Early Theory of Perspective

Illustration Friday

Early Theory of Perspective

  1. The world is flat and ends at the horizon.
  2. As you get closer to the horizon you get smaller and smaller until….
  3. You fall off the edge and disappear…
  4. And that’s why it’s called the “vanishing point.”

This week’s Illustration Friday challenge is the word “Theory.” Since I’ve been re-learning perspective and reading about the progression of artists’ attempts to create the illusion of depth and space, I thought I’d propose my own history of what the earliest thoughts about perspective might have been.

My continuing exploration of perspective has led to me making a fool of myself as I walk around, closing one eye and putting my hands up to match the angles on buildings and trees as I look for vanishing points and check how angles and lines relate to one another.

I tried to demonstrate to some co-workers as we went out foraging for lunch how the horizon is relative to the individual viewing it, not a fixed location. Nobody was going for it though, either trying to prove me wrong or having more important things to think about, like whether they were in the mood for soup or salad.

Here’s what my favorite book (so far) on perspective says about the horizon:

Eye level rises and falls with the level of your eye, wheher you are down near the floor, sitting, standing, in a tall building, or in an airplane. The eye-level plane extends an infinite distance in all directions and at a remote distance coincides with the horizon, which the eye level is often called.

I can’t really explain why this concept so intrigues me, but I just can’t get over it. I loved the way Brittney Gilbert, writer of CBS5.com’s blog “Eye on Blogs,” titled her link to my recent post: “The Horizon is You-Dependent.”

It just makes me wonder what other facts of life that I’ve taken for granted are only perceptual, not actual. Is reality completely subjective?

Illustration Friday: Soar – Flying with Whales

Flying with Whales

Ink and watercolor in 5.5″ square dream sketchbook (Larger)

I love my flying dreams. In this one I was flying over the ocean and saw some whales frolicking below. I flew down and was playing with them when one bit my arm hard. I knew he meant no harm though, so once he let my arm go, I stayed and played with them some more.

The next dream wasn’t as much fun. I went into San Francisco to visit my boss (unbeknownst to her), planning to phone when I got there. But my cell phone had no reception and then I dropped it and it fell apart right over a sewer grate. I finally retrieved all the pieces and then a block away, drop it again over another sewer grate.

Then I realize I’ve forgotten my shoes and am barefoot and it’s dark and cold and I’m in a bad neighborhood. But I remember I love to run barefoot in the dark (huh?!!!) . So I run up and down the hills of San Francisco, trying to find my way to downtown Hollywood where I can catch a bus home. It goes on and on, but the rest of the story is likely to amuse only me so I’ll stop there.

I woke up with the idea that I needed to replace my cellphone and then wasted the morning researching the latest phones until I remembered that my phone hadn’t really fallen and broken and does still get reception and that I had no excuse for considering buying an iPhone, no matter how cute they are.

Wedding: Illustration Friday

Matt & Margot

Watercolor, 22″ x 15″
Illustration Friday’s topic this week is Wedding. Usually when I participate in IF I create something new. I love the creative process of coming up with a concept for an illustration that is fresh, unique, and not the first thing anyone would think of (e.g. Paris = Eiffel Tower = trite). The second fun part is imagining and visualizing the image and then bringing it to life with pen and paint.

But this week I couldn’t resist posting this wedding portrait I did a couple years ago for my friends Matt and Margot, especially since this month is their anniversary and they’re expecting their first child in less than a month. Congratulations M&M!

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