Learning to use Perspective!

Why do you need to learn Perspective?

The art of perspective drawing is not new my any means, the idea of drawing to perceive, understand or comprehend what we see dates back to the 15th century. To be able to ‘see’ with our eyes is an important and valuable thing to have and with this we can create a mental picture of the images around us.

We are always reminded of the railway line going off into the distance and appear to meet when in truth we know that is not the case, but this gives us a good example of perspective. In the world of advertising the same idea is reversed and we may have the front of a car enlarged, as if our eyes are touching the headlamp, with the rear going off into the distance, creating a dramatic effect to draw the attention of the onlooker.

Once you have learned the concept of perspective you can create anything, you are only governed by the scope of what the brain knows and understand, so you are kept within a boundary of realism and a sense of practicality.

Within this project we will be looking at Two-Point Perspective as well as the technical aspect of creating the images used by perspective. I must add at this point that in ‘real life’ there is NO one and two-point perspective, we only see Three-Point Perspective so be aware of that fact as we progress.

So why do we need to learn perspective?
That question will always be a problem with artists all over the world and can be answered very easily. We need perspective to be able to create accurate drawings, without it your work has no real depth and meaning. That statement is both bold and truth!

We use our eyes to see all around us.

From our eyes the vision is translated to the brain, that great computer inside our head that works out everything and gives us the real result. If we have never seen that object before we ask, “what is it”? We then take the shape and depth and put it into our memory. Next time we see that object at whatever angle we are able to recognize it, even though we cannot see all sides, we instantly know what it is.

And if it’s a large object we are able to work out the size, the dimension, even if we are a long way from the object. This is Linear Perspective, we all live, breath and see perspective every day from we were born, now it’s natural to us, so commonly part of our lives that we ignore the presence of perspective. Yet we pick up a pencil and start drawing what we ‘see’ without the knowledge of Perspective Drawing.

So, if you are going to draw an object, how can you draw without knowing perspective? Yet, if you are an Architect or a team of Technical Illustrators, you automatically know you need perspective and therefore you come here to learn it, why, without it you may fail! As a Fine Artist you are just in need of perspective as the technical artist.

Perspective has always proved to me over and over again just how important it is when drawing almost anything large or small!

Leonardo da Vinci Drawing is based upon perspective, which is nothing else than a thorough knowledge of the function of the eye.

Shading and Shadows.

Many people do not think of shading and shadow as part of perspective drawing but they would be wrong, shading and shadows play a very important part in Linear Perspective. Knowing where your light source is positioned, whether it’s the sun or a light bulb, Perspective Drawing will forever help to play a major part in your drawings to give it life.

Using Perspective in Life Form and Still Life drawings

If you think about drawing a person, what position are they in, standing, sitting or laying down. What position are you to the person? Are you standing, sitting or lying down with them.

We often think of still life drawing as a bowl of fruit or a vase of flowers, but where have you positioned yourself to the object to draw it?

By introducing a sense of depth we create space and an extension of reality into our art, enhancing the audience’s participation with it. When things appear real, they become real to our senses to some degree. This pulls the audience in, letting them experience what may have only previously existed in their imagination.

As artists the most important thing to us is the audience, we need to let them understand what we see, we need to make it appear as real as we can. By using depth in our artwork we already have the basic to understanding the subject. Add shading, reaction, colour and tints the subject takes on a different life and your audience is now capable and appreciative to just what you have created.

I have drawn a circle and coloured it green. It’s just a green circle. You don’t want to touch it or look at it for very long, it becomes boring and your feeling towards it is null, as you can see from the drawing below.

Now I have put a small indentation towards the top, shade the sides leaving the underside with a little light and suddenly you have a green apple.

It can now be touched and even picked-up, your senses have come alive by doing two simple things to that green circle, both using Perspective in it’s most simplistic form.

These are the things I wish to show you as we progress through the Perspective Drawing Lessons and if you put enough dedication into learning you too will be able to produce a more ‘realistic’ drawing in your future work, both technical and pictorial.

At this point I would just like to make a simple point to you all, Perspective Drawing starts out by learning the technical skills of perspective. This is the most frightening part of learning Perspective Drawing. If you work with oils, watercolour, pen & ink, pencil or whatever media you use, perspective is a useful tool to know.

You may be put off with the idea of learning this skill because “you are not a technical artist”. This is where most people fail and you have to carry on and get through that stage. I have done my best for you to learn perspective easy!

The beautiful and important part is…

You will not need to keep doing the technical stuff unless you are a technical artist.

Once you have learned the skills of perspective drawing you will carry it with you forever.

The brain is a wonderful thing and it plays a very important part, just like in real life, it stores the information for you so if in future you are drawing still life or life forms such as animals or human, you will be able to call on your knowledge of perspective drawing.

So please don’t let the technical aspect of learning perspective put you off, it too will all make sense, and hey, I am here to help get you through this so please email me or contact me if you want help or a better explanation of the subject matter. And if it gets too heavy just walk away and give the brain a rest, come back later and you will be surprise just how much you will learn by resting the brain.

When I use to teach my staff I would never spend all day doing the same thing, the brain can only take so much, and it’s a well-known fact that two hours a day studying is often better than eight hours a day on the same subject, the brain can store an infinite amount of information but accessing it is another matter.

So please take your time, we have a long journey ahead of us but I hope at the end of the road you will succeed and improve your skills with Perspective drawings.

This is the most amazing teaching course I have ever done, it’ excellent! well done… Colin B

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  • Linear perspective, a system of creating an illusion of depth on a flat surface.

    In linear perspective parallel lines that diminish into the distance appear to get closer together or converge.

  • Technical illustrations generally have to describe and explain the subjects to a non-technical audience.

    Therefore, the visual image should be accurate in terms of dimensions and proportions, and should provide “an overall impression of what an object is or does, to enhance the viewer’s interest and understanding”.

  • Linear perspective, a system of creating an illusion of depth on a flat surface.

    In linear perspective parallel lines that diminish into the distance appear to get closer together or converge.

  • Course PricesArtists, you need to create accurate drawings for your viewers.

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  • Technical illustrations generally have to describe and explain the subjects to a non-technical audience.

    Therefore, the visual image should be accurate in terms of dimensions and proportions, and should provide “an overall impression of what an object is or does, to enhance the viewer’s interest and understanding”.

  • Linear perspective, a system of creating an illusion of depth on a flat surface.

    In linear perspective parallel lines that diminish into the distance appear to get closer together or converge.

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