In the spring 2016 issue of Drawing, artist and teacher John Roman introduces some of the basic principles of panoramic drawing. These wide-angle images span 180 degrees, close to the full range of human sight, whereas most artwork encompasses about a third of this visual field. Roman walks through the history of panoramic images—which spans from the Renaissance to IMAX movies—and explains a simple method for getting started creating your own panoramic drawings.
Many of the article’s illustrations are furnished by Roman’s students at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where the author teaches perspective drawing. Here, we’d like to share a larger selection of these students’ very impressive work, along with commentary by the instructor. Click on each image to see a larger version.
Julia Emiliani: Horizontal Panorama
A distinctive and original use of ink line highlights the work of Julia Emiliani (www.juliaemiliani.com, MassArt class of 2015). In this interior view of her college-years dorm room, Julia shows us the left and right walls correctly fanning out in one, continuous panoramic expanse. The further we get from the drawing’s eye-level line, the more obvious the curve/distortion of the room’s horizontals (note the bottom edge of the carpet).
Abigail McCoy: Horizontal Panorama
A perfectly executed panoramic drawing from observation completed on-site inside Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. With spontaneity of line and a self-assured handling of the marker medium, Abigail McCoy (www.abigailmccoy.com, class of 2015) powerfully crafted this wide-angle depiction and successfully conveys the broad expanse of the Gardner Museum’s interior courtyard.
Nicolle Whitten: Horizontal Panorama
Nicolle Whitten’s (www.behance.net/nwhitten, class of 2017) “Padanaram Panorama” cleverly plays on the name of this art form and the name of the site she has illustrated. Nicolle masterfully depicts the visual scope of Padanaram, a historic coastal village near South Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Her stunning use of simple ink line and astute sense of three-dimensional space is exquisitely and professionally handled.
Alexa Gustafson: Horizontal Panorama
Alexa Gustafson (www.behance.net/alexagustafson, class of 2017) structured this view inside of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts to grasp the scale of the museum’s corridor outside the Art of Europe room. A compelling use of free-formed and natural linear rendering gives the drawing a spontaneous appearance, yet close observation shows that Alexa has finely crafted this depiction with a patient blend of care, accuracy and artistic license.
Caitlin Mavilla: Vertical Panorama
Caitlin Mavilia (www.behance.net/cmmavilia278a, class of 2016) bravely takes on a vertical panorama inside the Boston Public Library’s dramatic Bates Hall. Caitlin cleverly limits her view to the central point of vision and the point directly above her head to give us a successful vertical slice of the room’s dynamic presence. Her artful use of clean, simple lines force the room’s details to be more pronounced.
Dylan McCusker: Curvilinear Panorama
The upper half of the human visual cone makes up Dylan McCusker’s (www.dylanmccusker.com, class of 2016) extraordinary fish-eye, curvilinear depiction of a haunted castle on a hill. Dylan limits his composition to the central line of sight and the aerial point above the viewer’s head in this creative, imaginary panoramic view. His use of curvilinear perspective is an apt tool for conveying the drama and eeriness of the setting.
Eileen McIntire: Horizontal Panorama
The highly talented Eileen McIntire (www.emariestudio.com, class of 2016) captures the atmosphere of her apartment in this colored-marker rendering. Eileen takes liberties with the perspective of her setting while captivating us with her superb sense of depth, breadth and convincing atmosphere of the room.
Kathleen Ohara: Horizontal Panorama
This on-site drawing of Horseshoe Dam in Scituate, Rhode Island, the hometown of Kathleen O’Hara (http://kkostudios.wix.com/kathleenoharaart, class of 2017), marvelously encompasses two joining roadways in the same composition. The design hierarchy of Kathleen’s drawing dictates the direction of our eyes as we span the location’s 180 degrees, and the effect arrests our attention on the environment’s intricacies and expanse.
Amanda Watkins: Horizontal Panorama
In this vertical panorama by Amanda Watkins (http://wotkins.tumblr.com, class of 2015), a total vertical expanse of a corridor and stairway inside the Boston Public Library is believably articulated. This graphite study is a powerful example of the energy panoramic drawings can contain as we, the viewers, are forced to look up and down the narrow expanse. In short, we become engaged in her art and participants in Amanda’s own experience at the site.