Perspective and Perception

Perspective is what makes a picture look real. It is how we are able to take a flat piece of paper and make the image look like it is three dimensional. Understanding how to use size, shadow, and angles in a piece is the key to making the subject matter stand out. There are many different types of perspective in artwork such as one-point, two-point, and aerial. those are just a few examples. Perspective can get much more complex if we add more points of perspective. It is much simpler to explain how to create perspective by looking at a photograph. Objects that are farther away are smaller than objects closest to the viewer. With practice, perspective will come naturally without as much thought. Using a picture of what we are trying to draw or paint will help as a reference guide for how to place objects, shading, and highlights to get the result we are looking for.

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I have heard the terms perspective and perception used interchangeably. For example, altering your perception means to look at an issue from a different perspective. The same perspective can look different if your perception changes. Looking at an object from a different angle will change both the perspective and perception of the subject matter. The same is true for things that are not tangible such as approaching a problem, for example. Many factors can affect our perception such as mood and alternate stimuli. Smell and sound can have a strong influence on how we perceive something in addition to the visual aspect of the subject. Various color schemes will change the mood of a piece which will have an affect on the viewer.010

Perception is not just physical in terms of senses, it is also the way it is interpreted which will vary for each individual. Places we have been, experiences we have had, and expectations will all alter perception. The way it all works is not so simple. Psychological and brain sciences are subjects of interest that have been pursued by researchers, philosophers, and universities for quite some time. Knowing how a piece of artwork will be perceived by a particular person is seemingly impossible. It is best to be concerned with accurate perspective in a piece rather than to try and force a perception out of a piece. As an artist I know what my perception of my work is and I do not expect others to “see” what I do in it. In fact, I am more interested in what others perceive.

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