Module 4

Introduce | Learn | Apply

Learn:

Topic 1 | Topic 2 | Topic 3

Read the material below and any additional resources listed for this lesson. By now you should have already read Chapter 3 in THE DRAWING BIBLE AND Chapter 1 in the RAPID VIZ text. Both chapters work with concepts of perspective drawing. Nelson talks about perspective related to fine art and Hanks works with the same concepts

Topic 1

What is perspective?


One-Point Perspective.

One vanishing point is typically used for roads, railroad tracks, or buildings viewed so that the front is directly facing the viewer. Any objects that are made up of lines either directly parallel with the viewer's line of sight or directly perpendicular (the railroad slats) can be represented with one-point perspective.

Example of one point perspective drawing on a street image

Example of one point perspective drawing

©Craig Nelson

  • One-point perspective exists when the drawing (also known as the picture plane) is parallel to two axes of a rectilinear (or Cartesian) scene —
  • a scene which is composed entirely of linear elements that intersect only at right angles.
  • If one axis is parallel with the picture plane, then all elements are either parallel to the painting plate (either horizontally or vertically) or perpendicular to it.
  • All elements that are parallel to the painting plate are drawn as parallel lines.
  • All elements that are perpendicular to the painting plate converge at a single point (a vanishing point) on the horizon.

One point perspective drawing diagram



One point perspective diagram of one point perspective  showing horizon line and vanishing point.

Methods of drawing one point perspective

©Craig Nelson

One point or single point perspective of railroad tracks.

 

One point or single point perspective of railroad tracks.

All lines diminish to the same vanishing point on the horizon line.

Boxes drawn in 1 point perspective from above, below and eye level with the HORIZON line.

Boxes drawn in 1 point perspective from above, below and eye level with the HORIZON line.

GID Design Archives ©

 


Two-Point Perspective.

Two-point perspective can be used to draw the same objects as one-point perspective, rotated: looking at the corner of a house, or looking at two forked roads shrink into the distance,

for example. One point represents one set of parallel lines, the other point represents the other.

Looking at a house from the corner, one wall would recede towards one vanishing point, the other wall would recede towards the opposite vanishing point.

Two point perspective layout method.

Two point perspective layout method.

©Craig Nelson

Two-point perspective exists when the painting plate is parallel to a Cartesian scene in one axis (usually the z-axis) but not to the other two axes.

If the scene being viewed consists solely of a cylinder sitting on a horizontal plane, no difference exists in the image of the cylinder between a one-point and two-point perspective.

Two point perspective layout method using multiple objects.

©Craig Nelson

 


Three-Point Perspective

Three-point perspective is usually used for buildings seen from above (or below).

In addition to the two vanishing points from before, one for each wall, there is now one for how those walls recede into the ground.

This third vanishing point will be below the ground. Looking up at a tall building is another common example of the third vanishing point.

This time the third vanishing point is high in space.


Three-Point Perspective image from birds eye view.

Three-point perspective exists when the perspective is a view of a Cartesian scene where the picture plane is not parallel to any of the scene's three axes.

Each of the three vanishing points corresponds with one of the three axes of the scene. Image constructed using multiple vanishing points.

Worms eye view using 3 point perspective looking up at the top of buildings

Worms eye view using 3 point perspective looking up at the top of buildings

GID Design Archives ©

One-point, two-point, and three-point perspectives appear to embody different forms of calculated perspective.

The methods required to generate these perspectives by hand are different. Mathematically, however, all three are identical:

The difference is simply in the relative orientation of the rectilinear scene to the viewer. Study the examples below to see how perspective can be used in design drawings.

Simple furniture objects quickly drawn by students in GID 70 class using RAPID VIZ methods.

Simple furniture objects quickly drawn by students in GID 70 class using RAPID VIZ methods.

Everything can be drawn in perspective by using a box in perspective. Try it! Review this image showing drawing boxes.

Everything can be drawn in perspective by using a box in perspective. Try it!

To see some really cool interactive perspective demonstrations, enter The Chalkboard Art Studio online to discover more about perspective:

Chalkboard

Here are some more examples of perspective drawings:

Historic interior perspective drawing by Jan Vredeman de Vries

Modern interior two point perspective image.

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Topic 2:What is proportional drawing?

