If ever a book died on its feet without its subtitle, this is the one!
As a guide to perspective for the artist, rather than the technical illustrator, it’s pretty much pitch perfect. Any book which tells you that it’ll take away the mystique of the subject is lying, because it’s a technical one and you can’t avoid an explanation of vanishing points or the lines that lead to them. Matthew Brehm does, however, minimise a lot of the complexity, and the bulk of the illustrations are attractive drawings and paintings, mostly of buildings, that show the results in practice. Where theory is necessary, it’s mainly confined to block diagrams which, while not pretty, do make the matter easier to understand.
The book is also extremely well structured, starting with one-point perspective and progressing to two and three point before going on to multi-point and curvilinear. Each section works in the same way: seeing it, understanding it, applying it and how to sequence. Keeping the approach constant means that, once you’ve got the hang of one topic, you’ve got the hang of them all. There’s also an excellent introduction to the basics: visual depth clues, lines of convergence, the horizon line and so on.
If you’ve ever struggled to get to grips with perspective, and any book is going to open your eyes, this is the one to do it. I won’t say I couldn’t put it down, but I do keep picking it up.
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