How Well Do You Perceive Space?

by Jon Saqarra

Turner's Norham Castle

Turner's Norham Castle

Your drawings will be far more accurate if you can perceive the depth well!

Just by drawing alone, spatial relationships may be examined where you will gain a better understanding, and grasp, some basic rules.

There are several ways to enable very accurate drawings to be constructed. An example would be linear perspective. This is suitable for all your representational drawings although it may seem a longish way to gain accuracy.

You will get a better understanding of the ‘sometimes extreme’ complexity and structural of an object or form.

To learn a bit about three-dimensional space, you remember parallel lines converge when viewed obliquely (vanishing point in the distant horizon) the objects become foreshortened…if your drawing an arm for example…then not much more than the hand will be visible. Get in front of your mirror and hold your hand forward to see your hand is quite large as the size of your arm diminishes into the distance. These are the key visual rules.

Take, for another example, aerial perspective--as color and tone are strong in the front and fade into nothing as it goes towards the horizon line.

These do help you see and feel three-dimensional effects in your drawings although it is not necessary to use ALL the rules in representational drawings.

Turner’s Painting (shown here) of Norham Castle is one of his many paintings using aerial perspective giving the impression of distance with the softening of color and tone. This is one of the most effective ways of conveying depth in your landscape paintings.

If you are drawing a “still life” one of the “rules” would be to use negative shapes which I’ve written about recently. Negative shapes are those areas BETWEEN the various objects which you would draw in first. Using this method you should be able to get a very accurate drawing.

Your comments are welcome below here.

Jollyon Hooley

April 2016

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