Part 4

Project: Perspective

Exercise: Linear perspective

Chipping Campden, Cotswolds. Only paper available is a large pad of flimsy flip chart paper in the pub I’m staying at, oh well, worth having a go at sketching this beautiful street.

My horizon line is just above the head of the person walking down the street – the road slopes slightly downwards. Luckily there’s double yellow lines on the road here so no parked cars, they would be hard to draw! Included the stone work of the buildings closest to me but really focussed on just getting the outlines down on paper.

Brought the sketch home and added some loose watercolour. Certainly not ideal paper for watercolour so having to use less water than usual and keep it light. Keeping palette to Paynes Grey, Burnt Sienna, and Raw and Burnt Umber, and yellow. I used marking fluid for the double yellow lines down the street hoping that I’d be able to get it off without destroying the paper and then paint them yellow. However, definitely not going to come off and since the fluid is yellow and has given quite a good line effect I’m going to keep it.

Have I achieved linear perspective? I think so. Buildings getting smaller into distance, lines of roof ridges, windows etc sloping towards horizon. Footpath on the right helps a lot as it is pointing straight up and away from me getting narrower the further away it is. Horizontal lines of the stonework also help take the eye backward.

As I was using pen to sketch this, there are various lines which are out eg the horizontal lines of the nearest window on the left.

Exercise: Aerial perspective

I used a view remembered from a trip last year where I was at a high vantage point overlooking a landscape of mountains fading away into the distance.

A3 mixed media paper. Decided to have a bit of a play with this piece and started by putting down some texture. Modelling paste in the foreground, torn cardboard for large rocks, tissue paper scrunched for mid ground mountains, nothing for far distance. Dried with hairdryer – I want to get this one finished today.

Used Anilinky (vibrant water colours) for the sky and dabbed with tissue to give clouds. Lighter at horizon.

Also Anilinky for the distant mountains with just a touch of tonal variation to show they have form.

Covered rest of page with Anilinky to mask the whiteness, allowing paint to run and drip as it follows texture. Needs more – used watered down acrylics for a second layer, as they have more body, to run over the textures again. Better now.

Foreground has to have more detail in order the show perspective. Allowed drips to run down from the bottom edge to give grasses/vegetation – yellows and browns. Once dry, I also splattered dots of paint in foreground.

At this point I almost decided it was finished enough but then came back to it:

Now it’s finished. I used soft pastel to highlight the textures of the midground and blended colour into the central valley (hard to tell on this photo). I also used pastel to soften the most distant mountains as if covered by a light layer of cloud.

I seems to me that the main devices for creating aerial perspective in this piece are the loss of focus into the distance (ie less and less detail) and also the loss of colour saturation into the distance (ie colours becoming muted and faded). I tried using more warm colours in the foreground, and cold in the distance but I’m not convinced this worked for me. My colour choices could certainly have been better – the pink in the mid ground would have been better being more red/orange as the foreground rather than added yet another colour to confuse the eye.

I enjoyed playing with the textures. I need to collect lots more scraps to use for this though as I was quite limited (eg textured wall paper and packaging). More playing around with allowing the paint to run is needed – I must stop constantly changing the direction of run and allow it time to do its thing! Fun experimenting though.

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