Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

Art Masterclass - 64

January 2012


Derbyshire MoorlandFrom The Artist, the monthly magazine for amateur and semi-professional painters, giving practical instruction in painting and drawing in watercolour, pastels and oils, as well as news of art events, exhibitions and competitions open to leisure artists;


Getting the Correct Perspective

By David Bellamy


Farm buildingsMuch of the time, perspective on buildings in the landscape holds no problems, especially when the subject building is in the distance. However, in some awkward situations, where perhaps the viewing angle is complicated and there are numerous different planes of adjacent buildings, applying the basic rules of perspective can be a challenge. In the scene right, which embraces those awkward aspects, things are further complicated by some parts of the house being obscured by vegetation and a fence.


The diagram (below), which features the main lines of the building, will give you an idea of to how to tackle the drawing with a reasonably accurate result. First, establish a horizontal base line – an imaginary line from which you can measure all the other important points above or below that line. I have drawn a hand holding a pencil vertically at arms length – literally a rule of thumb – where the thumb is moved up and down the pencil to ascertain the height of, say, the distance from the base line to the top of the chimney. If you assess each important point in this way, always keeping the pencil at arm’s length, it will reveal whether the point at the left-hand end of the roof ridge is higher or lower than the top of the chimney, and other points, thus building up the picture.You will also need a vertical imaginary line to assess the distances horizontally, this time with the pencil held horizontally, as shown. Here the line runs down the centre of the near gable end. Once the major lines have been drawn the smaller ones can be assessed easily without resorting to the pencil at arm’s length method.

Critical points .

Critical points


Once critical points are established, the remaining ones are fairly simple. Begin with the base line – an imaginary line you can easily keep referring to – then create an imaginary vertical reference line to calculate the horizontal distances between points

Farm at Llandegley

Farm at Llandegley, watercolour, 8x11in. (20.5x28cm)

I omitted a lot of background detail and slightly altered a few features for simplification. The buildings are viewed from a track that is above roof level, so my eye level would be at least as high as the top of the tallest tree.

The full article by David can be found in the December 2011 issue of Leisure Painter and covers many different ways to improve your watercolour landscape paintings


    Keep in touch with everything happening in Laterlife Today!

    Subscribe to our free monthly email newsletters for the latest articles, offers and events. You can unsubscribe at any time should you want to.

Bookmark This Share on Facebook Receive more like this


Tell us your hobby experiences

Want to comment on this article or ask other laterlife visitors a question?

Then visit the comment section of the Later Lifestyle Network, click on the 'Discussion Tab' (you can't see this until you are logged in) and create a new topic or add your views to an existing one. 

feeling Good

Feeling Good

The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

It includes both one off articles and also associated regular columns of a more specialist nature such as Healthwise, Gardener's Diary, our regular IT question and answer section called YoucandoIT and there's also 'It could be you' by Maggi Stamp laterlife's counsellor on human relationships. 

Looking to the future

Looking to the future

Tell us about what you would like to see here on in the future or any changes you would like to see. Just email

Latest articles

To view indexes to previous articles click on laterlife interest index. To search for articles about a certain topic, use the site search feature at the top right of the page.
Back to Laterlife Today

Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site


Advertise on