Imagine life with no television, no computers, and where
books are a rarity. The power of art would increase exponentially because you wouldn't
be inundated with visual images all the time. The handful of artworks you might
see in your entire life would really make an impact. That's pretty much what
life was like for people alive during the Renaissance. Seeing an altarpiece
painting or ceiling fresco was like entering a different world--and artists were
well aware of the suggestive power they wielded, actively pursuing ways to
enhance the realism of their images.
|The Dead Christ by Andrea Mantegna, 1460, tempera on canvas.
One of the ways artists made their works more realistic to
their viewers was with linear perspective
. With one-point perspective,
two-point perspective, and three-point perspective, artists dramatically
increased the realism of the scenes they were painting by playing with the
sense of space in their works and the illusion of distance and depth.
Foreshortening was a significant byproduct of these
perspective drawing explorations. Using foreshortening allowed an artist to
paint an object to look like it is angled to the viewer. As a result the object
seems closer and the distance between it and the viewer seems less than it
actually is. The illusion that the viewer and object are in the same space is
Imagine looking at Andrea Mantegna's Dead
Christ for the first time; you feel like you are literally standing at the
feet of the figure of Christ. That would have been a powerful moment for a
viewer who may have never seen an artwork using foreshortening before. That's
why linear perspective was lauded as such a coup by the artists of the day. It
allowed painters to pull viewers into a painting and set a whole new standard
for how artists could render realism.
If you want to evolve your artistic capabilities much like
the Renaissance masters of the past, perspective drawing lessons are essential.
Fortunately we have a resource that is tailored specifically toward the goals
and interests of artists. Perspective
Made Simple explores how to draw perspective dynamically and easily, and
the payoff is creating convincing works of art that make us all feel like we
are entering a different world, just like those viewers centuries ago. What a gift! Enjoy!