1      Basic Perspective Drawing Concepts (*)

As with all Foundation Art Skills, for perspective skills, we begin with the obvious stuff. In the case of depth perception and perspective drawing, the obvious stuff includes the following observations, illustrated in simple photographs, drawings and diagrams. Later sections will address these ideas to greater academic depth. As everywhere in Foundation Art Skills, subject titles are tagged with asterisks (for example: ***) to indicate the level of academic presentation involved; for example, this basic concepts section is tagged as having little academic sophistication “*”.

  1. Drawings are made on a flat surface that must be directly in front of the viewer in order to look right. “Looking right” means that the image looks believable and does not appear distorted to the viewer. Without moving their eyeballs, humans are limited as to how far they can see accurately from side to side and up and down. Outside of this limited range, human can’t see very clearly (for example, try to read something, even as large as a billboard, if you are not looking directly at it). Figure XX is a diagram of such limitation. Stare at the dot in the center of image and notice that if you are fairly close to the image, the text on the billboard is difficult to read but if you sit back, it is easy to see the whole picture and read the billboard.
  2. Humans rely on having two eyes in order to see real depth. Each eye sees a slightly different view of the scene in front of the person. Within a few months of birth, your brain learns how to use these two images together to imply depth. Because a drawing or painting is only a single image on a flat surface, the artist has to simplify and create an image as if it were viewed from one eye. This means that some tricks and optical illusions have to be used to make your viewer “see” more depth than is actually available from the one flat image. It is interesting that a standard camera is a similar to a single eye while a 3D camera uses two lenses to create two images, one of which is visible to each eye, this allows your brain to recreate an image that you see as “depth”. Figure XX shows a stereoptiscope from the 1890s where a viewer could see a double image such as in figure XX as a 3D image. There is a large collection of such images in the collection of public libraries, many of which are available online with various types of viewers and experiments.
  3. When an object is farther from the artist or viewer, it appears smaller than when it is near as seen in familiar scenes in figures XX and XX.
  4. Objects that are very far away appear hazy and their colors are less intense (see fig 2)
  5. Objects in a scene that are near and aligned with other objects obscure tho objects that are further away, this is called overlap (see fig 3)
  6. In a scene on flat ground, with several objects sitting at the ground level, the base of objects that are farther away will appear higher in the picture (see fig 4)
  7. In order to draw a realistic image on a flat surface, artists limit their image as if they were viewing with one eye that is fixed straight at the picture. This allows an artist to create a picture on a flat surface that seems to have depth.
  8. Because you can focus by adjusting the shape of the lens in your eye, at any given time, objects at a certain distance will appear precisely focused while objects that are nearer or further away will appear somewhat blurred. In low light conditions, such as evening skylight or dim artificial light this limited focus (called “depth of field”) is more pronounced. You typically have limited ability to focus very near but distant vision focus is usually unlimited. Age or damage to your eyes can change this ability to focus and precision made glasses are required to correct such vision. Camera lenses have similar focus capabilities.
  9. The same characteristics of obvious depth perception apply to large scenes and objects as to smaller scenes and objects. This is demonstrated in figures XX and XX. The small blocks of figure XX are arranged in a similar fashion to the larger objects of figure XX.

There are many tricks that can be used to create an illusion of depth in a flat image; perspective is only one of those tricks. Other tricks involve (links to more in depth discussion of each of these subjects are in parentheses):

  • Simulating accurate light and shadow to indicate forms (chiaroscuro)
  • Sharp and fuzzy edges of objects to indicate focus (depth of field)
  • Color adjustment to indicate the effect of atmosphere on distant objects (color saturation)

A basic understanding of Perspective Drawing will help you make effective drawings quickly, efficiently and accurately.  A well done perspective drawing can be understood by a viewer with no special art training. Understanding the basic concepts and skills of perspective drawing will help you identify what is wrong with images that “just don’t look right” and how to fix them.

Refer to the Basic Drawing Vocabulary and other section of Foundation Art Skills for the specific meanings of terms and more extensive information regarding art concepts and words.

Drawing a Projected Image

See figure XX for an explanation of the terms and concepts used to describe perspective drawing used in the following sections.

