It's All In Your Perspective

At this moment the wind is HOWLing around my house. It was about 12 degrees out when I got up and this is the day our plumber could install a new water heater; so the back door is wide open and both water and gas are off. If my thoughts are somewhat erratic it is because they are coming out of my brain in frozen chunks and my fingers are slightly blue- not a nice shade.The very idea of learning PERSPECTIVE can make students nervous but every still life set up involves some perspective. Recognizing and understanding basic concepts in front of you can go a long way toward improving your drawing skills - or build confidence when you realize that you have been using PERSPECTIVE with out knowing it.
The dictionary says this on the subject of PERSPECTIVE: "the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point."

In the set up above, our "point of view" is above the scene - we are looking down on it. In PERSPECTIVE terms, we could say that it is below our "horizon line/eye level"- eye level being straight ahead. Because it is below our horizon line/eye level, we see the tops of the books, oranges and even a wee bit of the top of the bottle cap. If this set up was positioned above our eye level/horizon line (and on a glass table top) we would see the bottoms of the objects.
A good way to start a drawing is to first ask yourself: "Is this set up above my eye level/horizon line or below it? From any ONE point of view, you won't see both the top of objects AND the underside.

Thank Heaven, it has started to snow. Now temps will go up a bit. If not, I may contemplate a bon fire in the living room.


Autumn Leaves said...

Coni, I've always thought that you have to learn the basics (which I've not fully grasped yet) in order to develop your skills and talents as an artist. This was a foundational tenet of an art prof that I had. He was always setting up massive still lifes for our class and while they often brought me angst, I now see the value of them. One of these days, I'll have to set one up at home. The student's work you posted below is fabulous, to my mind. I too like his use of colors and his brush strokes. I love when anyone has such a love of art and zest for it that they take classes and grow!

Rick Frisbie said...

Hi Coni, Do you have hot water now? Thanks for the blog. Always interesting, but they don't come often enough. Rick