Teaching drawing part 2


Perspective was a common problem the students were encountering when painting, both in scenes from around the prison and in works from their imagination. In order to help them with this we did a series of exercises drawing boxes. I placed a couple of boxes on a table and we began by drawing them in one point perspective – imagining that they were close to eye level and face on. We discussed the idea of vanishing points, where they come from and how to identify where they were in scenes and objects.  Using a pencil held at arms length is a good tip to help measure scale and keep proportion in a drawing. Choose a point in the room that is at eye level and use this to gauge all measurements off of.

The second drawing was in 2 point perspective. This was a little more difficult for some of the students. Dealing with the language barrier made teaching quite complex. It meant that I had to come up with different ways of trying to clarify the subject. It also meant that identifying exactly where the problems were was also a challenge at times. With a bit of patience everybody understood by the end of the session.

Again, the next sets of drawings and paintings that the students produced showed marked difference with the new knowledge.

I prepared a comprehensive set of notes on the topic for everyone, including information on 3 point perspective and how it applies to other shapes such as cones, cylinders and so on.

A painting by Tesfamichael of the water sellers inside the prison showing complexity in the scene and use of perspective in the geri-cans.