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Friday, March 2, 2012

Perspective -- a Demon That Defines Reality and Depth


"Shimmy Shake" 11x14 mixed media

I have an artist friend who is an expert on perspective. She can spot an error in someone’s painting immediately. She has no trouble with her own artwork because perspective comes so naturally to her.

Others of us must work at it, study it, and practice it before it finally “kicks in.”  I am one of those people. Perspective has been a struggle for me. I remember as a child drawing boxes and three dimensional objects in school. I don’t remember discussing how that relates to eye level, center of interest, and perspective.

"Moonshines" 18x14 mixed media


Some things come naturally to an artist, and some things don’t. Learning from one’s own mistakes and practice are great teachers. Helpful critiques from fellow artists may also save you from making any glaring mistakes. Had I found the following videos early on, I might have “caught on” sooner, rather than later.


The lessons are so simple and so easily explained, I wanted to share them with you to save you from learning late as I did. There are many helpful tutorials on YouTube. These are two that make understanding perspective a snap! I hope you enjoy them.

Some of my own paintings are sprinkled throughout this article; examples of the use of this tool. Yes, perspective is a tool that gives a painting depth, life, and reality. Although, I must admit some of my favorite abstract and modern art pushes perspective to the edge and pokes fun of it.

"India Rising -- the Found" 18x24 mixed media


I adore paintings where the buildings are curved and seem to be tipping over. These are the quirky things that can be done once you understand perspective well enough to “bend the rules.”