Part 3 Project4 Exercise 3 Aerial or atmospheric perspective


It was really windy yesterday, so windy, we gave up righting the recycling bin and left it down with the lid pinned in place. However, it being a Saturday, I had to get the kids out the house so I promised them edible tat if they would let me achieve the sketchwork required to get this exercise done.

The multi storey car park on Crane street offers a view from the top deck of the city stretching out to the hills that wrap round the back of Harnam, down to Wilton. this encompasses the city centre which due to planning laws has remained below a certain height (like Paris) to feature its major historical building, for us, the cathedral. This imeans, that when driving into the city, the cathedral is the welcoming site that greets you before entering the city and as a local, says home to me very strongly.

The wind up on the carpark was interesting and biting and as I had to be at the edge of the building overlooking the side for the view I wanted, I couldn’t draw from inside the car.So I’ll admit that the lines went down quickly, I took photos to document what I needed to complete the image and we drove home. I prefer not to have the cathedral centred in the picture, partially because of the weight in tone bottom left, but it means that I’ve drawn it different to how it is. Which is annoying because the eye gets drawn straight up the right and in actuallity its more of an easy S shape. So I’m going to stop writing and go do it again from photos. We had frost this morning and I value my fingers staying attached.


Mk II This isn’t as spontaneous and it loses something because of it, however, the fading is better, I had more time to think through the pen choice for major lines and the buildings are correct and I like the way the gap isn’t on the same line as the cathedral. I was happy with the fading in the first, although acknowledge the fading in the mid section needed beefing up. I might revisit this and big up the blue sky a bit more too…

Part 3 Project 4 Ex 2 Angular perspective


This Thursday evening, Salisbury had its annual Christmas Lights turn on. So the kids and I went into the centre amid the thousands of other locals and visitors alike to watch. After, having removed ourselves from the slow moving scrum that is the narrow exits from the market square onto Butchers Walk and greeting friends also about for the event, we meandered into Neros for a drink. I like Neros, partially for the coffee, and partially because the 2 glass sides of the listed building afford the insides with a lot of light and a great view of the town going about its business. In fact, if you get the table at the end, the view leads down through the pedestrianised bit and on through the cathedral gate. Also from this table, you get a view of the Barclays building in all its banking old school splendar. Built on the corner of Bridge Street and High Street it fit the bill for this exercise quite nicely.

With the lights on outside and the dark settled I wondered how to draw it. My handbag sketchbook is a bit small for exercises so I bought a newspaper with the drinks and worked on a page of that. I think my sketch shows two point perspective well, I’ve made errors and the lines don’t meet up perfectly and there is an odd curve to the other shops next to it which I’ve also shown. We were sitting low in bucket chairs which means my eye line is below halfway up the door to the building, this is visible in the meeting points to the lines either side

After we got home, I glued it into my sketchbook and drew in the perspective lines and added the watercolour wash. I’m using a set of 12 Rembrandts at the moment and whilst the paints work nicely, for a large wash, I’d much prefer to move onto whole pans (which I’m hopeful I can achieve after payday) So the picture isn’t as ‘night’ as I’d like, but I am happier with the picture with the suggestion of colour I have achieved. If I wanted to work into this image further, I would complete more of the streets out beyond the newspaper with a fineliner, sort of proving the focus is in the middle of the paper and the rest is peripheral, but still there to finish it off as a work of art.

Part 3 Project 4 Ex 1 Parallel perspective an interior view

Knowing my workspace as I do, I am aware of the distances I didn’t get right in this sketch. I can see where its out of kilter. I generally can, but I’m not trying to achieve photo realism.

