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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Harjula’s Barn, along the St, George River, Rte 131, So. Thomaston Maine.

Harjula’s Barn, along the St, George River, Rte 131, So. Thomaston Maine. - adult art class student display, and maybe a lesson description. We barely touched ‘perspective’ with a ten foot pole.

Harjula’s barn lesson:
  1. Look at that roof shape. You know that it is a rectangle if you were to see it from the crows POV. But you are seeing it foreshortened. That means depending on where you are in relation to the building the lines or the edges of any plane will appear to slant down to your horizon/I level or slant up to the horizon/high-level. It all depends on your vantage point. It happens because as things get further and further away from you, they appear smaller. So, for instance, if you were to look down railroad tracks, the two railroad rails would converge to a point finally. The ties would appear to get smaller and smaller the further away from you they are. That same  principle is happening with any set of parallel lines. There lies the problem in drawing a building using a feel for perspective. Your brain has it so deeply ingrained so that you know at all times what something is no matter what it looks like to your eyes, that it’s very hard to draw the illusion of an object. Your impulse is to draw the meaning of an object, your symbol for the object. But that is not what gives a convincing “Realistic“ appearance to an image. So we need to use the parameters of an artificial system to convey that illusion. It’s not a perfect system though.
  2. It’s very dyslexic and mind-boggling a system to explain or teach to The lay person. I believe only a serious art student is willing to learn how to do this. And even then all that can do is inform you, because that is not where the art lies. That has nothing to do with design and pattern, which is much more important then perspective.
  3. We can try a few exercises to give a ‘feel’ for form in space.
  4. So we looked at the shape of the roof and tried to see it as a shape separated from the whole. It is a kind of kite shape, but all the edges I have different measurements. 
  5. Start by drawing the outlines of that shape.
  6. Now try to draw that shape by coloring in the shape into imaginary outlines. You will be making clean edges but you will not outline per se.
  7. Practice this a few times with the roof shape.
  8. Try the same practice on that long wall with the windows. Don’t connect it to a building yet.  Just isolate it by itself.
  9. Now try the front wall of the barn.
  10. That front wall consists of a rectangle with a triangle on top of it. That rectangle is not parallel to you it’s slanted away a little bit. The ground line slants visually up to the horizon line. The top of its rectangle slants down to the horizon line..
  11. How to assess the triangle on top of that front rectangle wall? Where is the peak visually? We know that it’s over the centerline of the building. But it’s not at the midpoint of the visual length of the ground line. (Now you see why this is so dyslexic and such mind-boggling topic, ... it becomes just a slew of words that are impossible to make meaning out of!)
  12. To find the peak of the building, where the apex of the triangle should be, draw crisscross lines - corner-to-corner of that rectangle of the front wall. Draw a vertical line straight up from the ground line through that intersection of the crisscross lines. You can decide how high you want your roof to be. Or you can use the photograph as a guideline for where that roof peak should be. For now we’re just trying to make a building or a barn that is somewhat functioning as a building. It has form.  It’s not leaning too badly.
  13. After we had done this practicing a bit, students used an outline/coloring page of the photograph with the grid superimposed on it. It was a good sized reproduction to work from. The students were not supposed to trace from it, but to use it as a guide or a tool to draw from. Only one person tried to draw a grid beforehand so that the drawing would work just like the photo, but that left no time to do the actual drawing. (Which is why I had decided not to instruct that they should actually make the grid.) It’s simply an aid to be able to see just how certain line slant in relation to each other in the image. If you draw a grid you should be able to easily draw or map out the building onto another piece of paper. Doing this on a semi regular basis might help your ability to see buildings without needing a grid. 
  14. A grid is more helpful for drawing a small sketch of your own of whatever topic you want to do and then enlarging it to a larger scale. That is how large paintings were executed long ago.
  15. After the exercises, students drew their final drawings as they wished.

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