Basic linear perspective concepts
Basic linear perspective concepts

Perspective drawing involves drawing an object by creating an image of that object on a flat surface such as drawing on paper or painting on canvas. The flat surface is square to the viewer’s line of sight and is called the Picture Plane. The Picture Plane works something like a projection screen used to show movies only in reverse. A Picture Plane shows an image as it would be captured in the viewers eye.  This Picture Plane image shows the light waves traveling from the subject that would strike the viewer’s eye.  This concept is demonstrated in figure XX.


This is a conceptual drawing showing the subject in the real world and the interior of an eyeball that is looking at the subject. The illustration describes techniques to be taught in this course so don’t be concerned with understanding the details or the rules of the process at this point in time – all will become clear; all that you need at this point is a general understanding, this illustration will be reused as it is needed in later sections.  The image of the simple house form is created on the Picture Plane by projecting critical points, edges and shapes from the house to the viewer’s eye.  The exact location of the projected points on the Picture Plane are found by tracing the points from an object to the back of the eyeball. These traces determine the position where each point would appear on the Picture Plane as it simulates the view through a window in the wall that is the Picture Plane.  The seemingly complex web of fine lines is actually a simple tool that an artist who understands Perspective Drawing uses to create an accurate drawing; a tool that you can master by practicing this foundation art skill.

2      Fundamentals of Quality Drawing

Producing drawings of high quality requires an understanding of the drawing materials, skills and processes involved.

2.1    Materials

In this course we will address the fundamental aspects of perspective. To keep things simple, all of the demonstrations and exercises will use graphite pencil on paper.  We will be doing some drawing freehand and some using drafting tools such as a T-square, triangles and templates.

2.2    Paper

The paper that you use affects the quality of your lines and values (light and dark areas).  Regular drawing paper is graded as too weight (how much a standard amount of the paper weighs) and roughness or “tooth”.  A heavier paper will usually be thicker, stiffer, or contain more substances such as clay or glue) .  A rough paper will cause lines to be darker.  Some papers are also softer than others.  Drawing papers also vary as to transparency, each type of paper is designed for a specific application and there are too many types and applications to document here.  The 18” x 24′ drawing paper pad provided in your AID kit should be adequate for the finished drawing exercises in this class.  The same drawing paper or cartridge paper (standard grade printer or copier paper) is useable for thumbnails and concept sketches.

For an extensive discussion of drawing papers see:  or most online discussions of drawing paper get too esoteric to be useful in this class.

2.3    Required:

  • Drawing paper pad: 18” X 24” – don’t get heavy stock or board because you will want to be able to use it in multiple layers on a light box to facilitate tracing.
  • Several sheets of cartridge paper (multipurpose copier or printer paper): letter size for sketching ideas and layouts
  • Ruled notebook for taking notes (be sure to have a pen or pencil for taking notes other than your drawing pencils and pens)
  • Translucent vellum or marker paper pad (not tracing paper): 18” X 24” – this is useful for layouts to avoid using a lightbox.

2.4    Suggested additional:

2.5    Pencils

Link for general info:  – don’t worry about the info past the section “ Clutch and Mechanical Pencils”

In this class you will use graphite pencils.  There are two types of pencils that might be used in this course: wood clenched and mechanical clutch.  Wood pencils are cheaper but must be sharpened in an electric sharpener to maintain a good drawing point (small hand-held sharpeners do not usually provide an adequate point for quality drawing); wooden pencils also get shorter as they are used and therefore exhibit a varying balance and must be discarded (for quality drawing purposes) when they are about half used up.  Mechanical pencils come in two basic types: large lead (2 mm) drafting or clutch pencils, and small lead (.03 to ,09 mm) pocket pencils.  For drawing and drafting, the large lead pencils are much preferable because they can draw a more reliable line and don’t break as easily.  Mechanical pencils are initially more expensive, particularly if you have a separate pencil for each grade of lead.

