Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lesson #14 Linear Perspective continued, and Sketching Without the Grid

Remember our circles? They might be different sizes or…they might just be all the same size. The small ones actually might be the same size but they look smaller because they are farther away!

Look at this painting called Gulf Streams by Richard Yaco. Which do you think is closer to you, the boy swimming, or the ship?

The boy is closer. How do you know? By the size of the boy’s head (larger) and by the size of the ship (smaller). Do you think if the boy swims away toward the ship, his head will get smaller? Yes, it would. What if we painted him but didn’t make him smaller…and put him on the ship? I think he would sink the ship!!!

How do we know the boy is between us and the ship and not under the ship? Because he is bigger, and…because the top of his head is overlapping the bottom of the ship just a little bit!

This is called perspective. Isn’t this fun? You’re learning how to see!

Here are some overlapping exercises for you to practice on (review my lesson on overlapping). Just click and drag to your desktop and print on your printer if you have one.

Here are five paintings for you to look at. They are each good examples of using linear perspective. I will begin to show you how this is achieved next week.

Now, is anyone tired of the grid method? The grid is a great tool but you do want to learn to just draw without the grid, don’t you? I want you to begin carrying some paper and a pen or pencil with you everywhere you go – and draw the things in front of you wherever you are! These are sketches I did this week.

I was waiting in the car and drew my shoe perched on the center console, and the steering wheel in front of me. I drew a mug on a napkin at a restaurant, and a bowl of cookies and a blown-glass candle holder on a coffee table. Notice also that I have used the technique of cross-hatching (See one of my previous posts about cross-hatching).

At first your drawings won’t look very good (or maybe they will!) but the more you practice the better you will get! I use recycled printer paper on top of a magazine or book, or on a clipboard. Or you can get a nice sketch book from an art supply store. You will be amazed at your improvement over a few short weeks!

Some good places to sketch are at the mall, in front of school while waiting to pick up your kids, a park, while watching TV with your feet on top of the coffee table, or a ball game. You can sketch the back of someone’s head at a concert, church, or PTA meeting (for some reason I can retain information better during a lecture if I am sketching).

It’s much easier to start with objects that don’t move and progress to moving things as you get quicker and more confident! Just have fun and ask your family and friends to guess who or what you’ve drawn!

Okay! We’re going to start some of this stuff next week - Linear perspective!

The grouping of five paintings above are: Eventide, by Frederick Phillips; The New 20th Century Limited, by Leslie Ragan; Lavendar Fields, by Barbary McCann; Universal Playground, by Lanthier; and Rolling River, by Frank Licsko.


Marian Heart said...

Wow. Thank you. Thank you for writing these posts, for being so passionate about art, and for authoring this blog.
I'm a beginner (self taught) artist, and the posts you put up are SO helpful. This particular post caught my eye when I saw the words "grid method". I, for some reason, have never been able to draw well with the grid method. I realize that sometimes one has to use a grid (to scale up or down), but I've always found the whole thing more of a hindrance than a help.
Please, never stop posting. Your watercolor tutorials are so inspirational (my favorite medium besides pencil is pen and watercolor), and your drawing exercises and tutorials are so clear. I look forward to reading every one of them.

Mara Mattia said...

Thank you so much, Marian! Your comments encourage me. I took a look at your blog - your photography is beautiful! All the nature shots...and the food! I could feel the frosty snow, hear the stillness and the breezes, and my mouth is watering at the shot of your crepes!

Marian Heart said...

Aw, thank you so much! Haha, those crepes didn't taste too lovely after a 1/2 hour of trying to shoot them in correct light on a table that reached to my knee. x_x
I like photography a lot, but it is never as satisfying as drawing or painting. I don't know why, I'm happy about that (the fact that drawing is more satisfying than photography, I mean). No idea if that makes sense, but there it is.

Mara Mattia said...

ha ha - I know what you mean!