Workshop Review – tutored by Charlotte Hird

‘Perspective Applied en Plein Air’ with tutor Charlotte Hird

by Hannah Martis



In her August workshop Charlotte guided us through the principles of perspective, showing us the world from a new angle. There was a range of experience in the class, but Charlotte was able to engage and challenge all. We started with basic guided drawings, before heading outside to test our skills. The weather was overcast the first morning so we took advantage of the Karori library’s large windows overlooking the street. We had many onlookers admiring our work - even the sun came out to watch.

On the second day, after working through advanced exercises including adding figures in drawings, we braved the warmer winter weather and went on a “church crawl”, drawing some of the fascinating architecture on offer. Karori is a great location for practising perspective en plein air, with plenty of weatherboard homes. The churches provided a challenging opportunity to push our skills further.

We completed one or two drawings at each location. Charlotte was an attentive tutor, giving us tips and guidance. Thank you Charlotte for an interesting and challenging workshop.

The Queen of Perspective

Report by Pavithra Devadatta

About thirteen eager watercolourists congregated at Charlotte Hird’s two day workshop to take this Perspective bull by the horns and succeed we did! Charlotte had a great set up using a camera projector for the class to view and follow her demos. We systematically worked out the spatial depth from 1 to 3 point perspective, smoothly sailing from converging railway lines to 27th storey hotel balconies. We did cylinders, telegraph poles, arches, bicycles, buildings, people, trees, cars, interiors and wine glasses.

The secret of drawing a straight line free hand is to put down point A and without lifting your hand to focus on point B. Then without taking your eyes off point B, stretch your point from point A to reach point B. Try it, it really works with a little practice and is great fun taking that leap of faith on paper. Gradually increase the speed of the stroke and watch it get straighter and straighter. Charlotte has been teaching architectural drawing to students at Wuhan University, China and has published a book of her paintings. A Perspective Refresher workshop from time to time would be great to keep this valuable skill well oiled.







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