I’ve been meaning to draw a perspective example for ages. Here’s my take on assignment 7. I drew it on printer paper, on my lap, with a folded pieces of junk-mail as my ruler. I mention that because a lot of folks don’t know what you can “get away with” in drawing with perspective. You don’t need a fancy drafting table and T-squares. Those things just make the process more accurate. For a sketchbook on the go, improv is dandy!
For more on perspective, check out Perspective 101.
Anyway, about this here drawing. Notice the mess of construction lines all around the cubes. When drawing in perspective it is important to draw those in and then leave them in. Yes, they are ugly, but this is a study, not a final piece. If I were going to paint a picture that included a complex piece of architecture, I would first make a drawing (or multiple drawings) of the architecture chock full of construction lines. When I finally got the architecture “right” in the form of a precise line drawing, then I would use one of several methods to transfer the drawing to the canvas.
Notice also that only one of my vanishing points is in the drawing. That’s just the way it goes – you don’t necessarily get to pick where they go, not unless you want a couple of arbitrary dots to dictate what you create. There are various technical ways of successfully completing a perspective drawing in which those points are off the page – and there are also various untechnical ways. I used a second piece of paper to temporarily extend the drawing for some of those points, I used technical methods for not needing extra space on others, and for the remainder I crossed my fingers and faked it.
“Faking it” will get you in trouble, especially if you rely on it to build your basic shapes. For instance, I botched the square hole in the bottom cube and had to erase it. It is all too easy to get to the end of a five-hour drawing only to realize that a guess you made in the first twenty minutes has made a subtle mess of everything. So, the more you know how to accurately draw in perspective, and the more time you spend getting everything carefully set up at the beginning, the better.
See that ghostly cube on the right? That is how I started drawing each of the cubes: sloppily, without a ruler, from my head. The original drawings are still in there under the darker lines. I used those loose sketches as a guide. The locations of the vanishing points were dictated by what I had decided the cubes would look like.
Oh, and drawing from light to dark not only prevents you from having to do a lot of erasing, but it means when you do have to erase, the lines come up easier. Scribbling in an entire drawing lightly, and then redrawing it in progressively darker and more detailed layers is an example of how to work from large to small.
Anyway. . . I hope this information is educational and entertaining. :-)