Total Pageviews

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Al Torres Set MAG Straight on Linear Perspective

How many times have we impatiently painted a scene without properly sketching it out and when completed we are totally bummed because something was out of place. That something is not where it is supposed to be. Could be a perspective problem. Al Torres, with the use of a T-Square, ruler and triangle, showed us how to remedy this irritant and how to boost realism in our art.

At the July MAG meeting, he started his demo with a video on the history of linear perspective. Brunelleschi is credited for its discovery, or re-discovery, within a cathedral doorway in Florence. Using a horizon line with a vanishing point he looked out from that doorway and recreated the Florence Baptistery using diagonal lines extending from the VP. What was most fascinating was how he tested the accuracy of his drawing. What a perfectionist! He put a small hole in the completed drawing at the VP then looked through the hole at the baptistery with the drawing facing the baptistery. In his other hand he held a mirror that he extended out so he could see the drawing by looking through the hole at the mirror. He would look at the mirror image of his drawing and then lower the mirror to look at the actual baptistery, alternating repeatedly. After comparing the two, he was satisfied with the accuracy of his drawing and with the system he created.

Shirley examining the 12-point ellipse

Examples were shown of paintings before and after Brunelleschi's method caught on with other artists. Masaccio was one of the earliest painters to use linear perspective. His works became popular due to the higher realism and others started painting in this way. Paintings started to look more realistic especially with accurate shadowing. In Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” Jesus’ head provided the one point perspective!

Shed, fence and people made with 3 point perspective

After a little history lesson, Al demonstrated how linear perspective is performed in simple drawings. It was evident that he had some training in architectural drawing. He was quick and proficient in creating a shed with door, fence and windows along with… the owners! He also created the dreaded ellipse using 8 and then 12 points. He made it all look so easy. But to know it, you have to practice it… correctly.

Al highly recommended: Perspective for Painters by Howard Etter and Creative Illustration by Andrew Loomis. He is also a fan of Douglas Flynt and follows his blog:

Want to learn more? Nancy Kennedy is arranging a workshop with Al for interested MAG members. It is a 3-hour workshop for just $30. If interested email with Torres Workshop in the subject heading.

Thanks to Al Torres for presenting a technical subject with interest and humor. Many of us are looking forward to the workshop. 

Thanks also to Eric Casaburro for videoing the demos and to Cynthia Powers for photographing the meeting. (Cynthia has watercolor classes at Binders 10-Noon for the next three Saturdays (7/13, 20, and 27). Inquire at Binders.)

No comments:

Post a Comment