Perspective is the visual phenomenon that creates a sense of distance, shape, and volume in a scene. The simplest is called linear or parallel perspective, the one we would all recognise from films in which train tracks converge on a single point – the vanishing point – in the far distance. But vanishing points exist even when the distance ahead is curtailed by other elements; buildings obstructing roads or other buildings for instance; and this has to be taken into account in any artistic representation of that scene by ensuring that parallels still converge beyond the obstructions and not before them.
There are other kinds: angular, which cuts across a scene, and aerial which is what happens to lines when viewed from above. I tackled all of these on the Drawing 1 module and found the business of bringing what had been an intuitive grasp of the concept into consciousness utterly discombobulating. I had this to say about it:
I’m understanding how practice smooths gesture in art so that shapes emerge with a simplicity to them – the equivalent of serving an ace in a tennis match. Trouble is, perspective involves making the ‘intuitive’ explicit and therein lies my problem because once that happens, I lose sight of the road while I’m trying to find the gear, and I crash into bollards because I’m busy doing the mirror-signal-manoeuvre manoeuvre.
Conboy-Hill Drawing log A perspective on perspectives 01/02/2019
Escher is the ace perverter of perspectives with his continually rising flights of stairs, some of which are upside down or sideways, like scenes from Inception. You have to be grateful he gave up on architecture which, as a discipline, must have contributed to the precision and visual agility required to mentally manipulate those images. I can personally confirm though, that being left handed is unlikely to have been of significant help!
Brighton seafront. Own photograph.
Time taken, including researching self-plagiarism, 1 hour.