2.5.1  Graphite Pencil Grading

The graphite stick (lead) that is at the core of a drawing pencil is graded as to hardness or darkness of the mark that it makes.  A harder lead will make a lighter mark.  Grades of drawing pencils are indicated as ‘H’ for Hard and ‘B’ for Black.  The grade is indicated by a number and letter.  Pencils graded in the “H” series are harder and therefore makes lighter marks while pencils in the “B” series are softer and make darker marks.  Pencil graphite is progressively softer from  9H … 2H, H, HB, F 2B … 9B (softest or darkest).  H, HB and F are similar in value and comprise the middle range of hardness.  Use the correct grade pencil for each mark you make; use a softer grade pencil to make darker lines rather than pressing harder with a pencil that is too light.  Pressing harder will cause an indentation in the paper sheet on which you are drawing and any paper below it.  This means that a line made by pressing the lead into the paper will be more difficult to erase than a line made with a softer lead or with repeated light strokes.  It is also easy to damage the surface of a soft drawing board beneath a single unprotected sheet.  It is a good practice to keep a clean sheet of mat board or smooth card stock beneath your drawing paper in order to protect the drawing board.  Indentations in the paper on which you are drawing or the board beneath will cause “ghost lines” that cannot be removed.  Be sure that the protective layers cover the surface of the board to avoid creases in the final drawing.  Avoid a protective layer of mat board that has a texture which will show up in your final drawing.

2.5.2  Pencil Points and Sharpening

Manage your pencil point so that it produces a consistent width line.  Obviously, pressing harder will wear the lead faster or even break the point.  This causes either an inconsistent line or a broken line and will require frequent sharpening.  Sharpen it frequently and learn to roll the pencil in your grip as you draw.  This is another reason to not press on your pencil as you draw since a tight grip does not allow you to roll the pencil easily or make lines that display sensitivity for various effects.

2.6    Drawing and Drafting tools

2.6.1  Required basic tools for this session:

Read hand-out article on Materials for Quality Drawing.

  • Drawing board: very smooth surface with at least one very straight or metal edge; must accommodate 18” X 24” paper taped down for drawing
  • Drafting T-square:
  • Drafting Triangles: 30/60° and 45° clear plastic with one edge at least 10”
  • Masking or drafting tape
  • Pencils: wood clenched or lead holder (2 mm mechanical clutch pencil) grades 2H, H (or F); 2B, 4B, & 6B do not use tiny lead mechanical pencils (lead smaller than 2mm)
  • Pencil sharpener capable of producing a sharp point (approx 18°); there will be sharpeners available in class but you will need a good one for homework; most cheap little hand-held “twist” type will not produce an adequate point
  • Erasers: kneaded and white plastic
  • Clear plastic 18” ruler – do not use a metal ruler, they smear graphite lines
  • Compass
  • Clear plastic protractor

2.6.2  Using basic tools:

The use of basic drawing tools will be demonstrated in class.   Take notes and practice in class so the instructor can help you adjust your technique.

2.7    Developing ideas

A large part of the creative process is developing ideas.  You will usually start with some sort of requirement or objective with the objective of creating a graphic product that satisfies that need.  The prime directive is to keep your reason for creating in mind and refer all decisions to that need.

When creating a graphic product, the best approach is to create several small sketches or “thumbnail” drawings.  These may be anywhere from postage stamp size to postcard size.  The small size keeps the drawing from becoming to important, valuable or “precious”.  Make as many of these drawings as you possibly can, then force yourself to make some more.  Rarely is your first idea the best.  Keep trying to find new ways to look at your objective.  Research the subject, find work by other artists and reference photos for inspiration (but not to copy!).  Some of these drawings will be concept drawings (i.e. what subjects or objects are in the drawing), others will be composition drawings (i.e. what is the arrangement and relationship of objects and what are the shapes and values as abstract elements in the drawing).  Once you have “squeezed your brain” to produce as many ideas as you can (or as you have time when working to deadline) – pick the “best” ideas, look for ways to blend the better parts and create a few pencil sketches (sometimes called “tight pencils”) one of these sketches will become the “contract” for you final graphic image.  This “contract” drawing defines what the finished work will look like and leaves no room for further experimentation.  The final drawing or painting will differ from the contract in degree of size, degree of finish, and possibly, color details.

In this class, most assignments will require that you turn in a minimum number of thumbnails, final sketches, and a final piece.  In most cases the size and some other characteristics of these drawings will be specified.

