Art and the World Outside

Meindert Hobbema 001.jpg

This painting by Hobbema shows the Dutch landscape of the 17th century. It has a very strong sense of lines converging into a single point in the distance. The painting uses perspective to great effect.

demonstration of one point perspective

Single point perspective uses the eye level (the line across the painting, sometimes called the horizon line) then a single point (known as the vanishing point) which all the lines perpendicular to the eye level/horizon converge to.

Dag en Nacht, MC Escher

A woodcut here by Escher this time, again based on the dutch landscape. You can trace the lines to two points outside the frame on the imaginary eye line. Here two point perspective is being used.

demonstration of two point perspective

Task 1

You will need: paper, pencils
Draw the interior of a room. Think about how you will use single or double point perspective to bring together the parallel lines in your chosen room. Identify your light sources and plan the shadows accordingly.

Persistence of memory

This landscape uses elements that came from Salvador Dali’s imagination and his sub conscious. The scene is also based on a memory of his native Catalonia, as Dali explains “This picture represented a landscape near Port Lligat, whose rocks were lighted by a transparent and melancholy twilight; in the foreground an olive tree with its branches cut, and without leaves.”

Task 2

You will need: paper, pencil, paints if you have them
Create a surreal landscape that uses perspective. For example, you could draw a surreal city scape, drawing buildings that adhere to the lines of perspective. You could include inanimate objects similar to those found in Dali’s paintings.

Full Moon Circle

Artists like Richard Long have intervened directly in the landscape. His early works involved taking photos of lines in the ground where he had walked in the ground, leaving in imprint directly into the landscape. His pieces don’t use traditional art materials, relying on found materials in the environment.

Task 3

You will need: pencils, paper, ruler
Choose a space that has meaning to you: It could be a park, a garden, or maybe a car park. Create the plan for a sculpture that would be placed in that space. Ask yourself what materials you will use? What scale will you use and how will this affect how people interact with your sculpture and the space?

Task 4

You will need: camera/phone, sketchbook/paper for sketching on, pencil
Make a record of the different styles of buildings in your local vicinity. You might pick all the buildings nearby that share the same style of windows, or maybe those made of the same materials (brick, concrete etc) Take photos of them or make small sketches. If you can’t leave your home, choose the buildings you can see out a window.