This vase is driving me totally squint-eyed. I’m sure I used to have perspective nailed but from this evidence, clearly not.


The proportions are out too and the one on the left doesn’t fit onto the page again. Nice colours though.

So how can I tackle this? Take a photo, cut out the silhouette and draw from that to get a feel for it? Put in vanishing points and set the object within those? Go back to some of those exercises in perspective? All of the above? Since I only have one ruler and it never seems to be where I can find it, I’ve ordered a small batch of 12″ and 6″ jobs so I can make sure there’s one of each everywhere I might have the need.

Silhouettes: that first one looks pretty head-on, right? Well, in true click-bait style, you’ll never guess what happened next.

Yes, the left half is more than a half and yet I’d lined it up with the grid in the camera. The cut-out is a relatively faithful trim, give or take some tricky corners, with no inopportune slicing. My cut-out is slightly skewed, but would that account for the difference between the area beyond the parallel of the verticals through the neck/lid?


The other two at least give rise to some resonant lines: the horizontals, the verticals and the vanishing points. I’m not sure what to make of this except to say that I’m astonished at the complexity of this apparently simple object. Tomorrow I’ll try to replicate these using the shapes as they impact my eye and not the shape as it exists in 3D.


20th Jan.


Sometimes you just have to give in and show your hand and your eye what the territory actually looks like so I drew round it. Superimposed are the outlines of the lid (top), the base (middle), and the side elevation (bottom) which is very small. I don’t think it’s quite a circle with the bottom sliced but it’s close and that helps me think about it in space.


This is a duff attempt at a freehand drawing using vanishing points. Sadly, my initial points don’t vanish so there’s no real anchor for aligning subsequent ones. Still, it tells me a bit about why that flat side panel is giving me such difficulty – it disappears. I’ll have a word with Euclid for the next attempt, he’s good at points.

21st Jan.

Not a rip roaring success, probably because I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve beyond lines that meet at a point on the page. I’ve done better than this so I guess I will again.


Back to the drawing board, pun intended. This exercise came from The Artists’ Network,and while I didn’t have a set square or a light box or make any transfers, I was able to draw out a grid and follow the shading instructions.


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