▬ ASSIGNMENT: 85 perspective drawings! (+85 points) (+15 bonus if on time!)
- 1. Find 5 photo examples of a wide angle lenses and telephoto lenses being used. Sketch them! You can check focal length on flickr easily!
2. Draw 20 cubes with different sets of vanishing points; experiment with distortion and flat perspective.
3. Rotate 20 cubes on a grid. Draw ellipses inside of them them.
4. Draw 20 objects from life. Locate your own eye level (horizon line) before drawing them.
5. Draw your workspace.
6. Draw 10 studies of architectural/interior photos.
7. Draw 10 sketches using perspective from imagination, showing the horizon line, center of vision, and vanishing points. Experiment with one point perspective, two point perspective, and three point perspective.
Assignment Due Date: Sunday, February 1st
▬ 1: MEASURING
LEARN TO SEE WHAT’S REALLY THERE. Before any artist proceeds with perspective, structure, light, composition, etc., it is an asset to know how to measure, have patience, and draw with accuracy. Copying accurately is essential to undoing the ‘lazy eye’ that interprets the mouth as flat line with curves, or the sun as a circle with spikes. We must learn to see what is actually there, and not rely on our engrained imagery and symbolism of the world around us.
(i.e, An artist can understand and know that the eyeball is a sphere and that the iris is a perfect circle, but if the artist cannot see or measure such a thing in a simple drawing, nor observe how it changes in context to the perspective (especially when the said circle is turning into an ellipse at different angles), the knowledge isn’t being put to proper use!)
AND BE PATIENT. This is necessary for thorough learning; the artist who rushes through exercises or gets too lazy to put in the effort to see and understand will improve much slower than the meticulous artist who takes their time to see, think, and understand. Both knowledge and repetition are essential to practice. Whether it be any successful artist, musician, athlete, writer, etc.---the underlying principle will remain the same.
Extra exercise: Measuring and copying horizontals, verticals, and diagonals
The following exercise may seem trivial, but should provide an essential and valuable habit when copying reference or trying to understand how foreshortening and perspective work. You may print off the blank version and copy the PDF exercise onto it!
[Measuring exercise download]
Extra assignment 2: Copy this image upside-down, don't turn the paper until you're finished.
▬ 2. LENSES & FOCAL LENGTH:
Since artists, especially those who study from the convenience of their home, use photo reference to learn, it’s valuable to understand focal length in order to understand what you are seeing and why it is the way it appears! Focal length determines how much perspective we get in a picture and distorts reality.
Eventually this can be applied to illustration as well and give your pieces very dramatic effects (wide angle lens) or calming / zoomed in effects (telephoto).
- WIDE ANGLE LENS (35mm – 1mm) – The lens in this camera is very wide, meaning it can encompass a lot of information in one image. It can also be known as a ‘fish eye lens’. This heavily distorts the perspective. A lot of references on deviantArt use this camera type, as it overdramatizes the pose and perspective. (If you already understand perspective, the vanishing points would be closer together, perhaps even within the page itself)
TELEPHOTO LENS (70 mm to 1700mm)– ‘Tele’, meaning far, is extremely zoomed in and takes in much less information. Perspective can appear nearly flat, and objects in the distance will appear closer than they really are. Photographers during athletic events often use this type of camera, which is why foreshortening may appear very flat or lifeless. (If you already understand perspective, the vanishing points would be placed quite far apart from one another, definitely off the page!)
HUMAN VISION – Normal human vision is close to a 50mm camera lens: the perspective won’t be overdramatized, nor does it appear flat. This is used in portrait photography to minimize distortion.
▬ 4. BASIC PERSPECTIVE
For more thorough instruction, refer to any of the following books on perspective. The following hardly covers the basics!
Everything you draw is in "perspective". Everything you draw in perspective will either have a lot of distortion (wide angle) or very little (telephoto).
To start, you should be able to locate the:
- 1. HORIZON LINE (also known as the eye level) - Imagine you're about to snap a photo. Think about where your eye level is (represented by a horizontal line) when you're taking the photo. That is the horizon. Everything shrinks as it recedes to the horizon, and therefore objects further away appear smaller.
2. CENTER OF VISION (where the person is standing) - Same analogy, now just imagine yourself as a vertical. Where are you standing in relation to the photo you're about to take?
CONE OF VISION:The cone of vision represents how much information we get in a picture. Think of a lens and how much of the picture it can take in, as we discussed above. The human cone of vision is 60 degrees, which is similar to a 50mm camera. The larger the cone of vision is, the more distortion we will get (similar to a wide-angle lens). The smaller the cone of vision, the more like it flatten out the perspective and simulate the effect of a telephoto lens. Therefore, if you want to avoid distortion in your drawings, it's a good idea to stay in the 60 degree cone of vision (or at least keep your vanishing points further away from one another!)
VANISHING POINTS: All parallel lines recede to something called a 'vanishing point' on the horizon. The closer two vanishing points are, especially if they are in the 'frame' of the image, the more distortion we will get (wide angle lens!). If the vanishing points are very distant from one another, we will flatten the perspective and get a telephoto lens effect!
- One point perspective is when you have one vanishing point at the center of vision. The horizontals stay horizontal, and the verticals stay vertical!
Two point perspective is when the ground plane or objects are rotated to the center of vision. The verticals still stay vertical. Observe what happens when you move the vanishing points closer together and further apart! You'll see the effects of wide-angle lenses and telephoto lenses.
Three point perspective: When the camera man isn’t parallel to the ground; think of yourself looking up or down. The verticals will now converge to a point either above (looking up) or below (looking down). Note that the convergence takes place on the center of vision (where the person is standing!)
ELLIPSES: These are simply circles in perspective. They get ‘squished’ as they recede to the horizon. If you don’t know how to draw an ellipse, you can refer to the following video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cf_pUJSQeM
▬ 4. EXTRA TOPICS & HELP
But how do I get new vanishing points for rotated objects?
Simply make sure that your new vanishing points are the same distance apart as your first set!
[See an example here!]
How can I find a cone of vision?
This is a little more complicated and you have to imagine your grid/picture plane as seeing it from above and in front!
1. Create a horizon line and center of vision
2. Locate how far away the person is standing from the scene (this is called a station point)
3. Open the 'info' bar in photoshop (window -> info) and drag your line tool from the station point 30 degrees from the center of vision to the right, and repeat the same on the left!
4. Create a circle by going to the intersection of the horizon line and center of vision, hold down shift+alt, and drag until it touches the intersection of the diagonals you created with the horizon line! (you can just use the shape tool set to "path", or the circle marquee tool and fill it by going to select->modify->border)
[See example here]
How can I get vanishing points off my canvas in photoshop without making my canvas massive?
Drag your rulers where you want them to be (view->rulers), make an intersection where you want the line tool to 'snap' to, and make sure your 'snap' (view->snap) is on! Now you can drag your line tool accurately from that intersection.
These are recommended topics for you to look at, most of which can be found in How to Draw by Scott Robertson. Other books will help too, though!
- Station point
- Measuring in perspective
- Reflecting/projecting in perspective
- Curves in perspective
- Placing shapes on a sloped surface