Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lesson # 15 Linear Perspective Continued

There is perspective in everything we see, think, and do. The world revolves around our perspective. We are here where we think and experience things. And we look over there (somewhere else) to see what is there and what’s going on! But we are not over there. We see, hear, and experience what’s going on over there from our perspective here! As an artist, we try to create here or there, close or far, spacial illusions... perspective! Abstract art is another story for another day!

Today we will begin to construct a building.

You will need a piece of paper, tape, pencil, long ruler (a yardstick is good), and triangle (cut a square 10” x 10” piece of cardboard diagonally from corner to corner using a straight edge guide and you will have two triangles), and a T-square, if you have one (but it's not absolutely necessary).

Tape each corner of your paper to the drawing table and draw a level horizontal line somewhere across it from side to side. You may place your line in the middle of the paper, up higher, or down lower. I have placed mine near the middle.

This line is called the horizon line, where the sky meets the ground, or where the wall meets the floor!

Now, continue an imaginary line off your paper to infinity...! Somewhere along that imaginary line, on either side of your paper, draw a dot on little piece of paper 8 – 12 inches from the side edges of your drawing paper (I used two post-its). Make sure your dots are level with the horizon line on your drawing paper. I have uses a ruler to extend my lines and place my dots.

These two dots, one on each side, are called vanishing points.


Now with your triangle, draw a shorter virtical line anywhere across your horizon line. You may put it in the middle of the paper or a little bit to the left or right. But do not place it all the way to the edge of your paper. The top of this line will be the top of an outside wall and the bottom of this line will be the bottom of an outside wall. You can decide if you want a tall building or a short building. But leave plenty of room above and below the line for the roof and the foreground. Use a level ruler to rest and slide the bottom of your triangle along to make all your vertical lines straight up and down. If you have a T-square this makes it easier. The bottom point of this line is called a station point. This is the point that anchors your drawing. It’s fun to experiment by placing this point (and first vertical line) at various places and see how your perspective drawing is affected!).

Align the top of your long ruler with the top point of this virtical line and the right vanishing point and draw a line on your paper. Now, do the same and align the top of your ruler with the bottom point of this same vertical line and the right vanishing point.

Do the same with the vertical line and the left vanishing point.

Now decide where you want your walls to end and draw two virtical lines with your triangle somewhere between the two vertical lines on either side of the station point.


Notice the four corners of the wall on the left side of the station point. Draw straight lines from corner to corner to criss-cross that wall.

There is a point in the middle where those two lines intersect. Use that point to draw a virtical line up to make another point where you want the top of your roof to be.

Connect the top roof point with a line down to each pint at the top corners of criss-crossed wall.

Now we will begin to draw the back of the building to find the points to know where to draw the top of the roof!

With your ruler, draw a line from the top left corner point of the wall


…to the right vanishing point.

Do the same with the bottom left corner point to the right vanishing point.

Next, find the top right point of the right wall and draw a line to the left vanishing point. Do the same with the bottom right corner point to the left vanishing point.

Do you see where the two lines you just drew intersect with the lines at the back of the building you just previously drew? Make a dot at each of those intersections and draw a virtical line between them. Now you have another wall to criss-cross!

You know what to do! And then find the pint where they intersect in the middle and draw a virtical line upwards just like you did on the other side – but how far up? We don’t know yet…let’s find out!

Go back to the top point of your roof to the left of your station point line and draw a line from that point to the right vanishing point.

Do you see it cross the virtical line that comes up from the middle of your right wall? It should, if you made that virtical line long enough. Do it now if you didn’t.


Now connect the right roof top with a line to each of the top points of the right wall.


There you have it…a glass house! You can see right through it (and so can your neighbors!).

Let’s fix that, and erase all the lines we don’t need.

But we can’t get into the building, can we? It has no doors or windows! We’ll learn how to do that next week.

And I will try to be efficient enough to post on Tuesday instead of Wednesday as I did this week. I am so sorry to have kept you waiting!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mara
Thanks for putting these lessons on your blog. I just discovered them. I was hoping to use a few of them with our watercolour group.
Shawna

Mara Mattia said...

Thank you for your comment! I'm so glad you discovered my blog. Enjoy using my lessons with your watercolour group and email me if you have any questions.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your lessons! I am going to use them for my homeschool students!