A Short Ramble About Perspective Experiments (With Art Previews :) )

2017 Artwork perspective ramble article sketch

Whilst making a series of paintings (that are vaguely similar to the “awesome stuff” series that I posted here last year) that will be posted here later this month, I suddenly found that I’d started doing something slightly different with the perspective..

Here’s a reduced-size preview of a painting that I’ll be posting here on the 20th of this month:

The actual painting will be significantly larger.

The actual painting will be significantly larger.

Although I mostly tend to use one-point perspective in many of my paintings, I ended up putting a slightly different twist on it in several of these paintings.

If you don’t know what one-point perspective is, it’s where you draw a large “X” over the page in pencil and – everything closer to the centre of the “X” is smaller than anything closer to the edges of the page. Likewise, the lines of the “X” also serve as guidelines when working out the line angles when drawing 3D objects. It’s one of the most basic types of perspective, and it looks a bit like this:

Here's a very basic diagram that I made in about two minutes in MS Paint, showing flat forward-facing 2D shapes in one-point perspective.

Here’s a very basic diagram that I made in about two minutes in MS Paint, showing flat forward-facing 2D shapes in one-point perspective.

But, when I started making these paintings, I noticed that I was doing something very slightly different with the perspective. For a number of reasons, I was placing the centre of the “X” slightly to the left of the page. What this meant was that everything on the right side of the page was closer to the foreground, and most things on the left side of the page were in the background, kind of like this:

It's disguised slightly by the "metro" sign, but most of the foreground is on the right-hand side of the picture.

It’s disguised slightly by the “metro” sign, but most of the foreground is on the right-hand side of the picture.

The interesting thing about this type of perspective is that, when I was making these paintings, it made the picture feel wider than it actually is. Since I’d planned to cram a lot of detail (and several characters) into these paintings, this suddenly seemed like the simplest way to do it.

I suppose that one advantage of this technique is the fact that it means that a large part of the background (on the left-hand side of the page) is unobstructed by too many foreground details. This also helps to lend the picture a sense of scale that it might not have if I’d used a more traditional one-point perspective.

Here’s another small preview of a painting that uses this technique, although you’ll have to ignore the parrot in the foregound (which I instinctively added because leaving all of that blank space just seemed “unnatural” to me. Which may sound unusual, if anyone has seen any of my more minimalist paintings):

 If you ignore the parrot, you can see that the foreground is only on one side of the painting.

If you ignore the parrot, you can see that the foreground is only on one side of the painting.

This technique probably won’t work with every painting, but it can certainly be interesting to experiment with perspective sometimes.

——————

Sorry for the ridiculously short and rambling article, but I hope that it was useful 🙂

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