Look carefully at the angles and areas of your chosen interior view and note where objects are placed. Keep shifting your viewpoint until you find one that pleases you. Look for strong tonal contrasts, textures, linear qualities and strong positive and negative shapes. Establish your observational position – standing, sitting on a chair or on the floor. Ensure you can work comfortably and see clearly.
Make four quick sketches to outline basic shapes and map out tonal areas using a soft pencil, conté or charcoal. In each sketch shift your viewpoint or eye level. You’ll notice the apparent distortion of certain forms due to foreshortening. Vary your studies by shifting the viewpoint up or down, or moving in and out.
The exercise instructions suggested doing these studies in both portrait and landscape format. As suggested I did find that the portrait format was more interesting in terms of perspective while the landscape format produces more of a sense of intimacy. In this case the landscape format definitely worked best as it gave more of a sense of the room and the context of the piano within it.
What worked: The landscape format was more of a complete composition. The portrait look a little bereft to me- the piano standing alone. I enjoyed using all three media- pencil, charcoal pencil and pen and liked that the effect produced by each one was different. I enjoyed playing with the dramatic shading in each case.
What didn’t work: I should have taken more time to change my view more drastically and maybe to home in more on the objects in the room. I think cutting off elements of the composition (like a photo does) would have made it look more interesting and less predictable. I chose this interior view because I liked the light- it is fairly dark around the piano as natural light comes from windows at the other end of the room- but there is a sofa next to it which made it difficult to change my view too drastically without cutting off the piano completely. the fireplace perspective in the landscape sketch is not right- it slants away too steeply!