Paint a Building, Build a World

Gil Gorski recreates ancient buildings in his fine-art paintings.
Gil Gorski recreates ancient buildings in
his fine-art paintings.

I love how artists can create worlds all their own—using the hills and valleys of a beautiful landscape or the sensuous curves of the human form. But that’s not all artists are capable of doing. Centuries ago, great artists like Michelangelo and Bernini didn’t just build worlds in their paintings and sculptures, they actually constructed amazing works of architecture—church facades, magnificent tombs, and exquisite palaces. The artists imagined an environment from the ground up, and were often able to turn their visions into reality. Nowadays, art and architecture are not as close as they once were. Even so, artists who can learn to incorporate linear perspective into their work and use perspective drawing to create the look and feel of 3D drawings has the potential to transport a viewer to another place, almost as if their painted world was real.

2630.perspective1.jpgGil Gorski is a trained architect and fine-art painter. His work is made up of surreal architectural spaces akin to M.C. Escher’s and imagined cityscapes from ancient times.

Herb Rather is another artist inspired by architecture, but he works in a different vein. He documents the historic

Both Gorski (his work, top) and Rather (his painting, bottom) use their abilities to render architecture in very unique ways.
Both Gorski (his work, top) and Rather
(his painting, bottom) use their abilities
to render architecture in very unique ways.

Victorian homes of Texas and California, as well as the French Gothic cathedrals he’s seen on his travels abroad. Rather makes the intricacies of architecture beautiful and interesting. Each of these artists uses his knowledge of linear perspective in different ways, building a world that no one else could dream up. 

If you can learn how to draw perspective, you can create a convincing sense of space, and that means you can paint and draw the world as you see it, or build a new one as you imagine it.

Our perspective drawing and cityscape painting knowledge come together in Cityscapes: Paint Urban Landscapes in Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor and Pastel, which reveals the crucial building blocks of cityscape drawing and painting and includes exercises on the more complex configurations involved with composition, form, and perspective. With these skills under your belt the possibilities for taking your art in exciting and uncharted directions are pretty much endless. Bon voyage!  

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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

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