This is a welcome reissue of a book I was surprised to discover was first published as long ago as 2004. As well as a thorough design revamp, two new projects and several example paintings have been added. The technical section has been expanded, improving coverage of this always-difficult area.
There’s almost no end of books on perspective and they all have their own particular slant and emphasis. It’s difficult, perhaps impossible, to recommend any one simply because the subject presents problems to each of us individually. The scientific approach, with its welter of lines leading to different vanishing points, may appeal to some. For others, simplicity is the order of the day while, for yet more, that leaves too many questions unanswered. There is no sweet spot, no perfect balance of detail and simplicity: you just have to sample them all and find the one that works for you.
Geoff is an excellent explainer and has a good track record in the art instruction book field. This is a guide written for the painter rather than the technician or designer and it works almost exclusively by example. What was already a good book has been subtly but thoroughly improved. I’s have been dotted, T’s crossed and blanks filled in. The emphasis throughout is on painting and you’ll learn about single point, multipoint and aerial perspective by working with them.
This can be all very well but, just as with languages, you eventually have to get to grips with grammar, so, with perspective, you need to understand the theory. To use another analogy, it’s a bit like colour mixing. Once someone who’s really understood it explains it to you, you’ve got it. Until then, you’ll flounder. The theory section here is concise, but to the point – I said Geoff’s a good explainer – and only some half a dozen pages have the dreaded vanishing lines. Much of the rest involves painted examples as well as colour and brushwork. If it was a language, it would be Painting, not Science. It’s a bit of a masterpiece.
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