2.8    The correct process for creating perspective drawings

  1. Verify your objectives (instructions: type of drawing, format, etc.)
  2. Research: Find and print references (if required)
  3. Preliminary development: make preliminary drawings (sketches, thumbnails, value plan, etc.) decide upon format, station point, position of objects, drawings of individual objects if needed, accept final drawing (tight pencil)
  4. Layout (on correct paper, frame, eye level line (ELL), central view point (CVP), position objects & vanishing points
  5. Draw perspective boxes to contain objects, divide boxes & find reference points & curves
  6. Draw final version of objects & environment, balance values for effect & depth

3      Concepts of Perspective Drawing

The objective of perspective drawing is to create a two dimensional image from which an untrained viewer can accurately imagine a three dimensional object or environment.  Perspective drawing techniques are effective using tools as simple as pencil and paper. Realistic Two Dimensional drawings are created as images to be viewed in a fashion similar to that of photographs or video images.

To discuss the concepts and techniques of linear perspective, a student must learn a new vocabulary of terms to be used precisely.  At first these terms may sound technical or mathematical but with repeated use, they will come to have intuitive meaning and the artist won’t have to try to remember their meaning.  When a term is first introduced in the following discussion, it will be italicized and its abbreviation will be shown in parenthesis.  As the term is used repeatedly, the abbreviation will be used more frequently instead of the full term.

Subjects in the “real world” have characteristics in at least four dimensions: height, width, depth and time.  In this class we are only concerned with the first three.  Objects have such dimensions as do environments which are collections of objects and the space in which they exist.  Artists have developed methods to describe three dimensional environments as two dimensional images by systems of cues and clues.  This system of cues, clues, and visual tricks are known collectively as “perspective”.  Perspective is important in drawing, painting, photography and any other method that might be used to create a two dimensional image.

There are several concepts that are understood intuitively by all humans when viewing a two dimensional representation of a three dimensional subject.  Some of these concepts were understood and used effectively by the earliest men when drawing symbolically on cave walls.  Various cultures developed various techniques to indicate physical depth and sequentiality.  In Western art, many of the concepts required to accurately depicting depth were not understood clearly or utilized until they were discovered by  masters artists and scientists during the Renaissance.  Many of these concepts were “rediscovered” when photography began to be considered as an art form.  Technical developments are continuing to provide methods to create and  present more effective techniques to visualize and communicate three dimensional subjects accurately and effectively.  Some of these methods, such as engineering drawing, require specialized training to create and interpret; others methods, such as 3D movies and videos, also require that viewers utilize more sophisticated equipment to create and observe the images.

Perspective techniques fall into two primary categories: basic or intuitive techniques and technical techniques. The following factors constitute basic or simple perspective techniques while the techniques of  linear perspective, drafting, descriptive geometry,and 3D digital modeling are classified as technical techniques.

3.1    Basic Perspective Concepts

 “There are three aspects to perspective. The first has to do with how the size of objects seems to diminish according to distance: the second, the manner in which colors change the farther away they are from the eye; the third defines how objects ought to be finished less carefully the farther away they are.”  (Leonardo da Vinci)

Objects appear closer, relative to other objects when they are :

  1. Lower (vertically) in the image space
  2. Cropped off by the edges of the image space
  3. Larger (scale) than objects recognized as similar
  4. Overlapping other objects
  5. Drawn using consistent relative linear perspective effects
  6. More distinct, with sharper edges and higher contrast
  7. Darker with higher value contrast
  8. Higher in color saturation (brighter, more intense)
  9. Warmer (more yellow biased)

Objects appear more distant when they are :

  1. Higher (vertically) in the image space
  2. Positioned away from the edges of the image space
  3. Smaller (scale) than objects recognized as similar
  4. Overlapped by other objects
  5. Drawn using consistent relative linear perspective effects
  6. Less distinct, with softer edges and lower contrast
  7. Lighter in value
  8. Lower in color saturation (duller, less intense)
  9. Cooler (more blue biased)

Individual objects within a drawing can be given a three dimensional (form) appearance by using the following techniques (techniques 1 and 2 will be addressed in this course):

  1. Drawn using correct linear perspective (vanishing points, horizon line, diminishing lines)
  2. Proper use of chiaroscuro (light and dark shading)
  3. Consideration of color shift due to reflected light

Simple perspective is called “atmospheric” perspective when it relates to objects in the far distance (as with mountains). Particles in the atmosphere cause a diffusion that acts like multiple layers of “veil” over distant objects by lowering saturation and lightening values and making them less distinct or “blurry”.  Limited atmospheric perspective techniques are effective with near objects in drawings with less overall depth as well.  Atmospheric perspective is occasionally referred to as “aerial” perspective; the term “aerial perspective” is more correctly applied to images where the viewpoint is obviously high above the subject.

