Step-by-step: Perspective by Emma Wilde

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Maintaining an angle and a viewpoint is important. Wherever you stand, sit or crouch, your viewpoint is continually changing as you move. Often, especially with the awful weather we have in Britain, artwork involving landscapes and building are often worked from images.

This not only ensures your desired weather, but also ensures that your viewpoint won’t change with factors such as wind, traffic or people.

fig 2This exercise is great if you are working indoors drawing from a photograph or a photocopied image rather than if you were drawing outside from life.  Working from two dimensional images in your studio or at home ensures your angle or viewpoint isn’t constantly changing as it would if you were working outside and having to take into consideration factors like the weather.

The first thing to do is find your image. I’m going to be working with an image of a house I photographed and then photocopied, but you can use an image of anything you like for this tutorial.

Firstly, scale your image to ensure that it fits to the size of the paper you’re working on. I’m working on an A4 150gsm paper, but if you’re working with a bigger image you can use bigger paper.fig 3

Draw round your image to create a rectangle in the centre of you sheet. This rectangle is where your image will sit. Fold your image into quarters and within the rectangle, split this into quarters too.

What we’re achieving here is breaking the image down into sections or manageable chunks. You can divide your image further but dividing into four equal sections ensures we don’t dilute the image too much. You can also fold your photocopied image so that you’re only looking at one quarter at a time if drawing from the whole thing feels like too much information.

Approach your image in a manner that focuses on areas that are empty, known as negative space. I’ve highlighted this in graphite in my image as an example.
fig 4Focusing on the negative space will inadvertently create shapes for you. As you begin to create space, you can match up what you are drawing with its opposing half. This ensures that scaling and your drawing sits as the image displays.

You can use a ruler or a piece of paper to measure distances, keeping all your shapes to scale. It’s best to configure your main shapes, starting with the background, in my case the house, remembering to use the grid lines to help you, before moving onto your foreground of trees and foliage.

It’s best to have an eraser to hand for this whole project as any mistakes can easily be removed. Items like houses have a defined shape that don’t reflect a lot of light, therefore it’s important to get your shape right the first time.

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You’re best beginning with a 6H or 7H to draw a light outline, before working backwards down the scale later on and making your outline darker.

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