Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Intuitive Perspective: A Tutorial

So, I noticed a few people really struggling with intuitive perspective today.  So, I decided I would do a drawing from the still life myself and take photos as I did the drawing so you can see things from my vantage point.  Take a look at the photos and read the description of what I am doing by clicking "read more"

 I am specifically going to draw this small portion of the still life.

To begin, I draw a vertical line on the page which represents the corner closest to me on the large box on the bottom.  I can make this line as tall or short as I like, because it is going to determine the scale of my drawing.

 Now, I need to determine the angles of the lines which recede away from me in space.  So, I hold my pencil out and arm's length (elbow straight) and keep the pencil at a 90-degree angle to my arm.  Closing one eye, I turn my wrist until the pencil is lined up with the angle along the bottom of the box.

 I then transfer my pencil to the paper, lining it up where it belongs and aligning my ruler with the angle of my pencil.

 I then draw a line at this angle and extend it longer than I think I might need it.  (I will check the proportions later.)

 Now I do the same thing as before with the other angle that makes up the bottom of the box.  Remember to keep your arm straight, the pencil at a 90-degree angle from your arm, and one eye closed.

Again I align my pencil and ruler in the correct position and draw the new line.

I repeat this process for the angles that determine the top edge of these two planes:





Now, I need to determine proportions.  I need to figure out how long the right side of this box is in comparison to the height of the box.  I do this because the height of the box is what I have depicted on my page, so it is a constant measurement I can use.

To measure the height of the box, I line up my pencil with the corner closest to me.  With one eye closed and my pencil at arm's length, I align the point of my pencil with the top of that corner and place my thumb on the pencil just at the bottom of that corner.  This gives me a measurement that I can then compare to other areas of the still life.

So, now that I have this measurement, I can align the pencil with the bottom of the right side of the box and then move my hand counting how many times the height of the box fits along the length.

1...

2...

...and not quite 3.  Maybe 2 1/2?

So, now I turn to my drawing.  I look at the height of the box on my page... 

And then measure 2 1/2 times this height along the length of the right side of my box.

1... 

2...

...3. 

...But I don't want a full 3 measures, so my length should end about here...


So, at that point, I lay my ruler down on the page and draw a vertical line to cap off that plane. 

Like so...


Now, I repeat the process to get the length of the left side of this box.
 I'll measure the height again.

 Then compare it to the length of the left side of my box.  I see that this length is shorter than the height of the box.  Just a little more than half of my measurement.

 So, I re-check the height in my drawing...

 ...align that measurement with the length of the left side of my box in the drawing...

 ...and reduce that length to just a little more than half.  

 This is the spot where I should make my next vertical line.


Now, I need the angles that will create the plane that makes up the top of my box.  I repeat the steps I use for measuring any angle I need... 






 Now I can erase any stray lines.


Now, I want to get draw that smaller box on top.  How do I go about that?  Well, first I want to make sure that I am placing it in the correct spot in my drawing...

 So, I decide to measure the height of the bottom box again...

 ...and compare that measurement to how far the smaller box is from the right corner of the top of the bottom box.  I see here that it is almost the same distance.

 So, I measure the height on my drawing again...

 ...and find that same distance from the corner of the bottom box.  This is the spot where I should draw the vertical line that represents the corner of the top box that is closest to me.

I get a measurement of the height of the bottom box again and compare that length to the height of the top box.  (I forgot to get a photo of that, but it was about 2 times.)

So, I make a vertical line beginning at the spot I marked earlier.  I make it about twice as long as the height of the bottom box. 


Now, I repeat the process from earlier to get the angles I need for the top and bottom of the two side planes of this top box...











Now, I need to figure out where to cap those planes, so I repeat my measurement process from earlier...
 I measure the height of the bottom box again.

 Then compare that measurement to the length of the left side of the top box.  It's shorter.  Maybe about a half.

 So, I go back to my drawing and measure the height of the bottom box again.
I align that measurement with the left side of the top box...

 ...and split the measurement in half.

I draw my vertical line here.

 After doing that, I now have a new measurement I can use for comparisons.  So, since I know the right side of this box looks like it will have a width similar to the length of the left side, I'll use the left side as my new measurement.  That's what I'm doing above.

 Now, I take my new measurement and compare it to the length of the right side of the box.  It's about half.
 So, I measure the length of the left side of the top box and compare it to the right side length.

 This is about half of that measurement.

 So, I draw a vertical line here.

 Now, I just need the top of this box.


I repeat the process from before and get the two angles I need to draw the plane that makes up the top of the box...







Now, I want to draw that cone on top of the box...


Here's how I decided to do that...
 I measured the width of the top box again...

 ...and compared it to the width of the cone.  They are almost exactly the same.

 So, here's the width of that box...

 ...and here's about where that cone should be.

Then I mark that width.  (I'm not sure why the photo turned this way.)

 I draw a foreshortened ellipse that fits within this width...

 ...and eyeball the center.


I need to know how tall to make this cone, however...
 ...so I measure the width of the cone...

 ...and compare it to the height of the cone.  It's just a bit taller than it is wide.

 So, I measure that width on the drawing...

 ...compare it to the height...
 ...extend it...
 ...and mark the height.


Since I know how tall the cone should be, I can draw the cone using the rules we learned in the lessons on 1- and 2-point perspective...



Now, I want to draw that sphere on the table in front of the big box...

 So, how wide is it?

 Almost the same as the width of the smaller box.



 Now, I'll mark the width...

 And it should be just as tall as it is wide (it's a sphere, after all).

 Now, I fit my circle within those marks.

 Oops!  I made a mistake.  I'll just fix that...

 ...and then erase the mistake line and the imaginary line going through the sphere.


And, thus, by making visual measurements using my eyes, hands, and pencil, I made a drawing that is quite accurate to what I was seeing.

And I promise you can do it, too!

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