3.2    Linear Perspective Concepts

Linear Perspective facilitates the creation of two dimensional line drawings to accurately depict three dimensional objects and environments.  Many books and articles have been written about Linear Perspective as a subject with extensive scope and history (see the Recommended References section at the end of these notes).

Refer to Illustration 1 to visualize the environment for the following rules.  The rules for creating and interpreting a Linear Perspective image are:

  1. The image is created as it might be seen by a one-eyed stationary viewer or observer whose viewpoint remains fixed at a point referred to as the Station Point (SP).  This viewer and the artist creating the image will see the same thing, therefore the artist and the viewer are one in the same.  The observer exists in a flat world model where the reference surface is a two dimensional plane referred to as the Ground Plane (GP).
  2. The constant direction of view of this observer is a straight line referred to as the Central Line of Sight (CLS).
  3. The image is created on a two dimensional surface called a Picture Plane (PP) that is always orthogonal (perpendicular in all directions) to the CLS.
  4. The scope of the vision of this viewer is limited in that its eye does not rotate to to see more of the image.  For normal human perception, this means that the image should be limited to a Cone of Accurate Vision (CoAV) of approximately 60 degrees (30 degrees out from the CLS) in order to minimize distortion.
  5. The drawing is a part of the Picture Plane that is referred to as the Image Frame (IF).
  6. Objects in the image are typically defined and located relative to directions (up, down, left, right, distance, near, far) based on the Picture Plane and the orientation of the viewer.

In order to create a simple drawing of an environment where the observer would be standing on a flat surface (ground plane) at a known height from the ground (or some other horizontal surface), the following concepts and characteristics must be defined.

  1. A horizontal plane (referred to as the Ground Plane (GP)) that is orthogonal to the picture plane.
  2. The eye level of the viewer is represented by a plane that is parallel to the Ground Plane and passes through the Station Point (SP) (i.e. the viewer’s eye).  The intersection of this plane and the PP is a line called the Eye Level Line (ELL).  The ELL is only visible in the Image Frame.  Because the ELL line is almost exactly aligned with the true Horizon on the picture plane (PP), the ELL and the Horizon Line (HL) are are often used as interchangeable terms.
  3. The surface of the Ground Plane is usually marked of by regularly spaced lines (sort of like a wood planked floor) orthogonal to and parallel to the Picture Plane.
  4. The line where the Ground Plane and Picture Plane meet is referred to as the Ground Line (GL); the distance from the Ground Line to the ELL is the height or elevation of the viewer’s eye, which is also called the Station Point (SP).
  5. The only place at which direct measurements can be made accurately is in the Picture Plane.  This is because distances drawn marked on any plane that is not parallel to the PP will be foreshortened (vertically distorted) when viewed in the PP.

4      Drawing Boxes in Perspective

A box is an extremely useful concept when drawing any object in perspective because, since any object can be contained in a box, you can use an accurately drawn box to locate and measure any object in your picture.  It’s fairly obvious how a geometric object can be positioned into a box and aligned, however organic objects such as a houseplant, a horse, or even a human being can be packaged in a box. The ability to visualize a box in three dimensional space is the cornerstone for drawing accurately on a two-dimensional surface.

In order to draw boxes or any other objects in proper perspective, and artists must first identify the Eye Level Line (ELL) of the viewer. The eye level line is a parallel lines that represents the height of the eye of the viewer above the ground plane in the picture plane. The eye level line passes through the image frame and provides the viewer with a reference as to where he or she is standing relative to the image. The eye level line is frequently referred to as the horizon line (HL); this is actually a useful simplification and refers to the fact that the horizon in a landscape image will align very closely with the ELL.

Boxes are useful when drawing in perspective because all of their edges are perpendicular to their faces; thus if an accurate representation of a box can be drawn on a flat surface the edges can be used to create a precise reference system to locate objects in the three dimensional space of the subject.

