Instead of beginning with a definition, we will explore the picture plane and how to use it to see even more clearly and easily.
You will need:
A picture plane is the imaginary visual plane out in front of your eyes, turning as you do to look at the world, as if through a window. Leone Battista Alberti, a Renaissance artist, found that he could easily draw the scene outside his window by drawing directly on the glass. He called it "a window separating the viewer from the picture itself." And German Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer was inspired by the writings of Leonardo da Vinci and designed himself a picture-plane device.
Try out all these items in the art store where you get the Plexiglas. Say we told you to do it! They may think you're crazy, but you don't really care and you can consider it the beginning of building your reputation locally as an artist. We are all a bit crazy; it's part of the fun.
A piece of Plexiglas 8" x 12". You can get a few pieces. A larger piece can be handy because you can rest it in your lap and work on the top half. Try a few sizes. Later in this chapter you may find the larger piece works better for you.
A fine-point permanent marker, like a Sharpy or fine laundry marker.
A fine-point washable marker that will hold a line on the plastic.
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