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Lauren Armstrong – Michelangelo sketches & Borromini illusion

October 1, 2009

I first wanted to share some images of Michelangelo’s sketches. I have found his drawings a great example of how to really demonstrate volume in drawings. As a a sculptor, it was very important for Michelangelo to communicate the contours and volume of his forms. In his sketches he uses cross hatching and layers of tiny lines to really give the viewer a three dimensional sense of the object. When I draw, I try to use his same technique for “carving” out the volume of the object on my page. I start with a pretty ambiguous form that represents the overall appearance of the object, and thenI slowly add contour lines around the shape to give it volume and dimension. (the first two images)

Michelangelo sketch

Michelangelo sketch

Next, I noticed Araceli’s post about illusions of perspective. It just reminded me of Borromini’s tromp l’oeil hallway in Palazzo Spada in Rome, Italy. It is an interesting to see the way that we can play with perspective to create illusions. In my opinion, this illusion even helps illuminate some of the theories of perspective and why perspective translates into 3D.¬† (the third image shows the Borromini’s hallway)

Borromini gallery at Palazzo Spada

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