Learn to Draw - seeing perspective and proportion in drawing





In the previous exercise of creating a "standard unit of measure" we already touched on the next exercises of perspective and proportion. Before, using and measuring for perspective and proportion may have seemed a bit too logical and mechanical to be "artistic". But in order to accurately depict the world around us we need to accurately represent the object depths, angles, and sizes that we see. And the only way to do this is to measure things. We can somewhat stay away from making our drawings look too mechanical and stiff by not using rulers to measure to the exact centimeter. If we make "crude" measurements using our pencil as the measuring tool, like we did previously, we might get a more "organic" feel to the drawing.

Many people say that when they try to draw their drawings always end up looking flat. The drawing doesn't have any "depth" to it. This is probably because the principle of Perspective was ignored or done not quite right. Many of the paintings and drawing created in the period ranging from the first century A.D. to about the 14th century looked pretty flat for the same reason: it looks to me like they didn't understand perspective.

A simple visual on Perspective

Perspective on a cartoon human

A Horizon line you can see indoors

A very basic definition of Perspective is: Objects appear larger when they are closer to your eye than objects that are further away from your eye. And also elements that comprise a single object appear larger if the element is closer to your eye than the other elements making up a whole object. That means if a friend stands at arms length from you and raises their palm to your eye, their hand will look significantly larger to you than their head. But you know that is not the case, it just appears that way because their hand is closer to your eye than the rest of their body. In DRAWING: Perspective is being able to correctly depict three dimensional space in the confines of a two dimensional, flat surface (your paper). This is done by drawing closer objects larger than objects that are more distant.

If objects closer to you look larger than objects farther away from you, then it seems logical that the further an object gets from you it gets so small that you cannot see it any more. Right? Right - that's exactly what happens. The point at which an object gets so far away that it's no longer seen is called the Vanishing Point. And the vanishing point will fall on the Horizon Line. The horizon line is where the sky appears to meet the Earth. The horizon line can also be seen when you're not looking at the point where the sky meets the Earth. You can see it right in front of you. As you look straight ahead - you'll see the front faces of objects on the Horizon Line. And the objects may appear to have only two dimensions: Height and Width. Above the Horizon Line, you'll see the bottoms of objects, and you'll see the tops of objects that are below the Horizon Line. When you look below and above the Horizon Line you will add the third dimension to the object that you see: Depth - the distance from it's front to it's back.

In drawing, we'll use both the vanishing point and the horizon line. In order to accurately show perspective, what you do first is find your horizon line in the drawing, then you draw several straight lines from the top, middle, and bottom of the object you're drawing that go all the way to the horizon line. Where the lines converge at the horizon line is your vanishing point. The trick then is to draw the object so that the various planes and surfaces of the object are in line with the lines you've drawn that merge at the vanishing point on the horizon line. To start, lets draw simple geometric shapes in perspective then after time you can build up to more complex shapes.

Page    1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26