I’ve lost count of how many books on perspective I’ve seen in a long career. It’s a simple enough idea – you have a viewpoint, a subject and a vanishing point – but notoriously difficult to explain. All these books have made valiant and worthy attempts to keep things simple and some, using blocks and cones or different colours for the lines, have come close to success. The problem, though, is that almost everything you overlay only serves to complicate the image. What could be expressed in probably no more than a dozen or so words suddenly becomes so unmanageable that the poor reader just gives up and decides they’ll never get it right. This is a shame, as your eyes will tell you instantly when it is.
So it’s with great delight that I give an enormous Hurrah to this new contribution to the literature. Tim Fisher doesn’t forego diagrams, shapes or lines. What he does do, though, and it’s so simple it’s a forehead-slapper, is not to try to do everything at once. There are drawings here that have only four or five lines in them, and you can see what’s going on as a result. Yes, some parts don’t have their vanishing points delineated (get over it), but they’re not the bit he’s explaining. He also manages to keep the whole thing simple without over-simplifying and therefore missing the point entirely. Although this is billed as a Masterclass, the truth is that it’s by far the best primer I’ve ever seen. If you have other books, throw them away and buy this. You won’t regret it.
Oh, and Search press seem to have solved the problems of muddy half-tones that have bedevilled previous volumes in the series. Double Hurrah.
Click the picture to view on Amazon