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Beyond the code of rule and number, beyond the reason and precision of the two dimensional, lies the human view. Empowered to draw upon the strength of a deeper truth, the 3-dimensional perspective defies expectations as it masters human reality. Eye to hand to page constructions reveal diminishing size and create three dimensions on two dimensions, sculpting space and creating volume to capture views. Voila! Perspective! Before the invention of perspective, artists used a camera obscura as an aid for drawing. Camera means ‘room’ in Latin and obscura means ‘dark’. The camera obscura was called the mirror of the world because it captured a picture of the world and projected it upside down! Another attempt to record the natural world more accurately was Alberti’s frame. This drawing device consisted of horizontal and vertical threads held in a straight grid within a wooden frame. A rod in front of the screen positioned the eye to keep the viewpoint static. Another attempt to record the natural world was the keyser, a perpendicular clear plane, upon which the artist would record that which was seen in two dimensions.

Now you can embed the principles of perspective on your imagination and use its invisible powers at will!

Relate to what you see and record what you would like to be seen.

Activity 1 – Draw A One Point Perspective

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Draw a one-point perspective from inside of a room:

  1. Draw a horizontal (horizon) line across the center of the paper (your eye height).
  2. Put a point in the middle of the page on the line. This is the Vanishing Point.
  3. Draw two construction lines that intersect at the Vanishing Point.
  4. Draw vertical lines on the right and the left that reach from one construction line to the other. These lines will make the edge of the room.
  5. Add windows and doors to the room.

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Activity 2 – Draw A Two Point Perspective

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Drawing a two-point perspective of a building:

  1. Draw a horizontal (horizon) line through the center of the paper (your eye height).
  2. Put two points on the Horizon Line towards the edge of the paper. These are the Vanishing Points.
  3. Draw a vertical line down the center of the page.
  4. Draw in construction lines from the vertical line to the vanishing points.
  5. Draw in two more vertical lines that go between the construction lines.

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Activity 3 – What You See: Your Choice!

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Now you are ready to capture something of your choice in perspective. Remember to use light lay out lines to capture the view. Keep verticals truly vertical and horizontals truly horizontal. Draw a street in your neighborhood.

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  • The horizon line matches your
  • What was called the 'mirror of the world' in this journey?
  • The vanishing point in a one point perspective is on the horizon line.
  • The vanishing points in a two point perspective do not have to be on the horizon line.
  • To show more of one side of an interior perspective, the vanishing point must move right, or left of the center.
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