|8/15/12 Copic Multiliner SP pen, watercolor, Stillman & Birn sketchbook|
When I took Gabi Campanario’s urban sketching workshop a few weeks ago, he tried to teach me the concept of single-point perspective using my eye-level horizon as a guide. This wasn’t a new concept to me; I had read numerous books on perspective that explained this same concept, usually illustrated with cubes standing in the middle of a blank plane and lines extending from their edges to that imaginary single point. My brain understood and accepted what Gabi and these books were explaining, but my eye and hand were having difficulty catching up.
I was ruminating all of this as I sipped coffee and munched a raspberry muffin at one of Cloud City Coffee’s outdoor tables, wondering if I would ever “get” perspective on the sketchbook page and not just in my head. Looking at the outside wall and roofline of the building (which is a renovated garage with roll-up doors) – a scene I’ve looked at many, many times – I suddenly saw that the roofline, floor line and siding lines, if extended, would converge at a single point. I put my sketchbook up to my eyes, its plane parallel to the ground as Gabi had instructed, to find my eye-level horizon, and – OMG! – the single point was sitting there, right on that line! You mean it works in reality as well as in books!? The proverbial light bulb over my head, which had been flickering dimly like it was about to go out, suddenly turned on!
Maybe someday I’ll work on automotive sketching. But for now, I’m happy that architectural sketching has become a tiny bit less intimidating.