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Lesson 6

Using the Sighting Method


There are things you can use your pencil for other than the act of drawing itself. It can be used as a measuring tool to gauge relative scale of objects and also as a way to determine approximate angles of objects or areas allowing them to assume the illusion of perspective.

First, we will look at the pencil as a measuring tool.

By placing your pencil eraser or top at the top edge of whatever it is you want to measure and your thumb on your pencil at the bottom of whatever item you are measuring, you can get an approximation of scale when you move to another object in your still life, room, etc.

Without moving your thumb turn the pencil to approximately measure another part of the object. The relationship of these two measurements will be the proportions you transfer to your picture plane.

For example: in the above instance the window is about one third taller than it is wide.



Using your pencil to measure angles for perspective

Drawing a corner of a room

Find the part of a room where the corner meets the top of the room. Place your pencil horizontally across this point just below this juncture.

Make sure your pencil is horizontal by holding your pencil in both hands with your elbows locked.

At the top of the corner you should be able to see the angles of the sidewalls above the pencil. (Think of your pencil as a straight line rather than a 3-d object in space.)

You want to observe the width of the angles and transfer them to your paper. The corner will always be a true vertical.

Next move your pencil to the bottom of the corner just above the juncture of the walls and floor and measure those angles.

Transfer these lines to your paper. You should have a drawing at this point that looks like an open book. Make sure the angles are going in the same direction as the illustration to the left of this text.

Finally, you should understand that every object or thing on the walls will have the same type of perspective developing. The difference is that as you work down the wall the angles will be getting more toward a true horizontal until you reach a spot called "eye level". (Eye level is straight out from your eye) At this point you will not be able to observe angles but everything on the wall will seem to be level or horizontal.

Keep in mind that doors and windows as they approach eye-level will have horizontal lines. The tops and bottoms will have slanted lines approaching the angles of the top and bottom of the walls of the room.


Urls: More on perspective:Try this applet to understand more about how perspective works

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