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-   -   Project Discussion: Reverspective (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=243697)

Printmakerguy 01-17-2005 02:47 AM

Project Discussion: Reverspective
A new project has been announced in the WetCanvas! project system!

Title: Reverspective
Project Leader: Printmakerguy
Relative Difficulty: Medium
Type Restrictions: Painting
Medium: Any Medium
Subject: Not Applicable
Days open for signups: 30
Maximum participants allowed: 10


In this project, we will explore the interesting world of Reverspective, an ingenious technique pioneered by English artist Patrick Hughes.

The technique involves painting on a 3- dimensional flat-topped pyramid support, creating an optical illusion for the viewer. The 'Point' of the pyramid is displayed closest to the viewer, BUT has the part of the painting that we wish the viewer to perceive as farthest away painted on it. The parts of the painting that we wish the viewer to perceive as CLOSEST to them are actually farthest away. It is a bit confusing, until we actually see it in action, then it makes perfect sense.

The effect of this is an illusion of perspective, that changes as you view the painting from different angles. The effect is actually quite interesting to see, and very fun to achieve! This make a real conversation piece, as well as an interesting exercise in perspective for any artist.

Here is what is involved in the project-

1) I will provide up to 10 blocks to paint on- free of charge- as for someone without woodworking skills and equipment, this is the difficult part. If you want to try building your own, I can also provide plans and/or guidance.

2) Sketch several potential designs for the finished block, and post them in the progress area. If you need help coming up with an idea, check out the reference links. I have studied the effect of the paintings, and have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't in them, so I am more than willing to help if asked.

3) Put the image on your block! Painting is the most common way, either with oils or acrylics, but if you are creative, there is no reason you can't use some other method. Be sure to post W.I.P's as you go!

4) Post your final image in the gallery for all to enjoy!

Keep in mind that the blocks DO require a fair amount of work on my part, so please only sign up if you intend to complete the project. Also, if something comes up that prevents you from participating, please let me know so someone else can have a shot at it.

The reference links provide info on Patrick Hughes, the Reverspective concept, and another artist, Kreg Yingst, who does similar work.

Additional Information:

For more information on the project: Click here!

Remember, in order to help keep the discussions on projects organized, you should post your questions, suggestions, and comments on submitted work here in this thread. By doing this, we allow other non-project efforts to not get "pushed down" by a swarm of project-related threads.

Mary Woodul 01-17-2005 08:43 AM

Re: Project Discussion: Reverspective
This sounds like a very interesting project and I will be watching with great interest. I will not enter this time because I am not sure I understand and wouldn't want you to have to send a block all the way down here but as I say, curiousity will have me glued to this thread. :D

Printmakerguy 01-17-2005 09:59 AM

Re: Project Discussion: Reverspective
This should be an interesting project, for sure! You will have a few weeks to play with ideas and concepts before you will actually have a block to paint on, as I will not be able to get them made until that time. I am a Merchant Marine officer, and will be on my ship for a while. I still have Internet and E-Mail capabilities while I am there, so I will still be involved.

In the mean time, we need to play with IDEAS. I will post some short 'articles' on the reverspective concept and how it works, so hopefully we'll all understand it by the time we begin painting. If you have any questions, Please don't hesitate to ask!


bjcpaints 01-17-2005 10:07 AM

Re: Project Discussion: Reverspective
Thanks Andrew - I'm signed up!

neilhume 01-17-2005 02:15 PM

Re: Project Discussion: Reverspective
I have signed up as I'm hoping I can transfer my most recent painting to this format (the one in the Acrylics thread). I'll try to come up with some other ideas too.

I'm hoping I'll be able to fit this around my work schedule as I'm traveling quite a lot at the moment. Hopefully I'll have enough time at the weekends.



Diane Cutter 01-17-2005 02:21 PM

Re: Project Discussion: Reverspective
Thanks so much, Andrew, for setting this up... I'm in, too! I've got a million ideas... just need to trap one on the block.


Printmakerguy 01-17-2005 04:35 PM

Reverspective- Lesson I- The Basics...
The project is already filling FAST.... We are going to go ahead and get started looking at the basics of the support block that we will all be painting on, and how the illusion works. I will post this first 'Lesson' While we wait for the project to fill.

