If you are going to draw, you MUST learn the basics of AND how to draw perspective
For instance, if you ask a child to draw railroad tracks on a piece of paper, you are likely to see something akin to a ladder using perfectly parallel lines.
The drawing will basically look like you are viewing the ladder on the ground, from directly above.
Why? Because in the child's mind, you there is no point of relation....no horizon line to work from.....just the ladder on a flat piece of paper!
Compare that drawing to the photo above.....the tracks here seem to have 'depth', correct? See how they seem to travel from 'here to there' until the rails vanish at some distant point?
Even though we KNOW that railroad tracks are parallel (the track rails never touch), they do seem to come together in this photo.....at a point out in the disance called "the vanishing point". This imaginary point sits on a horizontal line called "the horizon line".
Confused? Let's look at the drawing again, this time with some "help" to see the vanishing point and the horizon line.
See the green line that we've drawn in the distance? That's the "horizon line"....where the sky "touches" the ground in the distance. See the red dot? That's our "vanishing point". Notice how the track rails move in a straight line right to the vanishing point (red dot). Notice how the gravel, the tree lines....everything moves toward that vanishing point doesn't it?
This phenonmenon is what gives our photo or drawing the depth that makes it jump off the page....like you could walk right into it and follow the tracks into no where. To draw effectively, we have to recognize these basic priciples to show depth and realism.
Drawing Multi-Dimensions On Flat Paper?
We need to dig a bit deeper into the concept of drawing vs real life (what we see with our eyes in full color).
What are we doing when we draw, technically speaking?
We are looking at a three dimensional arrangement of obects in front of us (3-D, meaning some objects are closer than others to our eyeball at any given time) and trying to reproduce (draw) that 'arrangement of objects' onto a two dimensional, very FLAT peice of paper.
How do we do this? In short, we must learn that every object on the page must be smaller or larger, closer or further than its neighbors in that very drawing.
We need to be able to show depth......to show the relationship between objects on the page....some that are closer or further simply by knowing how to change the size and placement relationally.
One, Two and Three Point Perspective
The fact that our photo above has a red dot, or point, on it now gives you a bit of insight into "one point perspective". All lines converge or "come together" at this "one point".
However, if we were to draw the corner of a building one could actually draw several lines on one side of the paper toward one of TWO points on the page. This would give use the illusion that from the corner in front of us, all lines move to one of these TWO vanishing points.
Depending on the view of this building's corner.....let's say we were to move up in the air a bit, now looking down on the building slightly in our drawing....this same corner would have THREE vanishing points and different locations on the page.
We'll add drawings soon to show these points more clearly, but for now, know that understanding perspective is critical to making your drawings show depth and realism!