Posts tagged Perspective
When I say perspective, I am thinking more along the lines of depth and form in the subjects that we draw rather than the typical linear perspective. Linear perspective is very important to understand and master, you know, with the horizon line and vanishing points etc. This post is about dimensional drawing.
I want to share six very simple and basic rules that will help you endow each drawing with dimension.
The first, is the idea of objects sitting at different points along the ground plane. Typically we show this by drawing one object higher on the paper than another. Difference in Surface position.
This drawing with no other indications begins to suggest that the higher ball might be farther away simply because it is sitting in a different point along the surface. This is especially true when we can see the contact with the ground. In and of itself, however, it does not present an entirely convincing illusion of depth. But it’s a beginning.
The second is a difference in Size.
In this example, all we see is one object larger than the other. In and of itself, it may or may not mean that one is closer, but remember this rule, it can become a powerful cue to depth.
The next is combining these first two depth cues. Surface plus Size.
Now we definitely start seeing the illusion of depth. Most viewers would interpret this as two balls, with one closer than the other.
The fourth rule is Overlap.
While it may be possible that the one shape is simply a crescent that is pushed up alongside the circle, this appearance of overlapping will convince most people that one sphere is overlapping the other, therefore making a very clear statement of dimension and depth.
Next is Surface Lines. These are lines that travel across the contour or surface of the object and deliver a lot of information about the three-dimensional form. These lines may come in the form of stripes on a costume, shadows, or wrinkles, but they tell a lot about the form.
With these lines we can no longer mistake this for a coin, disc, or plate.
Finally, we have Foreshortening. This is where we see the shape receding into space and actually getting smaller as it goes back.
Now if we start combining all these elements, we can really get some perspective an depth into our drawings without getting very complicated.
Now let’s apply these rules to some simple drawings.
Can you see the other dimensional cues that exist in this drawing?
Notice the size differential of the individual elements like the eyes. This is not meant to be a mechanical thing. You should feel it more than anything, but sometimes it helps to use a few reminders (like perspective lines) to keep the perspective working right. Again, notice the little things like the eyebrows and how they overlap the head. Every little thing should contribute to the effect we want. All the shapes on the far side are smaller and therefore appear to be receding in space. Simple idea, but if we can see it and train ourselves to draw this way, our drawings will become much more dimensional and appealing. They won’t look amateurish. Amateurs draw flat because that’s all they know how to do.
Make a concerted effort to utilize these “rules” every time you draw so they become second nature to you. Even your rough sketches should be indicating a lot of this kind of thinking.