Friday, January 26, 2018

Reflected Reflections

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Here I've drawn four versions of the same cup. This cup has completely straight sides when viewed at eye level, as you can see in the left-most drawing. The second version was drawn at about a 20 degree angle (I don't do math, so please forgive me if this number isn't quite correct). You can see that the sides are angled a little bit in this view, in other words, they aren't quite parallel. This is because of perspective - these two lines would eventually converge somewhere far below us. When we tilt the cup again, this time at about 45 degrees, the lines angle more, and more so still in the 60 degree version, on the right.

I'm pointing this out because our brain knows the sides are "actually" parallel, so it is going to have a hard time allowing us to draw them at these crazy angles. Even when I was drawing these a few minutes ago, (from a real cup) I had a hard time really seeing it. But it looks right, right? I sometimes feel like I'm even exaggerating it a little bit, but it never looks that way when I stand back and re-assess the drawing. Of course not all cups have straight sides to begin with, but they still need to be angled more as the perspective changes.


robertsloan2art said...

Great perspective lesson! A lot of times we forget about those angles even though things get foreshortened in all three axes. I glanced over to my coffee cup and realized it could make a weird optical illusion - because the sides aren't parallel. They angle out toward the bottom so it's harder to tip over. Get it at the right angle and they'd look parallel when they're not. That angle is pretty steep but it's a startling look!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I am really enjoying your mini lessons. I have started painting recently, and there is so much to learn. I have never painted a cup before, but your beautiful paintings are very inspiring, so I went and bought 6x6 panels yesterday. Thanks for your time and making these wonderful lessons available.


I'm loving how the pink of the napkin is influencing the colors of the spoon, mug, and pear.