These drawings are quick and crude- Out of my notebook of goodies- Just enough to get the point across- I hope. If you need further clarification, PLEASE speak up! Remember, there are NO dumb questions....

Illustration #1- The Block-

This is pretty much what the block will look like. The area that is actually CLOSEST to the observer, labeled A, is painted to APPEAR farthest away. The outside edge of the block, labeled B, is painted to appear that it is CLOSEST to the observer, although it is actually farther away. The photo below shows 2 of the supports ready to go...

When the painting is hung, this is what the observer sees-

As you can see, the area that was labeled 'A' above, the 'tip' of the pyramid, is closest to the eye. HOWEVER- This is not what we are expecting. Our mind 'thinks' that it should be farther away, because firstly, that is how paintings are always done, and secondly, we have used some trickery to make it appear that way. What tricks? We are going to cover that in a later installment.

This is the crudely painted, Experimental block that I painted as a trial. Seeing this will hopefully bring it all together. Most of you have seen it in the Acrylics forum before-

Seen head on-

And, When the viewer steps to the left-

And, To the right-

Hopefully, it is clear as mud to everyone :)

Next, we will get into deciding WHAT to paint on the block, to get the maximum illusion....

Penny220 01-18-2005 12:46 PM

Re: Project Discussion: Reverspective
What are the dimensions and mitered angles of the blocks? It appears that you are doing these in pieces, wouldn't it be easier to simply cut them out of a solid block?

Printmakerguy 01-18-2005 11:05 PM

Re: Project Discussion: Reverspective

Originally Posted by Penny220
What are the dimensions and mitered angles of the blocks? It appears that you are doing these in pieces, wouldn't it be easier to simply cut them out of a solid block?

The blocks are different sizes, but I have been working MOSTLY with 6 x 6.

I pondered this myself- Solid seemed like it would be easier, BUT you need some pretty massive equipment to do a block that size, my saw doesnt cut that deep. Once I got the mitering process down, it is actually not too hard.

The other 'issue' is that I want to go bigger- the small ones are fun, but I could get so much more in a larger block- And it gets harder to use solid blocks as teh size increases....

You will have to all forgive me- I am back on my ship now and using dial up GASP!) agian- And wont be able to check in as frequently, BUT in the next few days I am going to post more info on constructing the blocks, and dimensions, plans and the like for those who wish to try this on their own. It isnt THAT hard if you have the tools, and is kind of fun!


Printmakerguy 01-22-2005 05:10 AM

"Lesson II" Block building 101
Before we get much further into what we are going to paint on the block, let's take a little more time to look at the support itself, and how it is built. I will be building enough blocks for everyone, BUT I highly encourage those who wish to do so to build their own blocks, it isn't that difficult and is even kind of fun! You will need some tools, and a little know-how, but it is easy.

First of all- Materials. I have tried several materials- MDF, Hardboard (Masonite), and plywood. I have had best luck with a combination of plywood for the sides and masonite for the face. I started with 1/2" ply, and later found that 3/4" was a bit easier to deal with. The first couple of trial blocks were built with BC grade pine ply, but later blocks are 3/4" furniture grade birch. Both work, but the furniture grade is a bit easier to deal with and finishes better.

For tools, I do all the cutting on a table saw. The angles need to be PRETTY accurate, so this is almost a nescesity. I also use a power sander (I have a random orbit, you could use a belt sander or a benchtop sander as well). That is pretty much all you need in the way of tools.

I work from 2' x 2' plywood panels, which are readily availible at the local home improvement center. You CAN just go out and buy a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood, but that is a LOT of material- the 2' panels are a lot easier to deal with. Here is how I go about doing the cuts-

1) Cut a 30 degree bevel in the END of the plywood panel. Then, measure down 4", and cut another 30 degee bevel in the same direction. Viewed from the side, it should look like the drawing. You will now have a piece that is 4" x 2'. Remember that some plywood has a 'good' side and a 'bad' side, you want the bevel on the top to be facing you on the good side.

