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Viewpoint and understanding angles

From: Foundations of Drawing

Video: Viewpoint and understanding angles

So now we're going to have a go at drawing a simple perspective drawing of a door. So here's a photographic reference of the viewpoint that I was looking at.

Viewpoint and understanding angles

So now we're going to have a go at drawing a simple perspective drawing of a door. And a door just open can be a really good subject to choose because it can cause really strong angles at the bottom and the top. So I'm just going to take you through step by step. And then simplify that actually scene, and put it on the flat so we're working one on one next to each other. And go through every single angle at a time and show you how I build up the drawing. Just looking at those simple shapes and looking at the perspective within the scene.

So here's a photographic reference of the viewpoint that I was looking at. I've purposely chosen this angle because it's going away from us, and most beginners would veer away from it because it seems a bit too complicated to get that idea of a door going into the distance. And I've simplified it even further by taking out all the distractions of the background. So all we're left with are the negative spaces in between the angles. And it is a lot easier for us to actually focus on and see the angles and the shapes in the actual drawing.

So, I've taken it one step further as well and I've put on some cross hairs onto the actual reference image. So now it helps us to create these smaller shapes within it and abstract the view even more. I've also put the cross hairs onto my paper that is exactly next to it. The cross hairs all line up. It's a lot easier then if you do jump your eye between the two to get a really good accurate drawing. So it initially appears to be quite a tricky angle to draw.

But the thing to remember in drawing is that there's no angle that is trickier than any other. You've just got to go and try to convince yourself that every angle is exactly the same process to get an exact representation of the subject that you're looking at. It's easy when you're first starting to work from 2D to 2D and get used to the process of measuring angles, then you can progress onto a live setup. So for this drawing, we can use a ruler or the edge of your frame to get some accurate lines on here, because it's more about learning the process of taking the measurements.

And then as you get more practiced in it, you can then start to leave the ruler behind and then draw more free hand. But to start with, this might seem a bit mechanical because we are going just with the lines and transferring it. But it's a really good process just to get used to the technique of how to make a perspective drawing that really looks in perspective. So our first decision is to decide what shape to start with. So you gotta try and look for a shape within, whatever image you are looking and say, which one is going to be a good starting point. And for this particular scene I think that this one here, this shape with the angle that goes up to that edge is going to be a great little shape for us to begin with.

So the first thing I'm going to do is just take a line across from this top, and this is just going to be a horizontal line. So, I'm aiming it here, so I just hit that top edge, and very, very faintly I'm drawing it across. So what I'm doing now when I'm looking at this angle is I'm imagining that I've got this edge here. And then I'm trying to just really focus on to see, what is this angle here.

What is that triangle shape? And I try and keep that in my, in my mind. And you can, when you're first starting, again, just draw a faint line on here. And it'll just help you to visualize this triangle. And then what I do is I just, you know, kind of guess where that point will be. And then I'm just looking at this angle here and just transferring that cross. And for the first one we can just use a ruler or straight edge and do it quite lightly. Okay, and now you can use your picture plane just to check the angle to see how accurate you were in your first judgment.

And that's the shape that I'm looking at. And then when I've put that there, that's pretty good. I mean it could come down ever, ever so slightly. But it's pretty, pretty close. So far it's been 100% accurate. I'll just tweak that just a millimeter down. So that's our first angle. That's our first line that we have got in. So the next thing that we can do because we have got these verticals here of the door is we can just draw those in, again just with your straight edge.

So again I am being quite light when I apply it. Just so that we can start to really focus in on the shapes without going to heavy to start with. And now for this one we can just take that line across there. So already, you can start to see the shape here forming. I'll just go over it so you can see it a bit more clearly. So you can start to see this first angle happening.

Then the next easiest one, so you always looking for like the next easiest point. It's going to be this vertical down here. So now I'm just going to look at this angle here, this shape. So I'm just judging the distance from that point there to there and looking at this first little triangle. And again if you hold your straight edge out you can start to, you know, it gives you a really good idea of how steep that angle actually is. And then when I jump my eyes between the two and start, see that looks pretty good. And you start to see this structure coming towards us.

So the next line on here is, is this line coming down. So, again, you can take a horizontal line across. I draw it on there as well. So now I just look to see what the difference is between there and there and I'll make a point, here just a mark and then again judge the distance between here and here. So another mark there. And then I look for the shape, here of that triangle. And you can just continue that, vertical down there.

And then from this bottom line, you're just going to take again another line across from that bottom point. Because on this bottom shape we've got the negative space, for this particular example we can use that shape there use that triangle. And just again, try and look, see okay, what space is there to there. And then make mark. And then the space from there to there. That's you know, quite good. And then look at that angle, that's really what I'm looking at, that angle there. And just by having those two lines, you'll start to see the real basics in one point perspective, where this line is coming up this way, and this line is coming down this way, so everything is converging towards one point that's you know off the frame.

So all of these angles are slowly, slowly slightly changing. Til you get to the horizontal and then slightly changing again back up. And that's something just to be aware of in the final check if you're doing a perspective drawing like this. So now I'm just going to continue on with the rest of the angles and just build the drawing up then to the finish. And so now I've got the basics laid out, you can really start to see these shapes happening. I'm just going to draw over it with a pen, just so you can really see the actual lines and how they were working together to give that illusion of perspective in the scene.

You can rub out the cross hairs now so we just concentrate on the shape. I'm just going to reinforce the frame as well, just so we can see it is a really simple line drawing. To show how that can give us the illusion of perspective just by using line. So now you can more easily see the actual shapes that are in the drawing and how simply you can create this illusion of depth and perspective in your drawings, just by concentrating on the lines and the angles that are there in front of you.

So just take each angle one step at a time and you can really build up some complicated compositions. So you can download this reference photograph exactly as it is to work one to one or set yourself a real challenge and sit in front of a door or a space in your house that's got lots of angles, and just try measuring each angle at a time.

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Foundations of Drawing

33 video lessons · 14962 viewers

Will Kemp


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