Seeing, imagining, drawing

2016-10-24-view-from-via-della-scuole-pompeii-2

My nine year old daughter and I sat together in the evening sunshine, looking down Via della Scuole to Pompeii’s forum, set against the overwhelming backdrop of Vesuvius’ crater.  We shared the same view and the same materials, coloured ink in fountain pens, conte crayons and cool grey Faber Castell brush pens.  These last are a new addition to my field kit: they build on the crayon pigment scattered across the textured paper, solidifying it as blocks of solid tone.

How differently we perceived the scene and reconstructed this on the paper, integrating the different elements, light, volcano, walls, pavements and road.  The differences stem in part from learned techniques and in part learned norms; the use of perspective falling into both categories.  Faced with representing four dimensions on a rectangular page, one of us drew the kerbs of the paved highway as converging lines, the other switched their direction to retain their essential parallel geometry.

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