Scale Is Sizing Things in Space

Our eyes are wonderful, subtle lenses that work together to give us binocular vision and the ability to see three-dimensional space. With our eyes, we can gauge how far away things are when we look at them in space, and see the difference in scale. Even across a room, an object is smaller than the same object seen up close. You can see this with a piece of paper rolled up. Try it:

1. Set an object close to you and another similar object of the same size across the room.

2. Roll up a piece of paper and look through it at the object close to you.

3. Adjust the diameter of the roll until it just encloses the object.

4. Now, look at the object across the room. Smaller, eh? It is this difference in scale that you must see and draw to make three-dimensional space and scale on your two-dimensional paper.

Remember to draw what you see and that alone. Don't draw what you can't see. Don't even draw what you think you see—or what you think you know.

Try Your Hand

Drawing in circles and ellipses can make shape, space, and volume in your drawing from the very beginning.

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