Proportional drawing is simply stated " drawing objects in proper proportion to each other. In your text, Craig talks about the relationship of facial features to each other. In design drawing, the relationship to size and scale can relate to objects on a page in a page layout, or a POP design for a store and the relationship of a store display to the viewer. It can also mean the size of a person standing next to a doorway and the size of a person related to the objects surrounding him.

In Rapid VIZ, the designer must make intuitive choices as to the proportional relationship of objects to each others. That takes observational skills and a little common sense. If a doorway is standard height of 6'8 inches and a man is standard height of 6'0", it seems rational that the man is about 8 inches shorter then the doorway when he is standing next to the door. If he is standing several feet in front of the door , he might appear taller then the door. When he is standing several feet behind the door, he might appear to be shorter then the door. It is the visual adjustment we make from our intuitive understanding of perspective and scale. Proportion drawing is the standard method used by artists to draw objects in relationship to each other. Here is a drawing of a face with proportional drawing used to lay out the parts of the face:

Proportional drawing diagram for a figure drawing.

©Craig Nelson

The designer uses whatever is the best size relationship of known objects in the sketch to think about percentages of size for the other objects in the drawing. A 12 foot tall doorway is twice as tall as a 6 foot man so if we draw the man any size, the doorway will be twice as tall. And a six foot man is a little more then twice as tall as the top of a table which measures at about 30" tall. It's that simple. Just begin to find objects to relate to in a drawing and size becomes proportional with a little bit of practice!

Leonardo's Vitruvian Man

"We know very little about Leonardo’s apprenticeship in Verroccio’s workshop, but the short account provided by Vasari confirms that it included architectural and technological design, according to a concept that was being revived on the model of Vitruvius, as reproposed by Alberti" (Pedretti 14). Having had access to Alberti’s and Vitruvius’ treatises, it is no surprise that Leonardo produced his own version of the Vitruvian man in his notebooks.

This rendering of the Vitruvian Man, completed in 1490, is fundamentally different than others in two ways: The circle and square image overlaid on top of each other to form one image. A key adjustment was made that others had not done and thus were forced to make disproportionate appendages:

“Leonardo’s famous drawings of the Vitruvian proportions of a man’s body first standing inscribed in a square and then with feet and arms outspread inscribed in a circle provides an excellent early example of the way in which his studies of proportion fuse artistic and scientific objectives. It is Leonardo, not Vitruvius, who points out that ‘If you open the legs so as to reduce the stature by one-fourteenth and open and raise your arms so that your middle fingers touch the line through the top of the head, know that the center of the extremities of the outspread limbs will be the umbilicus, and the space between the legs will make and equilateral triangle’ (Accademia, Venice). Here he provides one of his simplest illustrations of a shifting ‘center of magnitude’ without a corresponding change of ‘center of normal gravity’. This remains passing through the central line from the pit of the throat through the umbilicus and pubis between the legs. Leonardo repeatedly distinguishes these two different ‘centers’ of a body, i.e., the centers of ‘magnitude’ and ‘gravity (Keele 252).”

This image provides the perfect example of Leonardo's keen interest in proportion. In addition, this picture represents a cornerstone of Leonardo's attempts to relate man to nature. Encyclopedia Britannica online states, "Leonardo envisaged the great picture chart of the human body he had produced through his anatomical drawings and Vitruvian Man as a cosmografia del minor mondo (cosmography of the microcosm). He believed the workings of the human body to be an analogy for the workings of the universe."

This is drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci's perfect circle showing the perfect proportions of the ideal VIRTRUVIAN MAN.

This is drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci's perfect circle showing the perfect proportions of the ideal VIRTRUVIAN MAN.

Some of the helper tools you can use to determine proportion are:

  • Your pencil to make visual ruler mark ups, or used as a sight marker.
  • Your hands or fingers to determine spacing and size relationships to other objects.
  • Any object who's size you already know, that is placed next to another objects that you are trying to proportion or measure

You can also you pre drawn GRIDS that are scaled to equal spaces. YOu can make your own based on ANY scale or proportion you like or you can purchase pre built grids at most art stores.

Pre-built grid on plastic sheet.

Pre-built grid on plastic sheet.

The grid you see here is being used to scale a drawing up to a larger size using a pre drawn sketch of the original image.

The grid you see here is being used to scale a drawing up to a larger size using a pre drawn sketch of the original image.

