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A Little Perspective

by OKAdmin

Perspective is a law. You can’t break it.

Well you can, but if you do people will point and laugh at you.

The subject of drawing in perspective can fill a book and there are many out there. This series will attempt to break down some useful concepts into digestible chunks.

Perspective is an illusion caused by the way our eyes view our surroundings.

  • Objects appear to get smaller as they get further away.
  • Objects disappear from the ground up as they get further away
  • The horizon always rises to the level of your sight
  • Objects will appear to converge to a single point as they get further away
  • The ground will rise to the horizon as it gets further away

You can sometimes get away with minor errors in drawing but they will compound as you move away from the viewer. Then there are a some that will melt the viewer’s brain. Take, for instance, a dramatic pose on a figure in a room with different perspective. The mind can’t get comfortable seeing a world that doesn’t match the real one it sees every day.

There are three types of perspective. 1 point (ex.a long hallway), 2 point (ex.viewing a scene at ground level), 3 point (ex.viewing a scene from above or below). There can be additional vanishing points and we’ll cover that in another installment.

A very common mistake artists make is putting objects and figures in their drawing that do not follow the ground plane. Let’s ignore flying or hovering objects for the time being.

Angle of Viewing

Objects disappear from the ground up. This can be a little more difficult to comprehend. When you view an object at a distance, the point at the top and bottom creates an angle of view. As we already know, objects appear smaller as they get further away. Therefore, smaller objects will disappear from view first. If I see a person far away, I will take in the overall size from the top of their head to the bottom of their foot. If I am only looking at their shoe, the top of the shoe to the bottom of the shoe is a much smaller angle, and I may not see it at all.

Next time, we will discuss drawing a perfect cube and lay a foundation for rotating and translating shapes in 3D space. Perfect squares and cubes are necessary to tackle circles and spheres.


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