Stephanie Bower

Stephanie Bower | Architectural Illustration: | Sketching Workshops: | Sketches: on Instagram at @stephanieabower & | Urban Sketchers Blog Correspondent | Signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society

Thursday, July 5, 2018

TIP 4/10: Lines Get Flatter at your Eye Level

Welcome to today's sketching tip~

#4: Lines Get Flatter at your Eye Level

Well, technically speaking, lines and shapes appear flatter the closer they are to your eye level. In perspective-speak, 
this is called "foreshortening", and it's another reason why knowing where your Eye Level Line is can be so helpful.

The sketch that comes to my mind regarding this concept is one from the interior at the Duomo in Orvieto, Italy. I only had a little over an hour to do this sketch, so sitting on the floor midst bird poop at the very back of the cathedral, I relied heavily on knowing about foreshortening.  

Let's analyze this view.

First, know where your eye level is and draw that line all the way across your page as you start your sketch. I do this every time, be it in a sketch or an architectural Illustration. It's helpful in so many ways. You can see where I drew this line in lightly in my sketch (highlighted in turquoise in the mark-up). In most of your sketches, your eye level will probably be close to the floor and very low on your sketchbook page.

Now that I know where my eye level line is, I know that 
-- receding lines ABOVE it will angle DOWN to my vanishing point in the distance, and 
-- receding lines BELOW it will angle UP to my vanishing point.

I also know that :
--  lines will appear flatter the closer they are to my eye level, again, a useful reference (especially in a two-point perspective when the vanishing points are off your sketchbook page!)

Try drawing in your Eye Level Line in your sketches, then you'll know that even when the vanishing point is way off your page, as in a two-point perspective, you KNOW the receding lines will get flatter the closer they are to your eye level.

And, referring back to Tip #3, you'll see that the people who are closest to me appear a little taller...this is because I was sitting on the ground!

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1 comment:

  1. Perspective is something I really struggle with, thank you for helping me understand.