You can also use what artists and designers call 'Tick' marks or pencil marks on a page to define height and width. These marks are spaced at whatever proportional size and scale you determine and are most useful if you have an idea of the size or proportion of the object you want to draw.

Example from Craig's text on using TICK marks to begin a drawing 'by site' and the the final filled in the sketch.

Example from Craig's text on using TICK marks to begin a drawing 'by site' and the the final filled in the sketch.

©Craig Nelson

Visual landmarks that define the space such as doors, tables, chairs. These help determine visual proportion, scale and size.

In a layout for a magazine, you might use images size next to page size to help determine better proportional balance. Stand back from the layout and determine if the images are too big or too small. In page layout, almost anything goes these days.


In object design, the relationship of objects to other visual references are important. An example might be the size of a hammer to a hand or a glass to a bottle or a large pot to a small pot, soup bowl to dinner plate. What looks correct is the best proportional way to draw and that is the important thing to remember! If it looks wrong, it probably is wrong, so just start adjusting till it looks more correct in the relationship to all the other objects in the drawing.

Observational drawing includes the understanding of proportional estimates and proportional drawing. It takes practice. Make sure you read the section on proportional drawing in your text for more details.

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Topic 3:What are some RAPID VISUALIZATION drawing techniques?

Rapid Viz drawing techniques is a term coined by Kurt Hanks, author of several books on methods used to sketch fast design drawings on paper for clients to view.

The simple rules apply once you understand the use of line, perspective and proportion, which is why I have taken the time in the last 3 chapters to go over that information. Hanks talks about the use of quick methods to draw. All of these techniques can be done with digital tools too. Try using a WACOM and a computer to draw at the IDEA LAB!

Some of the methods Hanks shows in his text RAPID VIZ, are all too familiar to all of us but we don't practice them very often. Start practicing these methods a little each day, and you WILL improve.

Use a flair , pilot, gel or uniball flow pen or dark pencils to draw with. Don't use a light pencil if possible.

Use a light blue or red pencil to lay in the construction line of your sketches. They fade away in xerox printing and don't seem so busy when dark drawing lines on top of them. It's a more professional style of sketching to use blue pencils for the first level of sketching. look at the DISNEY sketch below to see the red lines. The Disney ink artists would hold a red gel in front of the red pencil image to block out the red lines when working with images for inking purposes. The new NON-REPRO blue pencils are great to use for light blue lines that ALMOST disappear with xerox copying and can be filtered out using modern photoshop and image editing software packages today

Disney artwork showing red lines for construction drawing techniques used in animationDisney artwork showing red lines for construction drawing techniques used in animation

Disney artwork showing red lines for construction drawing techniques used in animation

©Disney Studios

Use thick and thin lines to define light in a drawing. Tons of information is revealed by variation in line thickness.

Use outline not shaded drawings. Shaded drawings are the FINE ART side of drawing, and we are practicing design drawing.

Use written notation in all informational sketches and drawings to give important information to the client.

Student drawing showing use of notation on sketches.

When using notation, always try to PRINT on a straight line and don't use cursive and always use capitals not upper and lower together. Here are several types of printing styles used by designers to print on sketches. Good notation allow the designer to eliminate a ton of detail due to the size of a thumbnail sketch. Use upper case lettering in straight rows of simple notes, to create a designer styled thumbnail sketch. For a sketch book exercise, select one of the styles below to practice. Then use that style in some of your drawings. I favor the wide lettering style myself and I hardly ever use cursive lettering anymore.

Examples of architectual lettering and printing techniques.

Fade lines in and out to create style and give the drawing life. End of lines should be thicker and middle of lines thinner.

Don't worry about mistakes, just sketch over them or move to another part of the page.FInd a style and be consistent in that approach all the time when you draw.

When shading in a drawing, use hatching techniques not blended shading of the side of a pencil.

Examples of various hatching drawing techniques

Leave air space around the drawing to keep it floating

Student drawings showing line drawing and hatching methods.

Don't use rulers, draw straight lines but not super straight. A little variations makes for a great style.

Use arrows as often as possible to indicate notes, flow the viewers eye through a drawing and to point out important features

examples of how to draw arrows for notation methods.

 

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What Next?

Go to the Apply section of this lesson by clicking on the Next button below or by clicking on Apply at the top of this page. In that section, you will apply what you've learned so far in this lesson.

 

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