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Sketching Perceptions

February 4, 2012

Perception of the view and the scale to which you translate that image on to your medium are important things to consider before you begin sketching an on-site scene.

Perception of the scene relates to the scope of the view that you envision to sketch and simply put, it is the extent of the scene that you intend to draw in your sketchbook.  I usually survey the scene to include axonometric views of objects which could aid me in translating the 3D scene easily into my sketchbook. I visually frame the view for example, to include parts of buildings with the lines of the walls extending to the horizon and vanishing points. This view should also include the focus of the composition which should tell the story within the sketch.

Ground crews tending the aircraft before flight appears insignificant to the size of the plane, but without their activities in the sketch the composition would be just an image of the scene. The Brandenburg Gate expresses monumentality of the years of conflicts between the two previous  Germany, while the high-tech construction of the dome above the Reichstag highlights the contrast and conflicts between the two eras and the two architectural styles. Then the stairway within the Jewish Museum with its purposely irregular flying structural beams symbolizes for me the torrid period during the war years. These are the stories I picture while contemplating the subject for my sketches, the framing of the compositions, and my perceptions and interpretations of the views I intentionally seek out to sketch.

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3 Comments
  1. Behind every sketch there is a story. Tell the story and your sketch will be meaningful.

  2. Thuy permalink

    That’s very true ! The sketch will tell your story !

    • It’s not always easy to capture the story you want to tell with your sketch. Look at various station points before starting. Sometimes the thesis of your story depends on the extent of the ‘frame’ that you choose to select. Reflect also on the details to include that is needed to convey your story. Try not to ‘overkill’ your composition with too much details.

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