Measure for Measure

When you're working with informal perspective, measuring is key. Here are some aspects to take into consideration:

1. Take measurements by holding up a pencil at an unvarying distance from your eyes. Keeping it at arm's length will keep it constant, and the constancy is important for that single view.

2. Use the pencil to measure a line that can be your base by marking it along the length of the pencil with your thumb.

3. Then, apply that measurement to gauge the relative ratio of another line, shape, or space.

Comparing the basic unit of measurement against other lengths.

The Art of Drawing

Find a unit of measurement, something that you can measure against your pencil or the view finder frame, a base from which you can compare and measure other lengths. You'll use this base to compare other things, lines, and spaces in your composition.

Think about your base unit and what you want to measure against it as being in a ratio (1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4, etc.). You can use the table below to help you determine lines and curves, or create your own base unit.

4. Establish the angles, measurements, and relations that are crucial to creating viable space.

5. See where roads converge and bands of trees get smaller.

An angle measure helps you to see angles of perspective in space, so you don't have to draw in the vanishing points except in a really complicated piece. The more you draw, you'll learn to estimate vanishing points, and see them as angles. That will be close enough for a lot of drawings.

The Art of Drawing

Make yourself an angle measure, just like the ones that carpenters use to measure angles. Fasten two strips of mat board or cardboard together at one end with a brass fastener. Spread the strips to mark a particular angle, a wide or narrow V shape, and transfer the angle to check your seeing and drawing of it.

Use a paper angle measure to see and transfer angles to a drawing.

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