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The best exercise to learn drawing in perspective

The best exercise to learn drawing in perspective

Question from Peter, Drawing Academy student

I’m a complete beginner and want to learn how to draw man-made objects in perspective like furniture, cars, buildings, etc. Could you advise what is the best exercise to begin with?

Feedback from Vladimir London, Drawing Academy tutor

Hi Peter,

You can begin with drawing a cube in perspective from life. The majority of man-made objects have some cuboid-shaped parts, and all such items can be inscribed into cuboids in perspective, so having good understanding of how to depict a cuboid is critical for a fine artist.

If you don’t have a cube model, you could make one from paper (20 cm side). Here’s the template of a cube.

Place a cube on a table and draw it from life in various viewpoints – one- and two-point perspective. Depict ovals inscribed on the cube’s sides.

The best exercise to learn drawing in perspective

The best exercise to learn drawing in perspective

Use the following constructive drawing principles:

1. Draw a cube as if it were totally transparent.

2. Keep in mind the horizon level. All perspective lines should converge on that horizon.

3. Draw on a big scale (A2-size paper) using a “candle grip.” Measure angles and proportions by eye and double-check with a pencil.

Here’s how to measure with a pencil »

4. Do drawings where vanishing points are beyond the paper’s edges. Do not plot vanishing points; instead rely on angles of perspective lines.

5. Depict virtual axes of ovals.

6. Make sure that the main axis of an oval is always perpendicular to a virtual main axis of a cylinder as if such a cylinder were inserted into a cube.

7. Keep all vertical lines absolutely vertical.

8. Use aerial perspective when lines that are closer to you are bolder and sharper.

9. Do not use any rulers; draw freehand.

10. Apply tonal rendering using the hatching technique described in Chapter 11 of this video http://drawingacademy.com/help-i-cant-draw.

The best exercise to learn drawing in perspective

The best exercise to learn drawing in perspective

Let me know if you have any questions; I will be happy to help.

Best regards,

Vladimir London
Drawing Academy tutor

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