For this exercise in simple perspective I wanted to take a bit of a step outside my comfort zone and based on the sketch studies I had prepared for Exercise 14 decided to literally ‘step outside’ of my studio and look back/peek into the interior through the open door. I took a position on the steps leading down the studio and made a sketch of what I saw:
I then decided to use one of the neutral grey sheets that I had already prepared for this part of the course and drew out the scene again using a white pastel pencil:
From here I set out to lightly paint in the main outlines of important shapes using a muted orange toned down with grey. I then drew in the linear perspective lines. I didn’t plan it this way, but what transpired is that I believe there are two points of perspective in the composition:
View Point 1 – centred on the pot-belly stove in the corner on the horizon line (eye level).
View Point 2 – out of picture frame on the right above the horizon line.
This is the result I think of the angle I took on the steps outside the studio for the initial sketch – looking down slightly into the interior through the open door.
Following this, I mapped out what I saw as the positive and negative shapes within the composition, with the main subjects (positive shapes) being:
The pot-belly stove (view point 1)
The oil-fired radiator
The blinds on the right (hanging from the back of the open door)
The front corner of the carpet just inside the open door (welcoming you in)
The green container to the left of the picture (exterior reference)
Next, I used another pre-prepared neutral grey ground sheet of 130gsm A4 paper to paint the outlines of the important shapes:
I managed to get the pot-belly stove pipes a bit too squint here – I think my eye was drawn off track by the angle of the door-jam – so I’ll need to fix this in the final painting:
Finally, I used muted washes to paint in the positive and negative shapes I saw.
As the brief was to try and use muted colours or to paint within a limited palette I chose the following approach:
Royal & Langnickel sizes 2 & 12 Filberts
SAA size 4 Round
Daler-Rowney Georgian size 4 Fan
Warm – Red (Naphtolene Carmine) and Green (Hooker’s Green)
Cool – Blue (Dark Ultramarine) and Yellow/Orange (Cadmium Yellow Medium)
Payne’s Grey and White Titanium
I feel I have learnt a fair amount in this exercise, both in terms of getting to grips better with perspective and in using muted colours. Perhaps some of the shadows, particularly at the left-hand rear corner, could have been darker, but I wanted to keep the centre of attention on the pot-belly stove (view point 1).
Having looked at the finished painting again, I now realise that I let the alignment of the back wall slip quite a bit off the horizontal – don’t know why and it just shows me that without constant concentration the eye can be easily deceived that all is well! The only thing I can say in this mistake’s favour is that it adds a certain ‘twist of the unexpected’ – either that or the right hand corner of my studio has just collapsed!
I thought about taking more time on this exercise to sort this mistake out – repainting over that area of the study. However, time is against me and to be honest I am happy to admit to taking my eye of the ball – it’s a good lesson learnt. The mistake I made, I know now, is that I didn’t refer back often enough to the previous sketches I had made while getting into the final study – if I had I would have seen this fairly glaring deviation from the actual.
I think the planning I did for this finished study has paid off overall. The final execution can often always be better, but given my reticence in putting brush to paper on this one I am pretty pleased with the final result. I just need to make sure that I keep an eye on my eye.
Exercise 15- Simple perspective in interior studies ← click the link to download a .pdf version of this page
Stuart Brownlee – 512319
20th February, 2014