The following reading assignment describe how to visualize boxes and grids of lines in space and draw them on a flat surface. The types of boxes shown in the reading assignment progress from totally transparent boxes where only the edges of the boxes are visible to hollow boxes where only four walls of the boxer visible and finally to solid boxes where all of the visible walls are opaque. In the drawing portion of your assignment you are required to draw boxes of all three types viewed from above and below.

5      Assignments

5.1    Reading Assignments (required)

Read chapter 1 in your eBook:  John Montague: Basic Perspective Drawing, a visual guide (5th edition).  Ignore the material on pages 9 & 10 as it is incorrect (objects do not actually “disappear” and the idea of “spheres of disappearance” is confusing and not useful).

5.1.1  Perspective Drawing Vocabulary

Refer to the Basic Art Vocabulary distributed as part of the first class day handouts whenever you encounter an art term with which you are not familiar.

5.1.2  Perspective Drawing Concepts (optional reading)

The following reading is not required (i.e. you not be tested on the material per se, however, it might help clarify some concepts used in linear perspective.

If you want to understand perspective by beginning with an intuitive and historic description, the book Theory and Practice of Perspective by G. A. Storey (published 1910) which has been digitized by Project Gutenberg as a free book that has some excellent insights, however, its writing style is rather dated and pedantic and the illustrations are sometimes hard to see clearly.  Open the main page of this book at:

To cover much of the material mentioned in the previous books read pages 1 through 21 (opening comments through section V).  If you follow this material carefully, you will develop an intuitive understanding that will make understanding the remaining study of perspective much simpler, however, don’t expect to grasp all of the details at the first reading.

5.1.3  General Drawing and Design Concepts

Understanding the following material will help you develop a sense of drawing and design quality and effectiveness.  Read it as you have time during this course; this reading will help you understand issues that will affect your grades for quality in this and subsequent courses.  Read the following material describing elements and principles of design: (follow the two separate links to elements and principles at the end of this article for a useful explanation of the terms)

On-line articles relevant to applications of perspective drawing:

Use or other web search applications to look for “perspective drawing” images.  Most of these images are examples of linear perspective.  Looking for “atmospheric perspective” yields traditional application of atmospheric perspective to landscape images.

Drafting tools: (just for interest):

5.2    Drawing Assignment #1 (due session 2)::

Remember: Pay attention to the neatness and effectiveness of your drawings

l  Wash your hands and equipment and keep them clean and free of hand oil

l  Don’t eat or touch you face or any oily surface while working

l  Keep any food and drink away from your work space other than a bottle of water that is capped and stored on the floor.  If you must eat during class break, do so outside the classroom and wash your hands after eating – oil spots do not come out of paper.

l  Don’t bend or wrinkle you paper when you remove it from the pad

l  Cut off any raw perforated  edges from your drawing paper before taping it down

l  Keep your paper clean (use a separate sheet of paper beneath your hand to protect your drawing paper)

l  Tape your paper down securely (avoid tape on the T-square edge of the board) and avoid wrinkles

l  Keep your T-square aligned with and snug to one edge (left or right) while drawing

l  Use you T-square for horizontal lines and your triangles for vertical lines

l  Always carry your unused paper and finished drawings in pads in your art bag and never fold or roll you paper when storing it

Rather than expecting to be provided with examples of each of these exercises, create your own examples by following and copying the demonstrations of the instructor.  Be sure that your instructor checks your example drawings before you begin working on the first assignment.

5.2.1  In Class:

  1. Inspect contents of your kit; you must have:
  • A drawing board that is large enough to support your largest paper (at least 18” X 24”)
  • Drawing paper pad: 18” x 24”
  • Drafting tape or masking tape
  • Sketch book: 9” x 12”
  • Two plastic triangles; at least 10” on the longest edge
  • Drafting pencils : 2H, F (or HB)m 2B, 4B, 6B.
  • Erasers: Kneaded rubber; White plastic
  • Pencil sharpener (make sure it creates a sharp point (approximately 18°)
  • 18” or 24” clear plastic ruler (1/8” grid style preferred)
  1. Learn about characteristics of pencils, how to sharpen them and how to make various types of marks
  2. Learn how to prepare paper for drawing on your drawing board
  3. Learn how and when to use your drawing tools properly (T-square, triangles, erasers, French curves)
  4. Learn to draw free-hand sketches for perspective (smooth curves and straight lines, clean, confident lines, measuring distances and angles)
  5. Copy simple line drawings as presented and described by the instructor.  Your instructor will check your process and correctness of your drawings.

