Exercise: Viewpoint


“Make a small collection of objects around a theme ā€“ choose from:

  • Festival
  • The morning after
  • Summertime
  • Workshop

Using a digital camera move around your set of objects. Look at them from above and from underneath. Zoom in and out. Look for interesting combinations of shapes and textures, and document them using photographs. Be unusual with the positioning of the frame. Experiment with diagonals within the structure and deliberately position some elements close to the frame.”

For this exercise, I chose the theme “Workshop”

I began by collecting a few tools from my shed and started taking photos as per the brief:


“Do the same thing with drawing but work in a format that is different from your viewfinder, such as a square format, or long and thin, or an irregular rectangle. If it helps you can make a viewfinder using two ā€˜Lā€™ shaped pieces of stiff card or paper in your chosen format. Repeat the exercise of exploring viewpoints but this time document your visual journey around the set in your sketchbook. Draw shapes to work with that are the same format as your viewfinder. You may find it helpful to draw around your viewfinder to create a set of thumbnail shapes.”

For the next part of the exercise I drew some of the objects at different viewpoints to try and find different and interesting angles:


“Using a pencil, draw this design on a larger scale. Either draw from the photographs that you took or from the still life directly. Draw your final design to a format and scale which is proportionate to your thumbnail. This line drawing should be descriptive and readable as a visual and not a final artwork in its own right.”

Chosen Image:

Final line art:


I found this exercise to be very useful in staging objects within illustrations. It was great practice to look at things from a different viewpoint and work from different angles.