The past month of this column has focused on perspective for beginners. One article a week barely scratches the surface of this topic. Perspective is something that you need to spend a very long time learning and practicing. Hopefully, my short articles have peaked your interest in learning more about perspective. There are lots of articles on the internet on this topic and an absolute ton of books, full books or chapters dedicated to perspective. Aside from written reference, there is an incredible amount of visual reference. This varies from line drawings to fine art paintings and photos.
Here are a few exercises that you can do to familiarize yourself with perspective. Grab a picture, a photo or a drawing, and print it or photocopy it and reverse engineer it. Take your ruler and trace out the perspective lines to find the horizon line and the vanishing points. This will help you see how objects in 3D space are displayed in a 2D space. This is what perspective is really all about, giving the illusion of a 3D object displayed in a 2D space; your page.
The second exercise you can and should do is draw. Grab a sketchbook and start filling it with objects. Doesn’t matter what objects, anything will do, chairs, tables, sewing machine, your camera whatever, but at this point stick with basic objects, as we haven’t covered circles in perspective. So take your sketchbook out and start drawing. Now you might be wondering if you are supposed to start drawing horizon lines and vanishing points. The answer is no, don’t draw those things when you are sketching objects. I want you to eyeball it! Start imagining your horizon line and vanishing points. Remembering lines recede into the distance, watch for extreme angles and give eyeballing a try. Drawing is really the only way to hone your perspective skills and you can “ruler” all your lines for important drawings if you need to or have to, but eyeballing perspective is an essential drawing skill.
Remember…you’re drawing a webcomic and this should be fun. You are on a tight deadline and will need to find shortcuts somewhere. Eyeballed perspective over ruled perspective will hit both targets. Thanks for reading!