The shapes of an educator

The first time I came across António Procópio was during his workshop in Casa-Atelier Vieira da Silva, almost three years ago. Back then, he was teaching us how to see from his perspective, and how to divide the canvas of our view into shapes, so that all fit each other to create this immensely complex puzzle that we see everywhere.

Last week, in Portimão, I had the privilege of teaching a sketching workshop with him. It was all about distorted perspectives, where you manage opposing vanishing points in the same sketch. His teaching method didn’t go too technical, but merely focused on what we actually see. António taught everyone how to distort buildings and streets, and I had the easy job of showing how you can do it with people too!

It was a true pleasure to see António – an experienced educator – handling both long time sketchers, and high school neophytes, with the same care, dedication and clear-headedness. His explanations dismiss technical books on perspective, and encourage the practice of careful direct observation and fearless sketching – two of my favorite things!

A primeira vez que me encontrei com o António Procópio foi durante a sua oficina na  Casa-Atelier Vieira da Silva, há quase três anos. Nessa altura, ele estava a ensinar-nos a ver a sua perspectiva, e como dividir a tela da nossa visão em formas, de maneira que todas encaixassem umas com as outras, para criar este mosaico complexo que vemos em toda a parte.

A semana passada, em Portimão, tive o privilégio de ensinar numa oficina de desenho com ele, sobre perspectivas distorcidas. Tivemos de lidar com pontos de fuga opostos no mesmo desenho. O seu médodo de ensino foi, a invés de se focar no aspecto técnico das perspectivas, mas focava-se simplesmente naquilo que podemos ver. O António mostrou-nos como distorcer edifícios e ruas, e eu tive a tarefa facilitada de mostrar que também se pode fazer o mesmo com pessoas.

Foi um verdadeiro prazer ver o António – um educador experimentado – a lidar com desenhadores de longa data e com neófitos do secundário, com o mesmo cuidado, dedicação e mente liberta. As suas explicações dispensam bibliografia técnica sobre perspectiva, e encorajam a prática da observação directa cuidada e do desenho destemido – duas das minhas coisas favoritas!

 

Author: Pedro Loureiro

I was born on the southwestern-most tip of Europe, in Lagos, Portugal. A childhood of legos and sandcastles led me to architecture school, but an adolescence of doodling drove me to sketching and later to illustration. I like to sketch, to travel and to chop vegetables into tiny manageable bits. I also like maps. The older the better!

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