What is wrong with this picture?

My art folio is due on Wednesday. It contains all our work done this year and is 50% of our mark (according to our course outline, studio pieces are another 50%, and our art history marks make up the remaining 20% because obviously, competence in maths is not a prerequisite for art). To get good marks, we have to decorate our folios and add inane commentary. I suppose the more artistic artists would find this to be a stimulating creative exercise but personally, I’d rather just get on with the drawing already. Anyway, enough preamble. I’m having trouble coming up with Inane Commentary for this image: [linky link]. The perspective is horribly wrong (I LOSE at vanishing points, no?) but I’m not sure why. Anyone care to point out my oversights? I will be forever indebted to you.

Oh yes, ignore the prancing figures if you can. They’re not supposed to be there.

IANAAM but who says it’s neccesarily wrong? I’m not aware of any immutible rule that says all art but be accurately representational. Who says you can’t have more than one perspective in a single work and that they have to be geometrically correct? IIRC some spanish guy had a modest amount of success with such an approach in the early 20th century.

As to vanishing points remember that they don’t have to be inside the thing you represent. I know that sounds confusing but the walkway and rail on the right seem to vanish in the distance. That is correct if the walkway goes on forever but if not it may end before it reaches the vanishing point. The VP is still on the page but outside the room you are drawing if that makes sense.

Ahh yes, there’s one problem. Thank you. I know the rules of perspective intellectually but have a lot of trouble picturing large spaces, so I tend to crap them up anyway x)

Looks like a standard fisheye distortion to me, possibly with a non-centred lens. Remember, under perspective projection, straight lines remain straight.

PS: While staring at that picture for extended periods of time, those prancing figures give me the serious creeps.

The three steps in the center are banked as though they were on a roller coaster track. Since I presume they intend to indicate steps rising to the left, I would think that the vertical portions should be vertical, just as the railing supports are, while the actual steps should be angling down to the right across the line of perspective since the steps are not taking the path into the distance but across the line of perspective.

Inane comment? Something about the the steps being part of a roller coaster? Something about your drawing being invaded by the spirit of Escher, having tied on a serious drunk?

In his [her] later development period, csharpmajor’s progessive sense of what he would later describe as his aesthetic dissonance with conventional representational modes and the ‘tyranny of mechanical mimesis’ led him to develop a more free-ranging, multi-moded depictional framework in which conventional boundaries were intentionally subverted and warped in a style which was both playful and yet philosophically far-reaching. From this challenging and exciting excursion into his own artistic truth, csharpmajor developed a plastic sensibility towards form, composition and line which, while plainly registering his decision to eschew the more leaden rules of spatial representation and perspective, also heralded his pursuit of visual allegory and the emphatic denial of any limitations on the aesthetic impulse. ‘Creation and expression’, he would later write, ‘are not one and the same, for one can create within the confines and strait-jackets of convention and conventional expectation without ever expressing an original impulse.’

Although his approach divided contemporary opinion, in time a consensus emerged to the effect that those unable to appreciate his aesthetic were merely advertising the poverty of their faculties and the severe limits of their own jaded expectations. By reaching beyond those limits, in prints such as ‘Work In Progess: Glimpse Of Stairs IV’ (2005), csharpmajor fused a striving for ineluctable personal expression with a knowing and sly disaffectation with regard to the supposed rules of representational form. This work, which more than any other was responsible for the rise of what became known as the ‘Rejection’ school of modern, expressive art, was subsequently purchased by the Whitney for $1.2 million.


Is there a limit on how much of this you can write? And how quickly?

Have you considered a career in writing innane commentary for art students such as csharpmajor so they can get on with the drawing already?

Ahahaha. Thank you, ianzin. I think.

Psst… I’m female.

It’s the spiral staircase that you seem to be having the biggest trouble with. And I’m not surprised, they’re a bugger of a thing to get right. It’s why a lot of artists get into abstract or impressionism, as it’s a viable excuse for always getting some of the fiddly bits skew whiff.

Do not stare at the prancing figures! I’d rather not dwell on it, but really. . . just ignore the prancing figures.

No, not really. I can churn out crap like this more or less at will. Sometimes it’s even crap that sounds like it might make sense.

First think I thought - Piranesi. Ambiguous perspective, multiple centregrounds, an uneasy sense of motion. The problems are, for instance, the way the steps in the centre fail to work as an integral item therefore not relating to, or contrasting against, their surrouning.

Yikes. I am a native English speaker (and typist), honest.

The risers and treads on your stairs appear to have different vanishing points; to the right for the risers, and left for the treads. That gives the stairs an unreal, or irregularly constructed, look.

I cannot open it, it says it is a " .png" file. Weird. Can you re-post a link that might work? Love to see it.