Project Four: Perspective

Exercise One: Parallel Perspective – An Interior View

For this exercise, I decided to revisit my kitchen, as I had created a piece in a similar position in an earlier exercise and, thinking back on my tutor’s comments regarding this piece, thought it would be a good idea to rework a similar piece for this exercise to try and understand the comments through actual practice. Reading the first part of the exercise, I decided to draw a freehand sketch of the kitchen as I saw it through my doorway, but trying to bear my tutor’s comments in mind and trying to consider the perspective and geometry issues discussed.

When I had finished, I grabbed a ruler and started trying to find any and all vanishing points within the piece. I hoped there would be one main vanishing point but, this being my first attempt knowing what I did now from the feedback, I wasn’t pinning all of my hopes on it! I had marked on the piece where I felt my eye level fell and tried to aim for the vanishing points to hit there. I tried to keep all flat pieces flat and then build on the angles within the piece to create the depth held within the kitchen.

When I had finished connecting all of the lines, I was actually rather impressed with myself as, although they didn’t all line up perfectly as they should, I think I had managed to get it quite good for a first attempt. I realised once I had finished that I had drawn the cupboards first but had drawn them slightly at an angle – perhaps this was the way I had been stood? – but this had had an impact on the rest of the piece, so the rest was all slightly crooked. Whilst there wasn’t one single vanishing point, I was pleased to see they all fell rather in the same area and where I think my eye level was roughly.

For the second part of the exercise, I decided to create another version of the same piece, but with using a ruler this time and remembering where I had gone wrong with my first freehand attempt. This time, I chose a specific view point (marked with a dot on the piece, just below the centre cupboard) and drew the cupboards from that. At first, I had a bit of an issue with ensuring the cupboard doors fell correctly, but then realised what my set square was actually for! Once I had figured this out, I realised that these things should all be at 90 degrees from the bottom of the page.

Once I had completed these pieces, I decided to create a comparison list to point out the similarities and differences between them when seen side by side:

  • I was much heavier-handed in the freehand piece than in the controlled one.
  • In the freehand piece, my angles are tilted too much to the left as opposed to being drawn straight on.
  • Due to the time needed to create the controlled piece, I found I took much more notice of finer details than I did in the quick freehand sketch.
  • There is much more accuracy within the second piece, perhaps also as a result of the time and effort applied.
  • The top cupboards within the freehand piece have been drawn on a much smaller scale than those in the second piece, showing a lack of accuracy within my freehand skills.
  • Overall, the angles within my freehand piece are generally slightly off, whereas those in the second piece appear to be much more accurate, if not perfect.

Exercise Two: Angular Perspective

For this exercise, I decided to initially take and build the structures of my piece from a photograph of my porch due to the request to draw a building side-on. I wanted to practice creating a similar result to my controlled piece in the previous exercise as I think I have found a brilliant way to assist me with my accuracy issues.

Firstly, I drew a grid on the photograph and then inserted all of the vanishing points. Once I had plotted the basics, starting with the straight line of the corner and ensuring others were accurate too (i.e. the door frame and porch), I then began to draw in the detail, using the grid lines and perspectives to assist me.

Having used a 2H pencil to draw in the structure, I then took my piece outside and completed the finer details and tone in real life. I figured that whilst the structures would never change, the colours and shadows would, even though I was only creating this piece as a line drawing. I added only a little tone to help differentiate between numerous lines all clustered together.

I was rather pleased with this result as I think I may have found my way with using grids and vanishing points to assist my work. Whilst I won’t be able to use these for every piece I make, I will use them as and when I am able and it suits. For instance, I am aware I won’t be able to use them when working with the figure or during such things as sketchbook walks etc as these pieces will require my immediate and quick attention. In fact, I believe these situations would actually work in reverse; I would have to work quickly and potentially only use photographs to assist should the weather change or the sun move its location or the model need to change their pose.

I think I definitely need to work on my observational skills to improve in this area, but I think I have come such a long way in a very short space of time as I can ‘see’ the issues I have fallen victim to in the past much clearer now and know how best to attempt to rectify them.

Exercise Three: Aerial or Atmospheric Perspective

For this exercise, I firstly carried out four experiments in my sketchbook of a set of hills I came across locally. I created atmospheric studies of these hills in charcoal, oil pastel, ink and soft pastels.

I really liked the outcome of all four pieces as I feel they all offer something different. The charcoal allows for greater shadowing and tonal changes I feel, whereas the oil pastel allows for greater vibrancy of the colours. The ink works best for showing the lightening of colours and hues.

For the final piece for this Project, I decided to once again draw a grid, but tried to work freehand with the grid as opposed to from a picture – ripping the plaster off, so to speak!

I went to a local park and chose this spot as I could visualise the bridge disappearing in the distance. I tried to imagine the grid lines and vanishing points in the distance and to see the parallel lines in my chosen setting.

I built the piece up with a set of white, grey and black soft pastels, working from the back, forwards. Whilst I created this piece in the summertime, from my earlier exercises with trees, I found I much prefer working with the ‘skeleton’ of the tree, as opposed to dealing with the excess of foliage. Instead, I tried to represent foliage through blended areas with a touch of dabbing in places to create the texture of the leaves, mud and moss throughout the three grounds, having minimal in the background.

I was rather pleased with the end result of this piece and the atmosphere created within it. I tried to really draw upon Atkinson-Grimshaw‘s works to create this piece and think I have been somewhat successful in doing so. Whilst it holds none of the precision of Atkinson-Grimshaw’s pieces, I think I have been rather successful in creating the depth within the piece, with the bridge leading the viewer’s eye backwards towards the background of the piece. I think I have been rather successful with the perspective of the bridge considering it was practically freehand! A vast improvement I think (I hope!). Once again though, I think by adding in the outline of the bridge, I have made it look somewhat like a cartoon. I just cannot seem to break away from needing that outline! Maybe that is just my style? I’m not too sure!

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