Three Boxes

One of the things I like about painting assignments for LoP is the great diversity of subject matter we can choose from, to create a composition worthy of being painted. Sometimes these things look simple enough to do, but upon beginning painting them the challenges arise almost immediately. In this case it was looking very carefully at how the shadows on the boxes were so different depending on the angle of light on the various flat planes, as well as how the light/shadows were different depending on the color of each box.


So glad to see you picking back up with the exercises Bev. There is much about the cube studies that initially makes them seem far “easier” than previous form studies. However, the linear perspective that hides in these challenging solids can be quick to bite.

Take for example the convergence of seemingly parallel lines. On the top cube you have some nice parallels converging in a subtle and convincing way. While this bit of successful drawing communicates well–it also highlights the convergence error on the bottom white cube (as indicated by the blue line.) Additionally, you may want to check your verticals against a genuine plumb line (shown in gray.) The cubes may be flexible and observed distirted as recorded (as shown)—but this type of “play” can quickly bind (perceptually) with the other small errors to communicate a problematic version of the form. Sometimes it’s better to correct the geometry if a context warranting the distortions cannot be established. (This is actually related to a topic that I am currently writing about called the “Intentionality threshhold.”)


Thank you for the critique! I can adjust the white box edge (black paint is a good friend in this case!) to correct it. I thought I had it initially in the drawing part, but I could have adjusted that edge in the painting process. These were not so easy to do! Like you said, simple isn’t necessarily so. I was struggling to get all those angles correct, and those little boxes are not perfectly square to begin with, but the angles should still function properly.

1 Like