5.2.2  Begin in class, complete as homework:

  1. * For practice: draw straight parallel and perpendicular lines freehand and with triangles and T-square; draw parallel lines in plan and perspective view.
  2. * Draw thumbnail plans for the following final drawings of boxes in perspective before beginning final drawings. Draw three thumbnail plans (approx 3”X4”) for each larger final drawing (6 thumbnails in total – use copier paper or drawing paper).  Use two of these thumbnails as the plan to create these two final drawings.
  3. Carefully remove two sheets of 18”X24” drawing or sketching paper from your pad; avoid wrinkles, dents, smudges and torn paper; trim away any residue from tearing out the paper such that all four edges of the paper are smooth and lay flat.
  4. Draw rectangular boxes in one and two point perspective using basic drawing tools.  You will draw the thumbnails mentioned above as a creative planning process.    On 18 x 24 drawing paper, draw an Eye Level Line (ELL) at approximately the mid-point of your paper.  On one sheet of paper, draw 2 sets of one-point perspective boxes:1 wire frame, 1 solid, and 1 hollow, one set above the ELL the other set below (6 boxes total).  On a second 18 x 24 sheet, draw 6 two-point perspective boxes, in a similar fashion.  Label the box types and the ELL and points (CVP, VPs, etc) in both the one-point and two-point perspective sheets.  Print clearly, cleanly and darkly.  Use correct line weights – light construction lines and dark object lines.  User the correct type of pencil for each line (2H for construction lines, 2B or 3B for object lines).  Use thumbnails (at least 3 of each sheet) to plan your compositions: size and placement of boxes.
  5. To minimize distortion, the CVP and VP of the one-point perspective drawing should be in the center one-third of the paper and the LVP and RVP should be as far apart as practical (outside the image frame)
  6. Print your name, the date work is submitted, and “Unit 01” clearly and cleanly in simple block text in the lower right corner of the drawings, outside the 14”X20” frame boundary.

Note (*) exercises & & 8 may be drawn on a single 18” x 24” sheet of drawing paper or on copier paper, or in your sketch book (remove the sheets form your sketch book and taper them to you drawing board.

 5.2.3  Turn in at beginning of next class period:

A: One 18” x 24” sheet of practice drawing:

  • free hand drawings (use no drawing tools other than a pencil): at least 6 parallel vertical lines (12” minimum); 6 parallel horizontal lines (12” minimum); 6 rectangles,; 6 circles; 6 ellipses;
  • use drawing tools draw (T-square, triangles, ruler, compass): a 14” x 20” image frame (IF), approximately parallel to the edges of the paper; a horizontal reference line 6” from the bottom of the  a 4 x 4 rectangular grid of squares 1 1/8” on a side; 6 parallel oblique lines at 30° from horizontal; 6 parallel oblique lines at an arbitrary angle (not vertical, horizontal, 30°, 45°, or 60°); 6 radial construction lines at least 6” long from a common center
  • Six  thumbnail drawings of plans for finished drawings of boxes – one set of at least three thumbnails of six one-point perspective boxes per thumbnail – a second set of at least three thumbnails of six two-point perspective boxes per thumbnail; thus there will be 6 drawings of 6 boxes each (i.e. 36 boxes in total)

B: Two 18” x 24” sheets of drawing or sketching paper of finished drawings (use drawing tools) of boxes; each sheet will contain an image frame of 14” x 20” with an Eye Level Line (ELL) at the mid-point and three perspective boxes above the ELL and three perspective boxes above the ELL; each set of three boxes will consist of a wireframe box, solid box, and a hollow box; label each box, print using clear, dark block lettering:

  • one sheet of six one-point perspective boxes –
  • a second sheet of six two-point perspective boxes.

5.2.4  Objectives of this exercise:

  1. Learn, by experimentation, the proper use of basic drawing tools
  2. Understand the nature and relationship of straight lines:

l  Parallel

l  Perpendicular (Orthogonal)

l  Convergent

l  Equidistant

  1. Understand the basic nature of one and two-point perspective and how boxes appear when using both types of perspective.



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