Perspective in Landscape Drawing – Tempe Basin

July 21, 2013

tempe basin nsw 2044

What with the ongoing Big Wet of mid-Winter (12″ of rain over nine days and nine nights) where I am, opportunities to get outdoors and sketch are few and far between these days.

Here’s a 5×8″ sketch: Cooks River Bridge at far left, Tempe Basin (left) and protruding reclaimed land, Tempe Reserve (right), around 2pm for 60mins as the shadows of sunset started settling in.

I didn’t use a straight stick to measure the relative size/proportions of the boat to the headland; the boats appear to be closer than they should be. I’m very unused to drawing river water reflections and I’m trying not to be fazed by how often they change.  Recent work sketching trees is yielding results.

Below is my tissue-paper overlay of an Albertian veil. I’ve lowered the horizon/eye level line as a nod to the Dutch and Flemish maritime landscape tradition. Obviously too two buoys indicating water depth were critical compositional elements, especially given one is in light and the other in shade:

tempe basin full page with overlay

What’s next? Knock back the frame to a light or mid-tone. Definitely knock back those ‘darks’ in the background. Some more accurate measurement of the boats is in order because they are simply not that distant. Some hyperfocus sketching of the foreground trees is also in order.

Compositionally, I’m intrigued by one half of the painting being strongly forward and the other strongly ‘back’, but I can’t recall any precedents in the work of others. For example, see below a photo I took in Bangkok


And lastly, I’ve mis-measured the sketch – using a 4×5″ Albertian veil requires a 6×7.5″ sketch, not 5×8″.

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