In this lesson you will learn how to use perspective in your drawings and paintings to create the illusion of depth. Perspective allows you to trick your eye to see an illusion of three dimensional space on a flat piece of paper.


Terms, Definitions and Abbreviations of Perspective

These abbreviations are the ones I will use during this lesson.

Viewing PointThe place where you are, your eye level.VPt
Viewing AngleThe place where you are, your eye level and the angle from your point of view.VA
Viewing HeightThe place where you are, at your eye level and height or elevation.VE
Horizon LineThat place where the land and the sky meet.HL
Picture PlaneA make believe paper or canvas between you and the work you are illustrating.PP
Vanishing PointThe single point on the horizon where all the lines on the ground level seem to be coming together.VP
Single Point PerspectiveA single vanishing point on the horizon line.1Pt.
Double Point PerspectiveTwo separate vanishing points on the horizon line.2Pt.
Triple Point PerspectiveTwo vanishing points on the horizon and one in the sky or on the ground.3Pt.
Light ReferenceThe point where your light source comes from for example the sun or a lamp.LR
Shadow Vanishing PointA point directly under your light reference and on the horizon line or on the ground.SVP
ForeshorteningTo shorten the lines of (an object) in a drawing or other representation so as to produce an illusion of projection or extension in space.*FS

*The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language,
Third Edition copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

     As we explore this lesson these terms will become easier to understand and visualize through the exercises we will do together. Please complete all the practice drawings as you go through this lesson. Practice is the only way that I know of that will help you to understand and retain this material.

     Now get yourself a ruler, pencil, models and some paper and lets get to work. Oh, don't forget a light source, comfortable chair and a refreshing beverage this lesson will take a while.

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