How to Get A Clue

This starts a new weekly series of my attempts to understand how perspective works using Balsam Street as my live location. The first time I tried Balsam Street, in August of 2015, was the first time I almost gave up sketching. Once I started sketching it, I realized how far away I was from having a clue. Sadly, I’m not much closer a year later. Let’s take a look. img_1112




Here is a view of the street I’m trying to understand. You can see the curved roof line of the corner buildings. This curving is repeated across the street outside the view of this picture. This complicates things for my brain – there is a curve (which I tend to draw upside down of what I mean) and then there is the perspective – I still can’t wrap my mind around how to draw a curved roof line in perspective.


Here is my first attempt at this, sketched in August of 2015, about a month after the very first time I ever sketched anything.

Yeah. I don’t see things the same way as others do.

Here is one I did today. It is barely any better. That is why I’ve decided to take a trek to Balsam Street at least once a week for as long as it takes to get this right. I’ll share my progress, Richter scale-like as it may be, on this blog.


I tend to be hopeful where learning is concerned. I know I can do this if I don’t give up. It may be painful, but I know I can learn this.

5 thoughts on “How to Get A Clue

    • I know what you mean, Lori. For me there is a delicate balance between making something recognizable and maintaining personality vs getting it “too” right. I plan on keeping personality and doubt I’d ever get it too right so that’s not a worry.


    • Right, but why would I sit on a curb across the street and draw it like that? It is confounding me.

      Mark my words. In three words I’m going to wish I could sit on a curb and capture a bird’s eye view and not be able to do it. Like spinning beginners yarn, once I learn what I’m doing, I won’t be able to undo it.


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