Plotting space through composition and structure

In this exercise, the aim was to show spatial divisions – fore, middle and background – in a composition.  Some aspects of this exercise overlapped with the objectives of the parallel and angular perspective exercise that follow.  I chose the composition for the architectural detail on the house as well as the possibility of a quiet shady spot to sit and sketch on a bridge! The detail on the house contrasts with the hint of roof tiles on the rooves of the church and other buildings in the middle ground and only the suggestion of windows in a street at the end of the lane.  The size of the larger building on the right at the end of the lane, where a side street emerges, was checked carefully and is considerably larger than the cottages which precede it. I also used a wider variety of marks for the foliage in the garden – which is overgrown – compared to bushes beside the cottages further down the lane.  The relative size of the lampposts hints at the discontinuity in the buildings on the right of the drawing.  The house and lamppost are situated on a corner and another – concealed – road emerges just behind them.  There is also a piece of desolate ground on the opposite corner so the next houses are some way away.  

The drawing was made in the middle of a sunny afternoon.  The sun was fairly high in the sky to the left of the picture and therefore fell on the facade of the house and the buildings on the lefthand side of the lane. I have tried to indicate shadow using hatching on the lefthand buildings and on the road as well as on the building at the far end of the street but this doesn’t show up clearly in the scanned image, also underneath the foliage and beneath the eaves of the house. 

Overall I am pleased with the sense of distance.  There is too much empty space in top left of the drawing – definitely room for some clouds!



In this A5 sketch a village is seen from a hillside.  There is a suggestion of foliage on the trees in the foreground whereas individual trees in the middle ground can be distinguished only by their overall shape and those in the background cannot be separately distinguished, which creates a sense of distance.  The wind turbines on the distant hill several kilometres away reinforce the atmospheric perspective.  Some more distant rooftops are also evident half-concealed in trees as middle ground meets the background but they are less distinct and appear smaller than those in the middle ground.  This drawing was made in the early evening.  The sun sets more or less behind the windmills (so is slightly off to the left at this stage).  I have tried to indicate shadows using hatching on the rooves and walls facing me , as well as the shadow cast by the church tower, and have also introduced tone into parts of the tree’s (a birch) foliage to give it more foreground weight.  There is a heavier, darker quality to this drawing compared with the other two in this post.  This is partly which reflects that it was drawn later in the day than the others.  


                          View of Heimbach



In this sketch below (A4 size, drawn across two pages of an A5 sketchbook) of the same village, I chose a bridge for the middle ground and other buildings in the town including the church are situated behind it.  The castle – behind the tree – takes the eye from the middle ground into the background since it is too far away for much detail to be possible beyond the placement of some windows.  This conveys a sense of distance since it is considerably larger in life than the bridge or the tree!  Again, the foliage can be distinguished on the tree in the foreground but the wooded hills in the background are suggested in outline only which becomes less distinct with distance.   This drawing was made in the early afternoon on a fairly overcast day.  I have indicated the main shadows that I noticed, on the river beneath the bridge. 

Heimbach from the Rur


To go further, I should use colour to develop drawings in which the colour conveys atmospheric perspective more than just the level of detail.  Additional preliminary work would therefore include colour notes with swatches, as well as to make preliminary colour sketches. 























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