DRAWING FROM OBSERVATION

Measuring, Sighting, and Perspective

- MSP (Measuring, Sighting, and Perspective) are core foundation techniques used to draw from observation.
- Each student must continually practice and master these methods to achieve proper Proportion, Placement, and Accuracy (PPA).

In the image below, are the figures measuring or sighting?

Consider using the hands of a clock to decipher the degree of an angle.

STUDENT WORK:

DRAWING I
FALL, 2010

DRAWING II

FALL / SPRING, 2010

FALL / SPRING 2012-13

Concepts to know and practice

- MSP= Measuring, Sighting, and Perspective
- PPA= Proportion, Placement, and Accuracy,
- M,S,P methods determine APP
- One must measure at all times throughout the drawing!!!!!
- If I find you not measuring, I will assume you are lazy or do not understand the concept.
- if you can see, you can measure.
- If you do not measure, you are guessing / inventing what you see (the results are a formless unstructured drawing)
- Measuring is honest and affective.
- Measuring saves you a considerable amount of time and frustration.
- Rather than drawing the same thing three times, you can measure and draw once.
- The carpenters golden rule: Measure twice, cut once

Click on the words below for concept desriptions.

MEASURING AND SIGHTING:

Video: how do draw a cylinder

PERSPECTIVE AND DIRECT OBSERVATION

The FOUR STAGES of drawing

TRANSPARENT FORM CONSTRUCTION

How to Draw (step by step):

ELLIPSES
CYLINDERS
PYRAMIDS
CUBOIDS (box)

PERSPECTIVE

Below is an example of developing simple forms using Two Point Perspective.

Below is an example of recognizable objects (cardboard boxes, pylon cones, etc.) based on linear perspective.

Below is an example of how to draw forms from observation using linear perspective.
Notice the student's struggle to find the angles of each form. Also, notice where the student realized
parallel lines converge (also known as orthogonal lines or converging lines) toward a vanishing point along the horizon line (eye level).

PERSPECTIVE AND DIRECT OBSERVATION

Below are stacked boxes. Can you guess where the horizon line is? Notice the direction of the angles...

Below is an example of using all three methods (M,S,P) to decipher accuracy, placement and proportion.
Also, notice how the line weight (heavy and light pencil line) is influenced by the light source. What direction is the light source?

Symmetrical forms can be developed in one point perspective.

Below is an example of simplifying an object into a rectangle.
Notice how this student uses two-point perspective to create an heightened illusion of 3 dimensions.

Notice the "horizon line" is placed at the top of the paper because that is where the viewer's eye level is.

ELLIPSES

CLICK BELOW FOR AN ELLIPSE TUTORIAL

how to draw

Below demonstrates how the shape of an ellipse is based on your eye level or view point.
Where do you think the viewer's eye level is?

Below is a simple approach to drawing an ellipse. I will demonstrate in class.

The central horizontal line is known as the Major Axis Line

The central vertical line is known as the Minor Axis Line

Notice the ellipse never flattens or points. The line is a continuous curve.

The image below uses perspective to draw an ellipse. Notice that the Major Axis Line is further back in space than the images shown above.

This is because perspective is used to best represent reality; however, the methods above are less time consuming and not that noticeable of a difference.

DRAWING FROM OBSERVATION: 4 STAGES

Below are 2 examples of locating PLACEMENT (location) AND PROPORTION.

Measure and compare the overall ratio of height vs. width
Mark that ratio as your working area (ex: 1:2 ratio; 1 unit for the height, and 2 units for the width)
Divide the area into 4 equal parts (divide in half vertically and horizontally)
Locate and mark a central form.
Measure the height vs. width of that form and locate where the form is placed with in your working format.
Use that object to compare other forms to
This will allow you to build / construct the location and placement of other forms.

* DURING THIS STAGE, ONLY USE VERTICALS AND HORIZONTAL LINES WHEN LOCATING FORMS (as demonstrated below)

STAGE ONE

One you are satisfied with your measurements and you have checked the placement of each form by using comparative relationships,
then begin to break down individual forms (try working large to small, and/or low to high)

Click below to view a tutorials for drawing the inner-structure of forms (important for stage 2)

STAGE TWO

Now that your forms are taking shape, re-check your measurements by using various comparative relationships.
One can become creative when measuring; for example, try finding a negative and positive shape that have equal width. Check to see if your drawing relates.

STAGE THREE

Now that the objects are in the right place/proportion and the "accessories" are attached (handles, etc), focus on the final stage: line weight
Line weight can be determined by several factors:
Light source
Atmospheric perspective
Order
Composition

STAGE FOUR

BELOW ARE EXAMPLES OF A COMPLETED (STAGE FOUR) CONROUR LINE STILL LIFE DRAWING

Any object can begin from a a simple rectangle as demonstrated below. Each method of MSP is applied.

TRANSPARENCY

Below shows a step by step example of how to form an ellipse. Notice the transparency of each form. This helps to understand the overall structure of the form

TRANSPARENT FORM CONSTRUCTION: notice all forms are transparent. Practice drawing forms as if they are transparent even though you cannot see through them. This will give you a greater understanding of how the form sits in space and PPA (Proportion, Placement, and Accuracy)

Below is an example of applying measuring, sighting, and perspective to acquire accurate proportions, and placement.
Notice all the underlines (under-structure or blue print) used to find form and angles.

Below are Contour Line examples of organic forms.

Some examples are a based on close observation, whereas; others are clumsy and loose.