Need help with drawing in perspective from observation.
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  1. #1
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    Need help with drawing in perspective from observation.

    Hey all. I recently started my quest to 'go pro' with drawing and have been dedicating a lot of time into reading and drawing. So far I seem to understand the whole 'draw what you see' deal but the thing that keeps throwing me off is trying to draw in perspective from observation. Primarily, trying to assemble a mental image of where the vanishing points are located and such.

    For instance, if I look down at my eraser on my desk I don't have much trouble drawing it. But what I do have trouble with is visualizing in my mind where everything is located. When I try to make an exact duplicate, since the previous drawing would be off, I just sort of lock up and can't get it down.

    So could any suggest some techniques or books to read on the subject? As for the amount of time I've been drawing, I've been doing it for a few weeks now. I really have trouble though drawing more complex things and currently the things I can draw are off simply because I do not have everything in perspective.



    For instance, that picture. I keep trying to draw that but I'm having difficulty assembling the shapes. If I am correct, the horizon is located above and the two vanishing points are off the picture? Even so, would that mean that the vanishing point heading to the top right corner of the picture is farther away than that of the left side? The reason why I ask is because of the awkward shape of the sharpener.

    Last edited by CidCaldensfey; May 6th, 2009 at 10:28 PM.
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  3. #2
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    You are correct that the horizon is well above the image here, and so the vanishing points are, as well. The easiest way to remember the location of the horizon line is to just think about the object you're looking at; if you're seeing the top of an object, the horizon line is above it. If you're seeing the bottom of it, then the horizon line is below it. If you're seeing neither the top nor the bottom, then the horizon line is directly behind it.

    You're switched up on which one is farther away, though. The point on the left is farther away than the one on the right.

    Here's a couple images that may help you. You're likely just getting confused because of the downward slope the sharpener has. When imagining the vanishing points, it's best to think of just the 'footprint' of whatever it is you're drawing first. So ignore that slope and the very bottom of the sharpener will give you your vanishing points.

    You'll notice that the perspective lines in the first picture are actually cutting through the object in some places. Remember that the object is in 3D and has a height to it you have to imagine where the hidden corners of the object are to get the correct perspective lines.

    Once you've got your perspective lines, it's very easy to just drop in the object inside of them. Please excuse my shit mouse drawing.

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    Last edited by sharpe; May 7th, 2009 at 01:31 AM. Reason: Correction
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  5. #3
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    it helps to draw a box around the object.

    sharpe your green lines are not following parallel lines. the sharpener doesn't look like it has a 90 degree angle on the back. other than that nice visuals

    Name:  sharpener.jpg
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    sloppy but oh well

    Last edited by Grief; May 7th, 2009 at 01:23 AM.
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    sharpe, shouldn't the 3 point perspective lines converge downwards because you're looking down?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Chow View Post
    sharpe, shouldn't the 3 point perspective lines converge downwards because you're looking down?
    Yes, thanks. I should know better than to draw something that requires thinking this late at night.

    Image corrected...

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    For an object like that, I don't think it's so important to be able to mentally calculate where all the vanishing points are. Really, you just need to be able to understand where the horizon line is and how the object relates to your viewpoint. Like Grief said, the first step is to imagine how a box would look from the same viewpoint. That establishes the basic volume and thrust of the form. Then you need to understand how the form generally fits within the box.

    The reason not to get too caught up in exactly where the vanishing points is that once you get into more complicated forms there's just going to be too many. Your average finger simplified into cubes is probably going to have about 9 vanishing points, a hand is going to have many more. For a whole figure in any sort of a pose- forget it! When you get to that point, the vanishing points are too complicated to think about and it becomes more important to understand how each form sits in relation to your viewpoint, and then to the forms around it. I start with the question "Is it facing me?". If so, then generally you will have one-point perspective. If it's not facing you, then it will generally be in two-point- unless it's significantly above or below the horizon line, in which case it will be in 3 point. (This is very general- I'm trying to get across a feeling that you need to develop about how things face in relation to the picture plane).

    I guess what I'm trying to get across is that for most people perspective is very vanishing-point-centric, whereas you also need to understand perspective in a viewpoint-centric way. "If I'm here, and it's there, and it's facing this way in relation to my view plane, then I can see these parts of it, and it will diminish in this fashion." Don't leave out the view plane, and how everything relates to it.

    Hope this makes some sense...

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