Friday, April 19, 2013

Tippette #19 - The Mystery of Perspective...Debunked

Tippette = Snippet of a Tip (in watercolor).  One per day...during April...right here!  Tell a friend!

The Mystery of Perspective...Debunked

Let's face it.  If I start talking about 1, 2 and 3-point perspective (and about vanishing points), your eyes are going to glaze over and I'll lose you!   So I'm not going to do it!

Instead, I'm going to tell you how I SIMPLY approach drawing buildings.  Here we go.  Hopefully with a combination of my "words" and the pictures I'm about to show you, it'll make sense.

This first one (above) is an easy one.  If you're facing a building straight on (and you're standing in the center of the building), all your lines are horizontal and parallel to the bottom of the page, aren't they?  This angle might be the easiest to draw, but it's also probably the most boring painting.

Here you're standing to one side of the middle, so all of the lines are moving to one constant vanishing point.  Do you see how that vanishing point is WAY off the photo itself?  Here's what I do to make sense of it.  I tape my photo down to a bigger piece of paper.  I use a ruler to draw the bottom of the building where it meets the street (and I extend it way to the right).  Then I find a line to place my ruler on, near the top of the photo, and I draw it.  Where the two lines meet is the vanishing point for this scene.  EVERY OTHER line automatically falls somewhere inside of those two.  Pull out your own photos and give it a try!

I added this photo (of the red shutters) to illustrate the fact that, so long as you determine the position of the vanishing point, you can ADD to the photo and it'll feel right (pivot your ruler off of the vanishing point to create those lines)!

In this photo, you can see TWO sides of the building, so you have two vanishing points. 

So, did I confuse you more than I helped? Let me know about your own trials and tribulations with this phenomenon!

Come with Helen K. Beacham and Kelly Medford to paint Venice this October...
click HERE for details!