Perspective: It’s really NOT that hard!

August 30, 2013
Master your understanding of perspective this fall with "One, Two, Three...Perspective!" at VACNJ

Master your understanding of perspective this fall with “One, Two, Three…Perspective!” at VACNJ

Mastering perspective puts an artist at an advantage, regardless of what subject matter you choose to paint. A command of one, two, and three-point perspective guarantees that you are in control of your drawings and paintings. An understanding of atmospheric perspective allows you to create paintings with depth and a true sense of space. Understanding how color can enhance perspective is necessary in order to make forms recede and come forward. Without a good background in perspective, paintings often look amateurish and tentative.

I am offering a course at the Visual Arts Center of NJ in Summit called “One, Two, Three…Perspective!” It’s a great way to build an understanding of perspective from a painter’s point of view. In the class, we don’t use tools like t-squares or rulers to make rigid lines, the focus is on understanding the gesture involved in creating accurate, dynamic drawings of landscapes, architecture, small objects in the still life and the figure. Each week, we solve a different problem using perspective. The course is well suited to all levels, and is offered from 9:30 to noon for 10 weeks on Thursday mornings. For those of you who are on a waiting list for my watercolor class, why not consider taking this course first? It’s a great way to build the drawing skills you need to work confidently with watercolor. Then, you can register for my watercolor class in the winter and start out with the drawing skills that are needed to work effectively with watercolor.

To register, call the Visual Arts Center at 908-273-9121 or to view my entire course offering, click here.


Drawing Matters

August 11, 2013

Chrysler Building, 16×20 in., acrylic on canvas

No matter what style or medium you choose to paint with, a good painting starts out with a good solid drawing. Too many artists don’t put the time into understanding form, value, proportion, and perspective. The result is a painting that looks amateurish, flat, and out of control. While it is certainly ok to distort all of the above concepts to create a stylized look, you have to understand them first and know how to implement them correctly before using them as compositional and or expressive devices. In other words, if you can’t draw properly, the end result of your time and effort is left to chance.

I teach a course that helps to simplify perspective and other concepts of drawing in a way that painters can relate to. My students don’t use rulers and t-squares to make perfectly straight buildings. Instead, we focus on understanding the gesture of one, two and three point perspective situations and block them in using the side of the charcoal or a wide flat brush. This technique saves most people from getting bogged down in the details and provides a good foundation of landmarks in a busy composition such as the one above.

I am offering the course this fall on Thursdays from 9:30 am to noon at the Visual Arts Center of NJ in Summit. Many of my students have really seen an advance in their confidence after taking the course, some have even taken it twice! I highly recommend signing up if you are at all struggling with getting your paintings to look the way you want them to because of a lack of drawing skills. The material is presented in a manner that is low pressure, non-technical and in language that artists and other visual learners can relate to. To sign up, visit VAC NJ web site or call 908-273-9121. Hope to see you in the fall!