I’ve been taking my time with the drawing for my latest painting because I’m waiting for the canvas to arrive from the stretchers. This one seems particularly difficult. I think that part of the problem is that I thought that the large vase should be life-sized. I had calculated the size of the canvas to insure this. I measured the actual vase to get the width of the base, top, and widest part of the middle in the drawing. I used these measurements to figure out other measurements. For example, the width of the vase at its widest should be equal to the length of the box on the left (I could tell this by holding up a ruler in front of my eyes and comparing distances). Unfortunately, the box kept seeming wrong to me, no matter how much I checked its proportions. I left it for the day. There is a phenomenon that I call ‘fresh eyes.’ That happens after you work very hard on a drawing and are unable to judge it objectively, and then leave it for a day. The following day, in the first few moments of observation, mistakes jump out clearly. It seems unbelievable that such errors could have passed you by unnoticed. When I looked at the drawing the next day, it was clear that I had drawn the vase too large. It actually should have been a bit smaller than life-sized. Subsequently, the box had to be reduced as well. The box looking wrong now made sense. You can see in the picture below where I erased and reduced the size of the large vase.

I also ended up lowering the box. I also think that I’ll raise the two stacked stones so that they overlap the box, I don’t like that they are now just touching. It’s confusing and destroys the feeling of depth.

I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not that important to get every detail of the drawing just like the set-up. The important thing is the composition. The viewer will never know if the box is lower than in the set-up or if a stone is too large. As long as the perspective is mostly correct, symmetrical objects are symmetrical, and ellipses are correct, the drawing will look convincing.

My next step will be to calculate the ellipses for the vases.