Aim of the exercise: To draw a view through a doorway, drawing in line (or tone if wished) checking the angles of all receding lines against the horizontal and vertical lines of the doorframe. We were not to use a ruler or rubber. When the drawing was complete we were to draw a horizontal line across the drawing to mark eye level and then check that all parallel lines recede to the same vanishing point, drawing in the perspective lines so as to construct a perspective drawing on top of the drawing made from observation. Then to spend time checking what can actually see and comparing it first with the initial drawing and then with the superimposed perspective drawing.
What I experienced:
Completed 05/08/13. On the 3rd August I chose to use line and also my A3 sketchbook as I felt it would be more of a challenge if I tried to draw larger, as this does not come naturally to me. This turned out to be something of a mistake as it transpired that I can’t draw a straight line for tuppence and this was magnified by drawing larger. Because of the design and size of the house I only really had one view through a doorway to choose from and that was into the hall (which is a very small hall).
I drew in pencil first and then as some of that had become a little muddled by the end of the drawing I went over the top in pen so that I could see the lines clearer. Though this was only a line drawing it took me a long time to complete. I found that I was concentrating so hard on trying to observe and draw accurately that I didn’t even think about varying line strength and drew very tightly indeed. I drew only by eye, as I wasn’t sure if the ban on rulers included holding a pencil outstretched, which is how I would normally check an angle if I wasn’t sure after checking against visible markers. Despite observing as carefully as I could, once I drew in my eye level and drew in the lines to this, it became clear that most of my angles were not correctly drawn. Some were out more than others.
A couple of days later I had another attempt, this time using pencil to do a drawing in tone, still using the A3 sketchbook, and sitting a little further back. For this drawing I drew with an awareness of where my eye level and vanishing point were, but still drew by eye in relation to this, not using a ruler or outstretched pencil. Upon completion I drew in my eye level and extended all receding lines to it as before. Overall the drawing was a little more accurate but some lines were quite a long way out, particularly some of the lines on the bookcase, (which I must admit that I had moved for the first drawing as I did not feel confident enough to include it) and one of the books on the second bookcase. I also still found it very difficult to draw in a straight line and there is still somewhat of a lean to the right.
Things that I feel went well: I am pleased that I attempted the second drawing. I had found it difficult during the first drawing as I became increasingly frustrated at my inability to draw in a straight line, So it seemed the best thing to do was to try again and I am pleased that I attempted it and pleased that I added in the challenge of drawing in tone. Overall, there are some lines that are more accurate in the second drawing so perhaps it is a step in the right direction. I think that tonally the second drawing is reasonably successful.
Things that I feel did not go well: For the first drawing I allowed my internal critic to go into overdrive and I as a consequence I lost any enjoyment with the drawing and it was a struggle to complete it. I also realised that the whole drawing tilted to the right. It seemed that the more I tried to correct the line to straight, the more I managed to still draw it crooked. My confidence took quite a knock as not only was I finding it extremely hard to draw in a straight line, I was finding it hard to see the angles. I consistently found it hard to see the angles accurately and even in the second drawing, where I had an awareness of where the vanishing point was, I still found it difficult and got a fair number of them wrong.
What I would like to do now following this exercise: Perspective is definitely not my strong point but remembering to use every visual clue to help draw accurately will help. As I go into the next exercise I would like to work on keeping my internal critic more in check. I need to try and draw a lot more things in my sketchbooks that will help me to practice perspective. It is something that I have always been afraid of so it is time to hopefully conquer that a bit in the next few exercises. I would like to look at how various artists have utilised perspective in their drawings.