Category Archives: perspective

part three: expanse project four: perspective

exercise three: aerial or atmospheric perspective


charcoal and white chalk on a pinky beige paper, 24 x 32cm

Freezing temperatures and very short days meant taking a photograph of this early morning and working from the photo in the evening.

I got half way through when I realised it was a bit of a cheat for this exercise – just in case I can’t get across the perspective through atmosphere I can clout the viewer over the head with the rows of vines disappearing off in to the distance.

That said I did focus really hard on getting the intense detail of the stone wall and straggly rosemary bushes in contrast to the barely there trees shrouded in a low creeping fog.

what I’ve learned:

  • this coloured paper has a honeycomb pattern to it which has helped with getting some texture in the foreground though I’m not sure its regularity helps with the vast expanse over the wall – the dots don’t change in size. My practice run was on smoother white  paper using a black watercolour wash:


  • even with such an obvious aid to perspective I didn’t quite get the line of vines correct on the right and had to go back in to fix them.


  • letting the colour of the paper come through for the vines has worked well – this whole scene was almost monotone, shades of grey – but the wall has ended up looking a bit as though I have used a black & white filter. The bushes are dark green in reality, maybe that is what causes the confusion – brown vines but black and white rosemary?


  • I’m happier with the left side of the distant vines – the barely there telegraph poles and trees just poking up through the fog.


part three: expanse, project four: perspective

exercise two: angular perspective


While I love a daily whinge about living in France, the Alps are just a few hours drive away so sometimes I need to bite my tongue.

Thankfully the view from the window incorporates the corner of a chalet apartment block so I’ve been able to jump forward to this exercise. img_2256I’m hoping to multi-task and also get ‘groups of trees’ done here too, but since the first day here the mountain and its trees have all but disappeared – why the facing page above is blank – it’s simply gone.






Back home and I’ve had another go at angular perspective. The corner of this building is very close, across a narrow road. It’s very tall, and I am just about at the level of the roof. I had to sit and stand to get more than just the top floor in, which moves my eyeline and is probably why there are some issues with the lower floors!

After an initial sketch I checked my lines of perspective, they weren’t too far off – though the angle of the lower floors was sharper than I had made out.

Things I’ve discovered:

  • that once you start using the lines of perspective it’s hard to know when to stop
  • while the width of the windows narrowed dramatically the further away, the facing wall of the alcove reduced far less.
  • there are rules of curves disappearing into the distance that I need to discover!
  • these lines help ‘fix’ the verticals, but what about the widths of the windows?

The temptation when I start using a ruler to draw in these lines is to take the ruler to every line, but a drawing where all lines are made by ruler becomes very flat and lifeless, so I’ve ended up with a mix of the two – which also a bit odd. I think if I was to tackle something like this again I would mark my start and end points, and then draw all my lines free hand, as a compromise.

I didn’t have a great deal of patience for this exercise and I rushed in to it. An exercise like this obviously needs more planning before jumping in with the ink.



part three: expanse, project four: perspective

*i’m working out of order so i can pick up the interior stuff when it’s too cold to sit about outside…

exercise one: parallel perspective – an interior view


I learnt a lot about perspective the hard way in part two , when I was doing the ‘at home’ work. I remember being delighted to find out that the panels in the doors hit a horizontal line around the middle and then above and below that followed an angle. I now realise that the horizontal line was in fact my eye line – embarrassingly obvious to me now.

I did OK on this – the only angles that were slightly out were on the bottom of the right hand doors. It was a little rushed and I see some of my verticals are wobbly. (After thought – now I look again there is a problem with the second set of doors – one is more closed than the other but this doesn’t come across. Too late now, but I’ll take a second look)

What I learned:

  • once I had officially employed the horizontal eye level, getting all the angles in place was super quick.
  • I had to take the horizontal line way off to the sides of the paper to be able to use it for all my horizontals
  • I didn’t have a rug to hand but put a yoga mat down in the hallway – at more than 6ft long it’s incredible how short it looks here.

(the window at the end looks a bit odd – I had blanked out the furniture in my mind and forgot that the bottom panels are actually wood – it does seem like the floor has met the window, or just dropped off into space.)