Project 4 – Exercise 2: Simple perspective in interior studies

This exercise is about creating an illusion of space in a painting with a limited palette, rather like a drawing with paint. Focus is an accurate depiction of perspectival space and measurement of proportions.

In the previous exercise of quick studies I chose the initial sketch #8. But as it needed a more elaboration I did a few more sketches to incorporate more space.

My final painting ‘Bedtime‘:

in gouache on watercolour paper hot press (50 x 39 cm)


Stefan513593 - Project 4 -Exercise2

Stefan513593 – Project 4 -Exercise2

Sketchbook studies:


Stefan513503 - Project 4 -Exercise 2 - Sketchbook

Stefan513503 – Project 4 -Exercise 2 – Sketchbook

=> The view with more hallway is a kind of gestural view as my head turned upwards and downwards like an arch. A camera would take this full view with a wide lens and make the close objects appear larger.

My painting approach

I decided to go for gouache as I learned from project 3 – exercise 4 that I could work loose with rather in drawing style. It doesn’t allow so much colour and hue rendering but this was not scope of this exercise.  To use a limited palette is quite useful and I found a certain ease to work in such way. Because of the late evening time – ‘Bedtime‘ – with its warm dimmed colour I decided to work with ochre, yellow, red, black and white and to mix all other hues out of those (knowing that with my cheap gouache paint I cannot mix all hues as with acrylic and oil due to their pigment limitations)

  • quick outlining major shapes in pencil
  • outline drawing in paint
  • blocking in main shapes with with first washes
  • modulation value and hue

My work in progress

Stefan513593 - Project 4 -Exercise2 - progress

Stefan513593 – Project 4 -Exercise2 – progress

Reviewing my final painting

What is convincing?

  • Checking again all distances, proportions and angles with the view in front of me convinced me that I too correct measurements
  • Overall visual effect convincing and realistic. Found the luminosity from the hidden able lamp quite appealing.


What went wrong?

  • I had some troubles with the size of the rug in the front due to very strong foreshortening effect and my ‘arch‘ vision. The vertical size could be a bit longer
  • Perhaps not ‘wrong’ considering perspectival features but from tonal value point I decided to make the rug darker in value than in reality. I wanted to avoid too much distraction and keep the eye focus on the inside of the room.


  • Another examples of how gouache paint can loosen up my painterly approach as it allows a rather drawing mode.

Next time:

  • Considering how I can use ‘arch’ views in my painting i.e. when my eye and head turns to get other areas inside my eye focus. An interesting thought that might lead me to the concept of foveal sharp vision and peripheral blur and about retinal blur in general.

  2 comments for “Project 4 – Exercise 2: Simple perspective in interior studies

  1. July 18, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    This is cool Stefan, I like how you have used the different areas of light

    • Stefan
      July 18, 2016 at 5:43 pm

      Thanks Alison – this is one my quests: depicting light and luminosity. Something I find eventually I cannot do with drawing 😉

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