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How perspective helps to draw realistic pictures

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Perspective – this is what makes the drawings seem realistic; even after knowing the anatomy and the structure of the human figure, figures or images might not seem realistic unless you can relate the various parts of the figure to the eye level or to the horizon. This relationship is known as perspective. Perspective in the figure actually means that all the parts of the figure are related to a particular eye level. The perspective of the same figure will change as per the level at which you view it – from above, below or from directly in front of the image. Perspective is another way to place a drawing in space, by creating depth and giving the object a feel of actually existing in a given space. Drawing with perspective in mind allows one to place the image in the foreground, middle ground or background. There are three types of perspectives. One point perspective uses one vanishing point placed on the horizon line. Two point perspective uses two points placed on the horizon line. Three point perspective uses three vanishing points.

These are of three types:

  • One point perspective
  • Two point perspective
  • Three point perspective

One point perspective

One point perspective is a type of linear perspective. Linear perspective relies on the use of lines to render objects leading to the illusion of space and form in a flat work of art. It is a structured approach to drawing. One point perspective gets its name from the fact that it utilizes a single vanishing point. In this, there is only one vanishing point, which is always within the image itself. Vanishing point is the point obtained by extending the edges of the objects that are parallel to each other that converge at one point.

Two point perspective

Two point perspective drawing is a type of linear perspective. Linear perspective is a method using lines to create the illusion of space on a 2D surface There are two vanishing points in this that are on the same horizon.

Three point perspective

Three point perspective is actually the least used form of linear perspective. This is ironic since three point perspective is actually closer related to how we actually see things. In the world of drawing, however, three point perspective is most commonly used when the viewer’s point of view is extreme. Three point perspective is a good way to consider this viewpoint would be to imagine you looking up at a very tall building or perhaps looking down from a very high distance.

These extreme vantage points would best be depicted using three point perspective. Two vanishing points are on the same horizon; the third is either above or below the horizon line. This helps the viewer of the image to focus on these points wherever we want him to be looking = either above or below the horizon line.

Linear Perspective Terms

Visual depth is expressed through linear and atmospheric perspective, as well as through colour use. With linear perspective, depth is achieved through lines and the size and placement of forms. Though compositions can vary in complexity, the basic terms and definitions covered in this section are common to all linear perspective drawings. The horizon is the line where the sky meets the land or water below. The height of the horizon will affect the placement of the vanishing point(s) as well as the scene’s eye level.

The vanishing point is the place where parallel lines appear to come together in the distance. In the picture, below, you can see how the parallel lines of the road recede and visually merge to create a single vanishing point on the horizon. A scene can have a limitless number of vanishing points. The ground plane is the horizontal surface below the horizon. It could be land or water. In the image below, the ground plane is level. If it were sloped or hilly, the vanishing point–created by the path’s parallel lines–may not rest on the horizon and may appear as if it’s on an inclined plane. The orthogonal lines are lines which are directed to a vanishing point; the parallel lines of railroad tracks, for example. The word “orthogonal” actually means right angle. It refers to right angles formed by lines such as the corner of a cube shown in perspective.

The vantage point, not to be confused with the vanishing point, is the place from which a scene is viewed. The vantage point is affected by the placement of the horizon and the vanishing points.

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