Perspective and Illusion

Five different workshops are offered in perspective and illusion. Workshops can also be customized and combined to fit the needs of a particular group.

1. A New Perspective

Neptune tonal 600From its early development in the 15th century to its golden age in the European baroque, linear perspective offered a radically new way to represent reality. Perspective is often thought of as a way to represent objects, but what it really does is define the position of the viewer. From a single point in space, anything that exists in three dimensions can be represented on a plane- even infinity. When the geometry of perspective was incorporated into the study of technical drawing, and further reduced to the limited viewing angles of photography and optics, it lost much of its creative potential. This workshop explores the very foundation of perspective geometry and the artistic possibilities it offer outside of its conventional form. Participants will learn how to define the relationship of the viewer to a work so that the picture plane can be opened into the vast spaces of the artist’s imagination.

2. Perspective Seminar for Animation

perspective study 600With the invention of CGI, (computer graphics imaging), traditional animation is used far less than during its golden age. Often, however, it is still desirable to create the matte painting by hand. This may be for reasons of cost, for aesthetic reasons or to indicate infinite or vast environments, which cannot be modeled in computer space. Interfacing the two and three-dimensional elements in an animated work can be challenging, but also provides an artistic opportunity. This course will focus on wide-angle perspective environments that result in interesting perspective movements when programmed into a CGI environment, or simply photographed with a conventional lens using swing and tilt. Participants will learn to construct perspective environments that lend themselves to being filmed as backgrounds to CGI constructed figures, or as artistic expressions in themselves.

3. Illusion and Optics

visual field 600Ever since the invention of photography it has become increasingly popular to create images, which combine two-dimensional artwork with three-dimensional objects and spaces. From the tableaux of early photography to the perspective illusions of cinema, reality has been combined with art then documented with photography. With the development of the Internet and social media, the possibilities and uses for perspective illusions and trompe-l’oeil have exploded. This workshop explores techniques for the transformation of environments using perspective illusions that are specifically designed for photography and social media. Participants will learn how to design and execute an illusion for a specific environment and document the illusion along with real-life participants. Methods of image capture and media dissemination will be explored.

4. Composing with Form and Space

VisitBritain 600Pictorial composition and the way pictures are critically judged today is very much a 21st century cultural phenomenon. In earlier centuries art was judged on its utility and the beauty of its execution rather than on abstracted qualities of design. Because the study of composition grew up during the era of modernism, much attention has been given to the graphic qualities of a work, such as are listed in the elements of design, which tend to be treated as two-dimensional considerations. This workshop focuses on compositional techniques that bring the eye in and out of the pictorial “space” rather than merely moving over the painted surface. Participants will also focus on the technical and aesthetic aspects of composing forms in space, such as atmospheric and linear perspective along with a consistent treatment of light and shadow. The workshop will also discuss the formal and spatial relationships of large works to specific environments.

5. Multi-Plane Perspective

Pompei Drawing 600The European baroque period was famous for opulent theater sets that would use multiple painted flats to give a single architectural illusion. Other painted works also continued a single theme or illusion across different walls, across the ceiling or even filled entire rooms with a continuous composition. This workshop explores the geometry of perspective as it can be applied across a variety of surfaces. Participants will learn how to find different vanishing points as the perspective lines travel from one surface to another, as well as how to “break up” a single composition onto multiple surfaces. The workshop will also explore the possibility of creating smaller surfaces that align with larger spaces to create illusions of dizzying height and

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