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Art Lessons: Perspective: One Point

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one-point linear perspective was created
by the Renaissance master, Brunelleschi.
And it's still used today, I mean, every
day, throughout art,
throughout art schools, throughout great
painters' paintings.
We all have to deal with perspective.
Perspective is one of the most important
ways to create the illusion of space and
to find space.
So I'm gonna do a quick demo on one-point
perspective, and if you're more interested
in two-point perspective, consult my
two-point perspective lecture.
So we start out with our horizon line
right here.
And interestingly enough, sometimes I draw
with a mechanical
pencil because it's a very, it's a very
precise pencil.
See how thin the lead is?
Sometimes I just draw with this.
This is more for sketching and everything,
but if I'm going to do a very precise,
mechanical drawing I use a mechanical
This is obviously a super cheapy one.
It has a little vinyl eraser but
these are actually really good for, for a
lot of details.
So when I'm laying in a perspective grid,
where sometimes I really,
just, I'm doing a crazy complicated city,
cuz sometimes I do really,
really intense cities, and I wanna figure
out the perspective, I will draw and
figure out the perspective with this
And then what I'll do is, I will go back
do an overlay on tracing paper and
draw it with this pencil, so I could be a
little bit more loose and
musical about the drawing, so that the
first drawing is kind of like the bones,
the literal architectural bones and
bulwark of the drawing.
The next overlay will be the lyrical,
musical rendition of that bones,
cuz I'm able to freestyle and be more
improvisational with that drawing.
And then of course I will take that,
transfer that to a canvas and paint it.
But it all starts right here with figuring
out the science of perspective.
It's something that should be taken very
It should not be overlooked.
And it's something that's really easy and
if you apply yourself, you can find
yourself having a lot of fun.
So a lot of people skip this step of
perspective, but you shouldn't skip it
because it's one of the basics to creating
the illusion of space.
Remember, Picasso says art is a lie that
tells the truth.
That is a lot about what perspective is.
Art is a lie that tells the truth.
So here we have our eye level,
or our horizon line.
And we could put, place any,
any point here, right there, right here,
wherever you want.
And basically the principle is that
everything recedes to that point.
Everything recedes to that point.
Everything recedes to that point.
So I love architecture.
I love buildings.
It could be landscape, it could be
So everything else here should be parallel
to the picture plane.
Parallel to the picture plane.
Picture plane, and this is parallel.
This is not right here.
But that's okay.
Just do that and erase that.
So you really have to be mindful of
these lines that are going this direction
parallel to right here.
Otherwise, you're gonna get distortion.
Which is fine if you're looking for
distortion, but
if you're not then you're just gonna wind
up with a wonky drawing.
It's gonna look like something's off.
And incidentally, a lot of drawings you'll
notice, if you start to watch,
if you start to check the perspective a
lot of it hasn't just been figured out.
So you really wanna kinda attack your
And I think that if we realize our
weaknesses and we attack them,
you know, often times because we give them
so much attention,
our weaknesses become our strengths.
So perspective's one of those things where
it just feels a little intimidating, but
you start doing it and you're like, wow,
this is really fun.
[LAUGH] I'm having a great time.
And next thing you know, you're having the
best time ever.
So I'm gonna need my, move my paper, here.
And you wanna make it a, kind of a
comfortable situation.
Like that.
It's one of those things that you have to
feel like you have to have right.
So there you go.
So the back wall of that building.
The side wall of that building.
And then, here.
So with this building here, you could see
very little of that side plane.
See that?
Because this is my eye level here, right?
So obviously, I could only see just a
little sluice,
a little sliver right there of that side
And incidentally this is not right.
Because this would come up to here and
then this would go down like that, like
And then, now I know this seems
really like I'm being picky.
But if you don't nail these things the
first time,
you're just gonna wind up having to fix it
down the road and that's the worst thing.
Especially when you, I'll,
I'll tell you this from a lot of
experience with painting.
Bad painting is always bad drawing.
Bad drawing is always not having figured
it out in the first place.
So 95% of bad painting come because
they're bad drawings to begin with.
So if you really take the time and energy
to really kinda figure out
the perspective, and figure out what you
wanna do with the composition, you're
gonna get a way better painting than if
you had just kinda, like, skipped it.
You know, it's really easy to be like, oh,
you know,
the perspective kinda goes something like
I'll deal with that in my painting.
Okay, you can do that, but it really, it
then you're painting, you're like, oh God,
I really wish I had figured that out.
And and you're sweating, you don't feel
good and that's what happens.
Okay, so here is the vanishing point.
And you can see everything is receding to
this point, here.
If you go this direction, let's go above
the horizon line.
So now you're going above the horizon line
like that.
So let's say that this is this point,
this point, and this is going back in
So you're gonna see this side because
remember if your eye level's here you're
going to of course see this side.
And you can determine how wide your
building is.
You know, you could go all the way back
with it.
Is your building gonna be this wide all
the way back?
Or is it just gonna be, you know, up to
Is it gonna be on the same street as this
building here?
Those are the kind of things I think
like is that building gonna be right on
the same street as this building, but
starting here, which means the dimension
is gonna be less?
Or is it gonna be way, way, way wider
right about there?
Let's make it a little wider.
Way high up there.
And the back plane, remember, make sure
it's parallel.
Don't get wonky with it and do that, and
all of a sudden your,
you got a line coming all the way down
like that.
That's cool if you want to distort.
I do a lot of that kind of stuff, but for
me right now we're going to just bring it
here down.
And remember, this line here is parallel.
See, parallel.
It's gotta be parallel, is it?
Certainly is.
This is going back.
And that's a pretty intense drop.
See that?
That's pretty, that's pretty extreme.
It's really going back in space.
Really going back in space.
So if you have a street scene, and you
the street's coming all the way out like
you can start seeing that you're,
you're building, you can start to build a
And maybe this street is going
that way, and maybe there's a,
a corner here, like that.
And see, you would see the corner like
and you, you wouldn't see this side plane
of that corner.
You just wouldn't see that.
So you know, you might maybe say well, you
have a corner on the other side like that.
And then you could just develop whatever.
Maybe I want a trash can, okay, well
let's, let's put a trash can down there.
You just have two lines, and you have the
top plane,
sorry, the bottom plane of the trash can,
the top plane of the trash can, and that's
perspecting like that.
You might see a little bit of that, make
it into a,
you gotta draw an ellipse on it.
Has to be an ellipse now cuz it's a
As you could see, you could start, you
could put people in, trash cans.
You name it, you can do it.
You've got the idea of linear perspective.
So try this at home with, landscapes,
buildings, architecture, trash cans,
whatever you want.
Look at a photo and really think about,
a good exercise is think about where the
vanishing points are.
Like look at a photo and see, take a piece
of tracing paper,
put it on top of that, and see where
everything is receding to.
That's really interesting.
And then you start, you can start dialing
into going whoa,
that's got a very extreme vanishing point.
Or there's two-point, that's two-point
perspective, or
that's one-point perspective.
Or that's really a funky camera because
it's really making everything fish eye.
So do that at home, just check that out.
Look for where vanishing points are, and
really just as you go around during the
day just think about where your,
you eye level is and think about where
your vanishing points are.
And, and it's really fun.
It's really fun.
It's exciting and it can bring you a whole
new dimension to the way your brain works.