Creating Perspective: Establish a Sense of Depth Within Your Work, by Understanding Eye Tricks
|June 23, 2011||Posted by Jacob Devies under Painting Tips|
There are many integrating techniques used to create perspective within a drawing. Here are a few things to keep in mind when attempting to create a sense of depth within your work.
Eyes of a Fool
The key to understanding perspective is knowing how the distance of an object can play tricks on the eye – there are quite a few of them! For instance, an object will always appear smaller when placed within the background of a piece. Perhaps you’re thinking, “That’s obvious!” However, you would be surprised by the number of works that were thrown aside because the proportion wasn’t scaled properly. Objects in the foreground of your work will appear larger than the objects placed further from the eye, despite their actual size when compared to each other. As an example, a pop can in the foreground of a piece will appear to be the same size, or larger than, a person who stands deep within the background.
It’s Not a Problem with Your Eyesight
No, your eyes aren’t failing you. Those objects in the background DO appear blurry. It’s another trick of the eye! The further away an object is placed, the less defined it appears. A person standing in the far background of a drawing may even be hardly recognizable! It goes without saying that an object in the foreground is defined by crisp lines and appears to be completely focused. This obvious difference of clarity between objects placed in the background and objects placed in the foreground is what creates a sense of depth. Our brain has stored this type of data without our full awareness.
One-Point Perspective: Creating Depth
Now try a methodical approach to creating a sense of depth, through a technique called one-point perspective. Keep the facts we just discussed in mind and apply them to your work when using the technique! Have fun and remember – Practice makes perfect!
Step One: Begin by creating a base line – a horizontal rule which creates a parallel reference for your future objects. Then place a small dot above the line to indicate the horizon. This is where all objects will point towards as you will soon discover.
Step Two: Next, place a few objects upon the paper. For now, use a simple square or rectangular shape and keep the base and top parallel with the horizontal rule you created in step one.
Step Three: Now you are ready to begin the process of creating a sense of 3D, or depth. With a ruler, draw a fine line from each corner of your object and connect it to the small dot you created in step one.
Step Four: Erase all lines that overlap, or intersect with your original shapes. Be careful not to erase any of the lines that are about to give life to the 3D form of your objects!
Step Five: You can now complete the new 3D form by placing vertical lines, that are parallel to the sides of your squares and rectangles, between the diagonal lines you created in step three. Also create horizontal lines that are parallel with the rule you created in step one. These horizontal lines will join with the vertical lines you’ve just created, forming a right angle.
Step Six: Erase the diagonal lines which extend beyond the corners of the right angles you’ve just created. Better said: Remove all lines that do not contribute to the new cube forms you’ve created.
Too simple? Try some of the following variations:
- Place a few objects above the small dot you created in step one to experiment with different viewpoints.
- Create a light source and give life to the objects by creating shadows with value.
- Move on by practicing the technique using actual objects instead of shapes. Or try trickier shapes that include curves (cylinders, cones).
- Pick a room in the house. Situate yourself in the center of the room and try sketching a portion of the room using the one-point perspective technique.