Arts & Crafts / Be Creative!

A Little Perspective: More Drawing & Painting

Picking up on the last post, today I’m sharing some more painting from last week’s break in Surfside Beach, TX. While those “shell studies” were pretty small in scale, I was itching to try a bigger canvas.


Both of these badges require scouts to experiment with perspective. You know–two parallel lines that appear to come together as they move away from you. Think railroad tracks. Think highway. Those lines don’t really meet, of course, they just appear to meet off in the horizon.

Here’s a picture I snapped of our teeny beach house, called Oasis:

The “Oasis” — home away from home at Surfside Beach, TX

Teeny it was. Perfectly sized for a woman who hits 5′ 2″ on a good day. I could reach everything, easily. But when Charles arrived, gentle giant that he is, the house was suddenly oddly proportioned. So low were the beams overhead that Charles hung hats and scarves from the ceiling fan’s blades to remind him to walk around the darned thing. The reminder did not always work.

But I still loved the little Oasis. And snapping that picture, I thought it’d make a lovely subject for a study in perspective.

I started with a quick drawing done in AquaStic. AquaStics feel/look like crayons, but once you’ve put ’em on paper you can brush them with water and blend your colors. Anyway, here’s the first sketch:

Feels/looks like crayon, but brush on some water and AquaStic can really pop.

All well and good, but it sure didn’t feel like I’d captured the essence of the Oasis. So I pulled out a sheet of tar paper, the medium of choice from my local guru, teacher, and fave artist Terrell Powell. Adapting a technique I learned at his proverbial knee in those fabulously fun Art Night classes, I “sketched” out the house using a serrated knife:

Tar paper makes a great canvas.

Next, I just painted quickly, using the knife lines as my guide:

Putting color on tar paper with some speed…

Paint applied, but we’ve lost some of those original knife lines…

Note that many of those knife lines have been diminished or have even disappeared. I could’ve left it at that, but those black lines make the colors pop and give dimension to the work, so I pulled the knife back and and re-carved them into the tar paper.

Carving fresh lines onto the paint makes the color pop against the black.

If I gave a rat’s ass about perfection, this final picture would horrify me. Luckily, I’ve paid plenty of therapists good money over the years to knock the Curse of Perfection out of me (mostly). Now, I can delight in this little study in perspective, even as that mild giddiness whispers the words “paint more” in my ear.


2 thoughts on “A Little Perspective: More Drawing & Painting

    • Yes, I’ve got the bug, too! I completely forgot how good it feels to sketch and draw and paint. There’s something about putting one’s hand on the paper that is really transformative. I think I’m hooked! So go get some paints and brushes, T!!

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