2) Cut the length of the piece to 4 equal pieces. They will be just under 6"- You have to remember the width of the saw blade when you make your cuts. It is not important that they be EXACTLY 6" (in fact, given the width of the blade, it is impossible to get four 6" pieces out of 2 feet of material), just that they are all exactly the same width.

3) On the good side of the ply (which will be the outside of the support), mark the 2" top. Remember, the bevel should face you on the top of the piece. Draw lines from the bottom corner to the corner of the top.

Cut along this line on both sides, with the table saw set at 45 degrees. This miter is required to join the corners.

4) Assemble the sides. Do a 'dry fit' first, with no glue (see photo).

If you made your cuts right, it should fit pretty well together. I have found it difficult to clamp this, so what I usually do is apply a dot of construction adhesive (I like LocTite power grab for this- it holds instantly) to the middle of the panels, assemble it, then let it dry (see photo)

. After this dries, I go back with a stronger wood glue (usually polyurethane, like Guerilla glue), and fill the seams up with it for strength. Let the block dry completely.

After it is completely dry, I sand the top smooth, the bevels probably aren't 100% correct, so I use a sander with some coarse grit paper to make sure it is all flush.

5) Cut a square of masonite slightly larger than the top, with 30 degree bevels on all 4 sides. Glue it to the top of the support, and let it dry completely.

After it is all dry, sand it all smooth. If there are gaps anywhere, you can fill them with any good wood filler. I use Durhams water putty, it works well and dries FAST. Once the entire thing is sanded smooth, you can prime it. I use a flat white spray primer, you can use pretty much any primer, or you can gesso it as well.

That's all there is to it!

Printmakerguy 01-22-2005 05:16 AM

Re: Project Discussion: Reverspective
Hello all...

Well, I finally have a chance to check in, now that we are back in port. I have been working on a couple of blocks that I brought with me, and have come up with a few interesting designs for future blocks. In addition, I have scanned a paper block that you can play with a bit until I finally get the 'real' blocks sent out. You can enlarge and reduce it in a photocopier to whatever size that you want, glue it onto some card stock, and assemble it. You can try out sketches of different scenes this way before committing to them on the actual block. Find it in the PROGRESS IMAGE GALLERY.

I see that the project is almost full. If there are people that still want to get in on it, I will be keeping a list of alternates. There is a good chance that a spare block or two will be availible, as there are a number of people that are going to try to construct their own blocks. Also, if someone opts out, their slot will open. Send me a PM with the subject "ALTERNATE" and I will add you to the list...

Anyone working on sketches/ideas?? Let's see some posts in the progress area!! I posted some sketches to check out, too!


Ginger Lee 01-22-2005 01:03 PM

Comment on final entry by: Printmakerguy
Regarding this entry --> http://www.wetcanvas.com//Community/...entry_id=44355

Oh I really like this idea. I was actually thinking of something that resembled an art gallery with paintings along the walls with on at the far end. Then I get to do miniatures as well as your project.

Printmakerguy 01-22-2005 05:05 PM

Re: Comment on final entry by: Printmakerguy

Originally Posted by Ginger Lee

Oh I really like this idea. I was actually thinking of something that resembled an art gallery with paintings along the walls with on at the far end. Then I get to do miniatures as well as your project.


Check out the link to Patrick Huges page, he has several that are done to resemble art galleries, with exact copies of famous paintings in them! Really neat...

Lorijo 01-22-2005 10:14 PM

Comment on final entry by: Printmakerguy
Regarding this entry --> http://www.wetcanvas.com//Community/...entry_id=44355

This looks super so far, are you going to add people? Lori

Printmakerguy 01-25-2005 09:49 PM

Comment on final entry by: Lorijo
Regarding this entry --> http://www.wetcanvas.com//Community/...entry_id=44373

Nice to see that you are experimenting!!

Perspective is TOUGH to master, this project is certainly a help in that. Makes you think about it in different ways!

Objects like people seem to be very tough to add to this sort of painting. try to keep them on one panel, for example the side only... Otherwise, it just doesnt work right when you do the 'trick'... They are distorted.

I have a WHOLE bunch of design tips that I am putting together, but I have to do some sketches and things, and will get to them soon... Hopefully, they will help the design process a bit...

Love where you are going, though! Can't wait to see more!


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