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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lesson on Perspective June 9, 2010

What a great day to be at the Mission in Santa Barbara.

Today's demonstration dealt with drawing in perspective; both one and two point.

After toning the canvas, the drawing begins. I started with seeing the parameters of the format (in this case, 22x28). I began by drawing the contour lines of the fountain, then moved to a perimeter outline of the cupolas of the church to make sure my relationships would allow them to fit on the page. (often times the top of the cupolas don't quite make it on the canvas).

Next comes all the lines in contour moving to two vanishing points on the horizon line. While I am drawing these in I am relating the shapes and angles and negative spaces to my original lines of the fountain.

I use my brush as a tool, to measure the angles, and distances of each line and/or intersection of shapes/points, etc. to all other angles, lines, shapes and points. Every mark has relevance.

Drawing this mission is itself a master class. A trained eye can tell which lines may or may not be off in relationship. It is unforgiving, which is why I choose to depict it as a subject. However I notice many of my students fall away from this particular class cause it is a monster to take on.

From this toned drawing, I will work in a limited palette and produce a mellow, antique feeling to the painting.

I won't be afraid to ruin it, so chances of survival are pretty high.


  1. Very interesting and challenging subject. This was very helpful. Thank you

  2. You're welcome. Next time I will have someone film it and it will look good in time lapse video.

  3. I will volunteer to do that, Thomas, if you wish. I watched you execute this painting from beginning to end (except for the drawing) and still chose to paint another view of the mission because the front view is so daunting. I learned a great deal (mostly of what not to do) that day and I am already applying a frontal view drawing to canvas and prepared to jump in and do it this time.

    Your instruction and expertise are so valued and inspiring and your students hold you in very high esteem.

    Thank you and Best Wishes,

  4. Thanks. I will let you know when a recording of a demo will be desired.