Exercise: Linear Perspective

6&7/11/15

Exercise: Linear Perspective

Now find a location in which there are hard landscape elements… Or you could find a location inside a large public space, such as a railway station or shopping mall, or work from a bench in the street… Note the outlines of buildings, roofing and guttering that can be represented as lines receding to achieve linear perspective… In this exercise, the use of line by drawing with a brush or a drawing medium will be more important than your use of colour and tonal contrast.

Linear perspective. Sketch onsite using liner pens. A5 drawing in A4 sketchbook.

Linear perspective.
Sketch on site using liner pens.
A5 drawing in A4 sketchbook.

Again the weather was against me, incessant rain and windy conditions prohibited me from sitting outside to draw. Instead I sat in the car after choosing a parking space on the side of road giving me a view down the street.  Other cars were coming and going all the time so I firstly concentrated on the roof line I could see. From the Drawing 1 course, I was aware that I should establish the eye level first in order to visualise the linear perspective lines. Unfortunately, I had to have three goes at this before I got it right. By coincidence, I had received my copy of Artists & Illustrators magazine, (November issue I believe), where there was an article on perspective. I remembered the advice given, that if you hold a piece of card level with your pupils and hold it flat so that all you see is a straight line, the corresponding point in your view is the eye level.  Once I used this technique, I was away. I had decided to use pen to avoid erasing lines of the actual drawing, although, I found it useful to draw perspective lines in pencil using a ruler as a guide. Once I was happy with the roof line and general direction of the street, I sketched in the cars parked along the road in front of me to further assist the perspective.

My initial intention was to make a preliminary sketch and then make a painting using Sharpie pen and watercolour on site.  However, my car battery had other ideas as it disliked my having the windscreen wipers on whilst the engine was off and slowly died a death, resulting in my having to wait for the breakdown guys to bring a new one! My enthusiasm for painting died with it! Before leaving, I took a quick reference photo for colour and placement comparisons to go with my drawing to enable me to make the painting at home.

Linear perspective. Painting using Sharpie marker pen and watercolour. A3 paper.

Linear perspective.
Painting using Sharpie marker pen and watercolour.
A3 paper.

Review your finished painting and make notes in your learning log. Have you been successful in creating a sense of receding space? Is there any part of your painting that doesn’t work as well as the rest? What could you do you put this right?

  • I think there is a sense of receding space due to the diminishing scale of the buildings and cars as they go away to the background.
  • Looking at the pavement on the right, it gives a sense of going uphill rather than flat and going round the corner. The drawing of the front car is not accurate enough compared to the sketch, I have tried to rectify this to some extent but not enough. The corner building in the distance with the triple aspect roof was particularly challenging especially as I hadn’t made my drawing quite clear enough to reproduce away from the view.
  • To put this right, I could have made more of the kerb of the pavement by indicating the kerb-stones (they being another set of parallel lines). The paving was cobbled not slabs so more tricky to show as they may have become overly detailed. Had the drawing of the car been more accurate (widening of the windscreen and making it less tall), the foreground would have been a better scale to show the illusion of items closer being bigger etc.
  • I’m convinced that, had I stayed in situ and made the painting, it would have been more successful.

Other than these things, the general feeling is of a street receding into the distance and my husband recognised immediately the place from where I had been drawing. I also enjoyed the looseness of the watercolour painting.

Exercise: Simple Perspective in Interior Studies

16/07/15

Exercise: Simple Perspective in Interior Studies

Focus on creating an illusion of space. As this is an exercise in drawing with paint, keep your colours muted or within a very limited palette. When finished,  look at your painting critically and make notes in your learning log. Are any areas of your painting particularly convincing? Does any part of the painting look wrong? Why do you think this is?

Simple perspective in interior study - thumbnails

Simple perspective in interior study – thumbnails

Simple perspective in interior studies - painting in line Acrylic on A3 paper

Simple perspective in interior studies – painting in line
Acrylic on A3 paper

Are any areas of your painting particularly convincing?

The ceiling beams seem to work well, they give the impression of a low ceiling that recedes to the far wall. I am also happy with the general perspective, both of the units and the floor tiles. (In the photo above, the floor appears arched but that is the paper curling.)  I think the general scale is also fairly accurate.

Does any part of the painting look wrong?

I am not convinced on the doorway into the next room. I also feel the height of the dresser against the far wall is too tall.

Why do you think this is?

Looking at my thumbnail, the door appears to be the door in the opening but actually I now realise the door in the painting is another door to a room off the next room, so maybe it is correct! I do think there is something wrong in that this is not obvious.

As far as the height of the dresser is concerned, I did measure constantly, but a recurring problem when I measure is not returning to the exact same spot, so the measurements are off. I seem to be more successful by just relating lines and angles to each other as I go. They don’t move, I do.

Research Point: Linear Perspective

17/07/15

Before you attempt the next exercise… research the basics of linear perspective.

Linear perspective helps attain the illusion of a three-dimensional image on a two-dimensional surface.

Parallel lines appear to meet together in the distance at a vanishing point, this point may or may not be within the actual image but should the lines be extended they should meet at this point.

Perspective when recreated on a two-dimensional surface gives the illusion that objects close to the viewer are larger than those further away .

Objects that are pointing directly at the viewer are foreshortened to give this impression ie a finger-pointing straight forwards appears shorter than if pointing left or right.

To assist in creating linear perspective it is helpful to establish a horizon line or eye level. Lines below the eye level with angle up towards it and lines above will angle down towards it – this is the vanishing point on the horizon or eye level.

Most commonly used are one, two and three-point perspective. This relates to the number of vanishing points in the image.

One point – a simple or single view disappearing off into the distance eg road or railway track.

Two point – for two receding views, eg corner walls equals two vanishing points

Three point – views from above or below, where there are three vanishing points, those as in two point and those receding upwards or down.

There is also zero point perspective where no parallel lines exist and therefore no vanishing point. This is where scale comes into play as in the third point above. Aerial perspective also assists by less contrast in colour and tone to depict distance.