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  1. #1
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    perspective help

    i need to know what books i can get that will teach me perspective so that i know it inside out, and that i can use as an illustrator. ill be glad if anyone can help. thanks!


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  3. #2
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    Loomis covers it well and is available on-line.

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    Good books on perspective are pretty rare in my experience. I think it's for a combination of reasons.

    1. Perspective is based on really simple principles and pretty much all of the material you could ever possibly want to know can be covered in a very short book (unless you want to mess around with lens effects and other ways of bending light).

    2. Art education has been completely destroyed by the postmodernists so only designers seem to care about perspective anymore. I can't keep track of how many people I've met who never studied perspective before going to college, yet they took tons of art classes in high school. I learned most of the rules of perspective in Junior High (the last art class I took before studying design in college). With fewer people teaching perspective, there seems to be a smaller demand for books dealing with the subject since students don't generally care about perspective anymore (unless they're studying some form of design).

    Anyway, political ranting aside, there's a great book aimed at industrial designers called (strangely enough) Industrial Design Sketching. It's been produced by students at the Umea Institute of Design and it consists primarily of reference material with a few instructional sections and tutorials thrown in. If you're interested in drawing objects in perspective (and not just landscapes or environments), it's a great book and it's also really the only book fit for industrial design students that's been written in the last 20 years or so (not many publishers cater to the ID education market). The basics are all covered here and even a few tips for useful shortcuts when dealing with lighting in perspective and some tips for rendering in Photoshop. It's mostly reference material though... lots and lots of example pieces with very little text explanation. I think it's intended to be used in conjunction with a class so a lot of the blanks get filled by a professor ideally. It's still a fantastic book though and well worth picking up just to see great examples of how it should be done.

    If you're interested in drawing environments or just want a thorough coverage of perspective in general (that's catered toward environment designers and architects though), I'd recommend Design Drawing by William Kirby Lockard. The last edition I know about was published in 2000, but it should still be pretty easy to find copies of it floating around (I still see it on the shelves of my local B&N from time to time). The example drawings are produced in that sort of old-world style of thick lines and rounded edges (not like the clean, sharp-edged high-res stuff that typifies the industry today and is found in Industrial Design Sketching), but it provides a great overview of the rules of perspective and lighting in perspective and even some general design and composition tips. It is very very verbose -- with a lot of explanation of the techniques used and a lot of the author's own rambling about art education and design in general. It's a great book, but don't try reading it late at night.

    Both of these books are aimed squarely at the professional design student, and not concept designers so you won't see any examples in them with dragons, spaceships or mountain fortresses or anything like that. But the rules of perspective are the same for whatever you draw so they're still great books if that's what you want.
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    In the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "I drank what?"

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    You might also want to check out some of the Gnomon Workshop DVDs (from the Analog series). Scott Robertson did one which covers drawing basic forms in Perspective (and later discs in the series cover drawing various kinds of vehicles using those techniques as a foundation). He also did a three disc series on shading matte surfaces which is really great. The Feng Zhu Concept Design series covers some good material about perspective too.

    The only problem with the Gnomon DVDs is their astronomical price tag. After buying a series of discs from them, you could've just taken a perspective sketching course at a local college for the same price and then you'd get a lot more bang for your buck (more than likely, depends on the teacher I suppose. Not many people get to be taught by Scott Robertson unless they can afford the tuition for ACCD).
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    In the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "I drank what?"

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    And just for the fun of it: look at Escher's drawings.

    here are some: http://www.etropolis.com/escher/

  8. #7
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    a very very solid design drawing book is
    Design Drawing by Francis D.K. Ching.
    its written mostly for architecture students so its examples are from there. the perspective explanations can hardly be more complete and it has excercises teaching you all the different ways of drawing. the text will explain everything, but youve got to do the drawings to actually learn that stuff. for that combination, this book is really good.

    another interesting book is
    Creative perspective for artists and illustrators, by Ernest W. Watson.
    this is pretty old, and it isnt that good at explaining formal perspective (see Ching for that). Its an interesting read because it has all these examples of illustrators that slightly bend or ignore the formal rules of perspective to get to a more interesting composition or to get closer to what we as humans see in some cases.

    If you want to learn all the ins and outs and get lots of practice I recommend the Ching book though.

    have fun
    tensai


    check the Tensai Tokyo Sketch Thread (Sketchbook)

    check the Tensai Cityscapes Thread (Finally Finished)



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  9. #8
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    thanks, all of you! as for the books you recommend, i am looking for something more relevant to perspective in illustration...so im guessing andrew loomis would be good to look at. as for perspective, how much do you have to know for your knowledge to really be complete? i know its just isnt about learning, one, two or three point perspectives. You have to learn how to distort as well as how to draw ellipses and arches and such... so when will I know when enough is enough??

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    sadly, it will probably never be "enough"....but when ppl stop noticing how you're applying the rules of perspective, when your technique becomes invisible, then...you're getting close
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dashdot
    thanks, all of you! as for the books you recommend, i am looking for something more relevant to perspective in illustration...so im guessing andrew loomis would be good to look at. as for perspective, how much do you have to know for your knowledge to really be complete? i know its just isnt about learning, one, two or three point perspectives. You have to learn how to distort as well as how to draw ellipses and arches and such... so when will I know when enough is enough??
    The "knowledge" and "techniques" for drawing in perspective effectively could easily fit in a dozen or so pages (hence the lack of books for this stuff). There aren't a ton of concepts really and each one is really easy to describe. You'll just start out by doing things the tedious way, laying everything out on a perspective grid with measuring points or something. Then once you get comfortable with the rules, you'll start freehanding things except possibly ellipses which take a lot of practice. But that's all it is is practice. The "rules" are simple and you'll know everything there is to know about perspective in a very short period of time.

    People make a lot out of perspective drawing and how "complicated" or difficult it is supposed to be, but really, it's all very simple and people have been doing it for centuries without too much trouble. Just don't be discouraged by how complicated it seems when you start learning and don't hesitate to start freehanding things as soon as you feel you understand the rules. Like everything else in art, it's really simple, but not easy. Understanding it is all really easy. Doing it well just takes practice, lots of it.

    Rather than trying to acquire a lot of books on perspective technique (of which there aren't many good ones) you should get one really good book on technique and then try to collect a good library of reference materials, examples of perspective drawings that you really like and demonstrate how it looks when it's done right. And then just draw like mad until your work starts to look "good enough", and then draw some more.
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    In the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "I drank what?"

  12. #11
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    thankyou MEP, that was very encouraging! im so glad because now i dont feel overwhelmed by it. i guess what you're trying to say is ill be able to 'eyeball' stuff after i practice the concepts that ive learnt! wow, i feel lighter, thanks!

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