Perspective The strength of angles

The first topic we'll cover is perspective. Perspective is not difficult, it just takes some time to understand what you are seeing and know that you are capable of representing depth on the page. This happens after understanding the traditional ways of drawing it. I learned perspective in junior high first, then from "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way," and then, most importantly, from the four years of architecture I studied in high school. The cube or box is the beginning of understanding structure in space.

One of the major uses of perspective is to show you what angles to draw objects at. These angles give you the sense of vanishing that occurs in our world.

1. One, two, and three point

One point perspective is everyone's beginning when it comes to seeing spoce into o flat poge. It is limited. Its main use is to draw flat planes in depth. In the box on the left, one point shows its limitations. When looking at a box, as soon as we face it from any direction besides head on, we are dealing with two points or more of perspective. We cannot see another side of this box until we have two points as reference.

The box in the bottom left corner is an example of what I receive from students when I ask them to draw a box in perspective. This is the nemesis of perspective. I know we are taught this, but if you look at the box, notice how the front face has right corners all around. We are looking directly at the front face, so how would it be possible for us to see any of the other sides? It is as if we took the back plane of the box and slid it, in a parallel manner, away from its actual structural orientation with the front of the box.

Two-point perspective has the cube converge in perspective only on one plane of existence, therefore horizontal or vertical. In the first example, notice how the vertical lines in the box are parallel and the others are not. Here our cube is affected only on a horizontal plane. The horizontal lines of the cube are being squeezed into perspective by the vanishing points. In the second drawing, the cube is still two-point but affected on a vertical plane. As soon as we are above or below and left or right of the box, which means we should see three of its planes, we must have three points of perspective.

In three point, the box is af f ected by perspective on two planes, vertical and horizontal. Number one and two are the horizontal points and number three is our one vertical point. We could have two points on a vertical line and one on the horizontal. In this case, the third point gives us a sense that the box is long vertically. We seem to be floating above it looking down. The vertical lines that create the box are converging downward towards the third point.

To help explain one, two, and three point, lam going to use drawings of people's heads. Why? The head is the most block-like structure of the body. Some artists like to construct the head from a ball; I prefer the cube. It is more definitive. It has clear planes that erase doubt as to what specific direction in space a person or animal's head is in. Use the angles of the cube to help define the angles of the facial features. Just as curves defined force in Chapter One, straight lines evoke structure and perspective.

One Point Perspective Drawing

This drawing is a profile or one point perspective. Here we are looking right at the side of the modefs head.

One Point Perspective Head

Mike's drawing of Keith is in two point perspective. We have the front and side of his head visible to us. The edge of those two planes is at the peak of his right eyebrow. That edge defines the forehead and temple planes. The drawing itself is solid. Look at the bottom of the nose and his upper lip. We see three planes of perspective in these features, but the head itself is not in three point. Also notice the slight pinching effect of the projection lines of the eyes nose and mouth. The glosses are obvious evidence of the two planes of perspective. Mike did an excellent job.

Here is o drawing of my wife Ellen. You can immediately tell that I was above her when it was produced. See the clear three planes of her head. Notice how her facial features block one another because of the perspective. An example would be her nose blocking her mouth.

Know how to draw the right angles of a box in space and then how to squeeze those angles to give your drawings even more depth. Pay attention to the vertical and horizontal lines and how they need to converge to suggest a plane progressing back into space.

You must be able to draw a cube from any perspective out of your head. This is a definite requirement of drawing well.

Cube Perspective Drawing
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