The issues I am having with this exercise is that I realised -quite some number of years ago- that every object has its own angle of lines, and curtesy of human error, they will never all line up at the same point. I made errors on where the lines went, (its recognisably  the place its meant to be, its longer in the corridor and I admit, I ended up having quite a few conversations whilst drawing at the end of the day) but you also have to account for the builder not matching up to the architect 100% and then they themselves having an off day. I’m fairly sure it would be a better sketch if I had used a ruler, or had measured more accurately, I’m also fairly sure I could have covered up the mistakes if I had added tone into the line sketch, but this is bare-bones draftsmanship trying to achieve something specific. I’m going to have another look at it tomorrow, because even though I dragged a rug from another door to this one, I didn’t feel my original lines where that far out., the doors weren’tallelIMG_7934.


This is another exercise that I’m not sure of the value of, single point perspective doesn’t take into account that on the top of a hill, the line of sight is only straight ahead till the drop gets you.

Part 3 Project 3 Ex 2, Foreground, Middles ground, background

I will admit, I have skipped over this exercise and not really given it the full attention it deserves, I live in a beautiful area and its been putting on a stunning visual dispaly this year as we head into winter, however I have been more struck by my view of the city and the buildings than the rolling fields about it, so this particualr picture is in the sketchbook as an expansion of one of the 360º sketches, mostly because it fits classic landscape proportions over it being a stunning visual scene.IMG_7724IMG_7880

The alterations I have done from the original landscape are to increase the greenery to the left so the curtain running into the foreground is more obvious, and adding a second row of hills to the distance. This is done in letraset permanent markers which struck me as a fun medium to create a classicly proportioned landscape in, kind of a juxtaposition between the old style and the new way of rendering it.

I am happy with the way the path leads the eye into the composition, which is kind of why I picked that area to start with for my quick sketches, and acknowledge that the mid section needs a stronger focus, ie a building (there are only bungalows stretching down into the valley and on further development, a structure could be put in behind the tree) However, I would say that it works., The foreground is at the strongest, the distance is in colder, fainter colours to help the eye denote distance and the mid ground is bright and strong. However, I have put greater detail into the mid section and the foreground is almost a silhouette.

Research point: Compare contemporary artists approach to landscape, to that of earlier artists.

We are asked to compare the work of contemporary artists with that of earlier artists. with a potential example of Tacita Dean with her chalk on blackboard images and George Seurat’s Landscape with houses.

The first thing to note between the images is scale, Seurats less than 10″X less than 13″ charcoal on white doesn’t really compare for impact with Tacita’s 3 metre long blackboard work. They both display a subtlety with their chosen mediums which to me gives either a respect for the area they are portraying, or a like of it in some form, but they approach their subject from opposite ends of light. There does not appear to be a specific method to the inclusion of the elements of the drawings, and as much as they have both done a landscape, Tacitas does not have the link to people that the houses in Seurats can offer. Seurats picture of houses could have been created at any point in history.

I’ve also been looking at the landscapes of Turner and John Singer Sargent. I was lucky enough to fit in a brief visit to the National Gallery on my way back to Waterloo station and was taken with the smallest of the Turners they have there, a seascape which is simple and from a step removed, almost photograghic in quality. I was struck when I visited the Ashmolean earlier this year, by another small painting this time by John Singer Sargent, of a stone flight of stairs, to be specific, the bannister.

Like the work we are advised to research, these could be about anytime, they are ageless. Maybe thats what draws me to them, that and their use of light. They are warm pieces, if the artist started out the initial idea for them in anger (and I don’t think they did), they calmed down to create things I think they became absorbed by. Art should do that to an artist.

The art of Benjamin Hope has this quality for me in a wholly modern setting. The cars and people give the era away, but the warmth of the light is there. the scene can be not grand at all, but you are drawn into a potential story that isn’t ruled by a golden mean but is honest. However, its more urbane than natural.

Rex Preston‘s landscapes (and that of his son Mark) speak to me as large places rendered small but still with impact. They use colour and light in an imperfect way to capture the elements of the landscape,  and use the white in a significantly less fluffy way than Constable. Their framing of scenes does not appear to conform to the old rules, instead the foregrounds are either sitting directly on top of the background stretching away, or they blend down in one seamless sweep to the back of the picture.