the perspective of the gates and particularly the iron girder on top of them is much more successful. I also like the fact that the steering/turning wheel is visible together with the planked road bridge adjacent to the gates. I decided therefore to stick with this view, allowing for a similar paper size or larger with the same ratio for the final work. I have found a good compromise for describing the distance as well as the workings of the sluice gates that is acceptable to me. If this happy accident hadn’t occurred I think I wouldn’t have been completely satisfied with either view. Another plus, is that with the more natural objects ie trees, river etc, I can be more expressive and experimental with their treatment in the final work. I am also looking forward to experimenting with the various textures of the iron and concrete.
The exercise challenges whether:
- a sense of space has been achieved – I believe so, with this particular view with the river going off into the distance.
- the interpretation of the linear perspective of the landscape is accurate – with the slight alteration of the walkway railings that were sloping a little too high across to the right, this is a fair representation of what I could see.
- it feels right – generally, the entire drawing gives me a realistic feeling of the scene before me, with the additional features to the left ie the road bridge and machinery, adding to the perspective and draws the eye along the river bank to the distance with the walkway allowing a way back in to the image. It feels like an autumn day, with trees losing their leaves and reflections in the water.
This has been a very worthwhile exercise allowing me to analyse which view would be more successful and interesting in the end – with the added width of frame giving me a complete image rather than two that were not quite right.