Start your review of Freehand Perspective and Sketching Write a review Shelves: art-books My copy of this book is the Sixth Edition, a printing. My mother was required to buy it during her training as a fine artist and painter. The illustrations and the writing are of the era before the First World War and have a certain quaintness, charm and poignancy given what was soon to follow in world events. In practical terms, the instructions about drawing in perspective are valuable to anyone interested in improving her skills, and I found it worthwhile to go through from My copy of this book is the Sixth Edition, a printing. In practical terms, the instructions about drawing in perspective are valuable to anyone interested in improving her skills, and I found it worthwhile to go through from beginning to end and see how Ms. Norton lays out the topic.

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All rights reserved. It should produce an even grain in both vertical and horizontal pencil strokes. Pencil exercises such as those reproduced in this book are usually drawn on paper of quarter imperial size 11" x 15" , on which at least an inch and a half of margin is allowed.

Have two pencils, one fairly soft as No. Line Practice. Sit erect, with the paper directly in front, and have the desk top inclined, or use a drawing board Fig. Hold the pencil almost flat, as in the illustration Fig. For horizontal lines use position A, Fig. Practice vertical, horizontal, or oblique lines persistently; moving the hand freely from the shoulder, not resting it on the wrist or elbow.

If the muscles acquire an unpleasant tension, relax by dropping the hands at the sides and loosely shaking them. Unfamiliar or difficult exercises should be first carefully sketched with a thin, light line.

If wrong, draw over without erasing until a satisfactory form is obtained. Erase the incorrect part, and render expressively Ch. But after the composition of the exercise is planned, such straight lines as margins, cylinder sides, and many ellipses may be drawn in full at once. And as the student gains in skill, more and more of the work should at the first touch be put on the paper as it is intended to remain.

Exact knowledge is to be acquired only that artistic interpretations may be expressed with ease and certainty. Models for Work. Geometric solids are assigned only as needed for the clearer elucidation of perspective truths. Necessary models, as the cylinder, the cube, and others, should be made by the student as directed.

For forms as the hexagonal frame too complicated to be easily made, the well-known wooden models have been used. But after thorough mastery of the simpler forms, most of the later lessons can be understood without models. Placing of Models. Thus if the model is to be near, as on the table at which the student sits, it is better to raise it a few inches Fig.

This will not be necessary if it can be placed four or five feet distant. If the study is seen too much from the top, the perspective will be unpleasantly violent, as in a photograph where the camera has been pointed too much downward. The Table Line. It stands for the back edge of the table or other horizontal supporting surface, and is called the Table Line.

It should be represented as further back than any portion of the study. As will be observed later, it need not be used if the supporting surface is otherwise suggested, as by a cast shadow Fig. All Work Freehand. Place a book upright directly in front of the eye. With one eye shut and the arm at full length to ensure a uniform distance from the eye measure on the pencil held horizontally the apparent width of the book. Then turning the pen-cil, compare this distance with its height Fig.

It is better to take the smaller distance first, and to measure it into the larger. Compare the proportions so found with those obtained by actual measurement of the book. But always get the pencil measurement first, for this compels the eye to do all that it can unaided before showing by actual measurement how much better it can learn to do.

Now turn the book away a little, and compare this new appearance of the width with the height Fig. The Picture Plane. For this, go to the window, and stand facing the glass, so the face is parallel with it. Choose some object seen through the window, as another house, and resting the pencil against the glass measure its width and compare that with its height Fig.

Observe that if the outline of the house could be traced by the pencil on the glass it would form correctly the apparent shape of that house. This leads us to see that all perspective drawing may be regarded as placing on paper the equivalent of such a tracing on the glass. It will therefore be apparent at once that pencil measurement, to be correct, must be taken with the pencil held as if laid on such a pane of glass; or in other words, on a plane parallel with and in front of the face.

This imaginary transparent plane is called the Picture Plane, and is a most important factor in all freehand drawing. Thus, by turning or revolving the pencil on the glass in front of the face, that is, by revolving the pencil in the picture plane, it can be made to cover the appearance of any possible line or direction. For example, the sloping gable edge of the outside house, though retreating from the eye and therefore foreshortened, can be covered by the revolving pencil Fig.

