Perspective in Landscape Drawing – Cooks River Bridge (east)

July 19, 2013

cooks river bridge

Today’s 60-min thumbnail of a local bridge: a 5×7.5″ sketch on a 8×10″ page. I was measuring okay around the centre point, but the further I worked out towards the frames, the more awry the measuring got. This is most pronounced in the indecisive position of the light pole at far left. One thing I didn’t do today before adding tone was checking angles and horizontals/verticals with my straight measuring stick. Next time I draw this scene on location, I’ll definitely do a contour-line only schematic and leave off any tone.

Strengths: working within a border (stops me roaming around the double-spread and stops me working from the centre outwards – stops me doing loads of sloppy things);

setting the horizon and/or eye-line level a little above or below the half-way point (well, you wouldn’t want to the main horizontal to be dead-centre);

pencil treatment over the entire page – sky, land and water ( none of the laziness inherent in leaving the sky blank);

clearer understanding of the differences between sketching outdoors and drawing indoors (basically, this entails a re-evaluation in perception, a complete overhaul of those crucial first few minutes of sketching);

‘loading up’ outdoor sketching with more and more aids (border, Albertian veil, cone of vision, measuring stick, etc.) and concepts from formal drawing.

Weaknesses: confusion continues over what elements are in front of or behind others (especially the buildings and foreshore at right);

perspectival accuracy in the areas under the bridge.

Opportunities for this drawing: work on linear perspective of bridge; some additional hyperfocus sketches of the individual trees and boats; reconcile depiction of distance with a plan view.

Opportunities for future landscape drawings like this in general; (1) do more contour drawing with a focus on accuracy of proportion and measurement; (2) simplify the light/mid/dark masses (even if that means ignoring local color); (3) more closely measure off the centers of objects using the horizontal/vertical Albertian veil lines, (4) use the measuring level-stick at the end of the sketch; in general outdoors; (5) keep ‘knocking back’ the elements in the mid- and background; (6) persist with drawing water and reflections.

Threats: persist with newly-learned aspects of perspective when sketching outdoors (yes, holding up and measuring using the Albertian veil and other aids is hard-going); rushing to tone before measuring everything properly.

Here is (more or less) what I wanted to capture on paper. Note that this is a longer rectangle than my sketch (and the relationship of large forms more harmonious).


Here is the fuller view of what I could see:



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