Getting Started

High viewpoint

The viewpoint you choose significantly affects the look of a drawing. A high viewpoint allows you to look down on a scene which can often create a sense of space and harmony.

Normal viewpoint

A normal viewpoint -the eye level of an individual standing upright - creates a familiar sense of human perspective. Distant features may be obscured by areas of foreground.

Linear perspective

Linear perspective is a theory based on how we perceive an object or a scene from a particular viewpoint. The building above recedes in space and seems to grow smaller, yet in reality the sides of the building are parallel. If lines are drawn along these sides, they converge at a distant point known as a "vanishingpoint". A horizontal line across the vanishing point indicates the eye level from which the object is viewed. This theory enables you to represent a three-dimensional image on a flat surface.

This watercolour sketch of Florence, Italy, includes a high viewpoint, linear and aerial perspective, and describes the changing effects of light across the city.

Using a sketchbook

Low viewpoint

If you draw from a low viewpoint, the objects around you will appear bolder and more imposing, creating a strong psychological impact.

This watercolour sketch of Florence, Italy, includes a high viewpoint, linear and aerial perspective, and describes the changing effects of light across the city.

Using a sketchbook

Midday Afternoon Early evening

The Basics of Drawing

Much of what we see around us can be simplified into a series of very basic shapes on paper. The most obvious shapes are cubes and spheres and it is helpful to see objects in these terms when you begin to draw. Regular box shapes with parallel sides are quite easy to practise drawing and a basic understanding of linear perspective and converging lines will enable you to create a better sense of structure and depth. Rounded objects are rather more complex as they should be constructed from a series of ellipses which can initially be quite hard to draw correctly. However, the best way to get to grips with drawing solid objects is to take a collection of household items and practise drawing their different shapes.

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Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

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