Its apparent or foreshortened length can also be taken on the pencil and compared with any other dimension, as the height of the nearest corner. The essential requirement is that the pencil shall constantly lie flat on this pane of glass; that is, on the picture plane.

We have therefore, in the use of pencil measurement on the picture plane, a ready and accurate means of ascertaining any direction or any proportionate dimension seen by the eye. It cannot give us actual sizes, as the length of the gable in feet; but it will tell us how long the slanting line representing the gable must be drawn in proportion to other parts of the house.

In this case, for instance, the sloping edge appears three-fourths of the gable width. Any distance between the eye and the object may be assumed for the picture plane.

But for accuracy this assumed distance must be kept the same while comparing sizes. The student should then mentally see the picture plane, recalling that it is vertical, or parallel with the face when looking at the middle of the objects to be drawn. That is, it is at right angles to what we may call the Central Direction of Seeing. The Central Direction of Seeing. The picture plane may then be thought of as a transparent vertical plane pierced in its middle by the direction of seeing.

We have said the central direction of seeing is at right angles to the face. Since the face is generally vertical, the direction of seeing is generally horizontal A in Fig.

The commonest exception is that of being directed slightly downward B in same Fig. In this case it cannot be at right angles to the picture plane. It will, however, always appear at right angles to it when looked at from above. That is, it is at right angles from side to side, and in a plan will always be shown at right angles, as in Fig.

Return now to the seat Fig. Starting with the pencil erect Fig. Let another person help by turning the book away while you measure it and at the same time keep the pencil from following it backward as it is turned away Fig. Thus as the book is turned, the pencil, if it remains on the picture plane, shows the book to appear narrower or be foreshortened.

What is now sought for is that which the eye really sees as the width, not what the mind knows it to be. It is of great importance to distinguish sharply between actual facts of form and size and the perspective appearance of them as presented to the eye. An excellent object for practice is a door. Stand facing a closed door, and take its proportions by pencil measurement. Then let some one open it, and observe the apparent decrease in width.

Making a Cylinder. Seeing the Ellipse. The top now appears as a straight line B, Fig. It is so foreshortened that its surface is entirely lost to sight, leaving only its edge visible. Now, keeping the cylinder vertical, lower it till the eye sees into it perhaps half an inch. Observe carefully the shape formed by the top. Turn it so the top appears as a circle A in Fig. Now keeping it always vertical raise and lower the cylinder slowly, and note how the form of the top changes, appearing rounder as it is lowered.

Symmetry of the Ellipse. While the circle is formed by a curve bending equally in all parts, the outline of the ellipse is constantly changing in the degree of its curvature. From the middle of each side A, A in Fig. Thus the ellipse may be divided by lines through the middle of its sides and ends into four duplicate curves or quarters.

These lines are known as the Long and Short Diameters. On these two lines the ellipse must be symmetrical, whatever the proportion of the diameters to each other; that is, whatever the roundness of the ellipse.

Testing the Ellipse. If the ellipse is perfect it will appear foreshortened to a circle having a diameter equal to the short diameter of the ellipse. But there is no test of the ellipse like the ellipse itself as seen in objects. The student should compare his drawing of ellipses with the rhythmically varying curves which compose ellipses as seen in real objects, correcting and comparing till the eye is satisfied.

If this be faithfully done, the time will be short before ellipses, often deemed a bugbear of freehand drawing, become a pleasure instead of a penance. Roundness of Ellipses According to Position. Place the cylinder on the table and trace around the bottom with a pencil. Move the cylinder to one side and compare the shape of this traced ellipse with that of the top ellipse Fig. Also compare both with that part of the cylinder bottom which can be seen. There is no difficulty in perceiving that the ellipses in a vertical cylinder below the eye are rounder as they are farther below the eye level.

Now, keeping the cylinder vertical, raise it slowly. When the bottom ellipse reaches the level of the eye, it appears as a straight line A in Fig. When the cylinder is moved on above the eye, the bottom becomes an ellipse B , which as we raise it farther above the eye level appears rounder.


Freehand Perspective and Sketching



Freehand perspective




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