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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Easy Perspective

That's an oxymoron. If you know it, it's easy, but if you don't, there isn't anything that's much harder for an aspiring artist to understand. It all seems very logical, but the brain keeps on seeing what it expects to see instead of what is really happening, so the hand draws buildings without converging lines and sometimes makes distant figures almost as tall as foreground ones. You've probably guessed that I taught perspective in my beginning watercolor class today. It's hard, but if they want to draw buildings--and most of them do--they'll have to learn it eventually. A couple caught on pretty quickly. A couple more seemed to understand the principles and were beginning to see it in their drawings. When I taught myself perspective thirty years ago (because no one would teach it to me), it took almost two years before I had the big Ah-Ha! Maybe I'm just slow. But I do know that if you keep at it, you can master it. Just don't expect it to be easy. My favorite book on artist's perspective is Perspective Drawing Handbook. by Joseph d'Amelio. It's currently out of print, but there are a few copies available online. It doesn't get as technical as so many books do. This book helped me to get the Eureka Moment and I finally could see and draw perspective reasonably well. My motto, however, is "It doesn't have to be correct; it just has to look convincing."

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3 Comments:

Blogger Michelle Himes said...

I'm one of the "perspectively challenged". I've used books. I've had teachers explain it to me. I've done the online drawing class on WetCanvas. I understand the concept (sort of) but I still can't apply it with any degree of success. Maybe that's why I like painting flowers.

Michelle

9:45 PM  
Blogger Nita said...

Or maybe you like flowers better than buildings. I do, too, but it's comforting to know I can draw a building correctly if I want to.

9:30 AM  
Blogger the youthful boy below said...

As a photographer recently venturing into drawing, what I find the most difficulty with is creating a depth to the image. I can draw with proper perspective, but after inking my drawings, I find that the images seem flat. I guess that with my photography background, it was simple to create a depth of field using soft focus, but I can't find an effectice way to do this. What would you recommend?

6:14 PM  

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