Learn to Draw - perspective exercise




Perspective in Practice

Click to see the shelves.

If you look around in the room you're in right now you'll see that the middle of your field of vision is where you can only see the front of objects, you don't see the tops or bottoms of objects, this is where the "horizon" line would be. Take for example a stack of shelves. Notice that you only see the front edge of the middle shelf, but you can see the undersides of the top shelf and the top side of the bottom shelf. This is showing that, in this photo of shelves, the second shelf from the top is the "horizon line" and that the shelf above this line appears to be angling down in back and the shelves below this line appear to be angling up in back. In order to accurately do a drawing of these shelves, you would have a lot of horizontal lines that would represent the front edge of the shelves, and also you would have to draw a lot of angled lines that angle both up and down depending on if they were above the horizon line (angle down) or below the horizon line (angle up). Also notice that the farther up or down you get from the horizon line, the sharper the angle is.

Click to see the image that you'll draw

Drawing the beams.

Get ready to do a drawing by putting a new sheet of paper on your drawing board and sharpen your pencil. Put the paper vertically on your board because that's the orientation of the photo. You'll be drawing the image to the right, which show three beams in a ceiling. Click the photo to see how large it looks for you. Is your monitor big enough to have the picture open and read this page as well? If not, I suggest you print the photo out. Get comfortable with your drawing board in front of your computer so you can draw and read as well.

To start, you want to draw horizontal lines that will represent the front edge of the beams. Also, draw a vertical line on the left side that will represent where the wall meets the ceiling.
Next, lets draw the two visible back sides if the top and bottom beams. If you look at where the top beam meets the ceiling, the distance from the front of the beam to the back is slightly more than the width of the beam. So when you draw the line for the back of the beam, draw the line a little more than the the width you drew the beam. Start that line right at the vertical line you drew. Looking at the bottom beam, there looks to be about two and a half times the width of the beam to the back of the beam. So start that line at the vertical as well and draw a line going to the right of the paper.
Take your ruler and put it a little left of the horizontal line and mark the edge of the beams where they meet the wall.
The last step is to connect the the lines for the back of the beams to the lines representing the front edge of the beam. Then I freehand darkened up the lines.

It's all in Perspective!

So what's the point of learning all this one and two point perspective jibba- jabba? It's so that when you draw, your drawing don't turn out looking flat. It's so that you understand that things further away from your eye look smaller than things closer to your eye. Let's say you were called to create the simple drawing on the right. If you drew all the telephone poles the same height, and the road didn't come to a vanishing point on the horizon - even this simple drawing wouldn't look right to your eyes. But since perspective is used in the drawing, the smaller telephone poles appear to be further away from your eyes than the larger telephone poles. Once you are able to create the illusion of depth in your drawings by using perspective - you'll be one step closer to being able to say - "I can Draw!"

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