Watch Your Step


Three-point perspective staircase distortion, drawn during field operations at Currier Art Museum’s Escher exhibit:


Following a skill-building perspective drawing session at Currier Art Museum, I took my class of young artists out into the museum’s Winter Garden & galleries to do some on-site sketching

with our new-found perspective powers.  I found myself looking down at the garden staircase, wondering if a three-point perspective approach could capture its leisurely descent into the museum’s basement.  Of course, as you may know, if you place all three vanishing points within the frame, they will severely distort your image… but somehow this distortion makes the staircase much more exciting, don’t you think?

Anyhow, here is the structure of the three vanishing points, A + B + C:


Escher-WatchYourStep-RGB-A-(c)2014-www_MarekBennett_com Escher-WatchYourStep-RGB-B-(c)2014-www_MarekBennett_com Escher-WatchYourStep-RGB-C-(c)2014-www_MarekBennett_com


Putting them all together:


Actually, this suggests some cool (implied) abstract art on its own:


… but I think I prefer a happy medium between abstraction and, um, realism:


And here are some art samples from students, showing scenes both observed and imagined, including their experimentations with the arcane arts of realistic illusion we observed in Escher’s prints:

141101-Student-01 141101-Student-02 141101-Student-06 141101-Student-05 141101-Student-04 141101-Student-03

Finally, I don’t think I’m violating any trust in revealing to you one of the most raw, honest, heartfelt pieces of student feedback I’ve received in a while:


Hmmm… I guess I’ll take that into consideration for future workshops.

Published by Marek

Cartoonist, musician, teacher.

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