Part 3: Project 4: Exercise 1 – Parallel perspective, an interior view


Draw a view through a doorway inside a building. It could be a view from one room into another or a view from a room into a corridor or hall. Try to arrange it so that there is a rectangular rug or something similar in front of the doorway. If the walls and the floor are tiled or have some kind of geometric pattern that will be ideal. Position yourself to draw so that the doorway is flat on to you, as is the rug in front of it.

Draw in line (use tone as well if you wish) and check the angles of all receding lines against the horizontal and vertical lines of the doorframe. Don’t use a ruler or a rubber. Draw and re-draw these angles until you think they are correct and then stop for a moment. Estimate the height of your eyes from the ground and mark on the doorframe in your drawing where this point would be. If you wish, stand next to the actual doorframe and mark the level of your eyes there. Whichever method you use, next use a ruler to draw a horizontal line across your drawing at your eye level.

As you’ve seen, the basic rule of perspective states that lines that are actually parallel will recede to a single vanishing point. Now check your drawing to see whether they do. Extend these receding lines using a ruler and see whether they meet. If, as is probable, they meet in a variety of places, make one pair meet on your eye level. Then, using a ruler, draw other lines which are parallel to these to meet at the same vanishing point. In this way you are constructing a perspective drawing on top of your drawing made from observation. Spend some time checking what you can actually see and comparing it first with your initial drawing and then with the superimposed perspective drawing.

Make notes in your learning log on your experience of this exercise. Did using a ruler help you?

Part 3 Project 4 Exercise 1 - course notes image
Joseph Gandy, Sir Francis Chantrey’s Sculpture Gallery (watercolour and pencil on paper)

Finished drawing

Part 3 Project 4 Exercise 1 - Parallel perspective - an interior view with eye level line
Part 3 Project 4 Exercise 1 – Parallel perspective – an interior view with eye level line

This is a drawing of an interior in my sister-in-law’s Caithness croft house. It was a tricky composition as the house was in the process of renovation with only new flooring boards down on the joists and a remodelled archway between the lounge and the kitchen. Being an old croft building the walls were challenging to say the least – my eye got them as straight as I could without being untruthful to the reality.

Part 3 Project 4 Exercise 1 - Parallel perspective - an interior view with perspective lines
Part 3 Project 4 Exercise 1 – Parallel perspective – an interior view with perspective lines

In this scanned version of the drawing I have overlaid the perspective lines as I see them – red lines leading to Vanishing Point 1 through the window to the fields beyond. The lines follow the skirting boards, flooring joins, kitchen sink unit lines and an approximation of the lines of curve in the doorway arch.

Vanishing Point 2 is slightly above and to the right of VP1 and the lines come from a cupboard on the left, window ledge on the right and approximations of where the archway door at the kitchen side begin their curve over the top.

Some of the lines are not accurately matched over the original drawing lines as the ruler showed these up as being not quite right (slightly out). There is something a bit squiffy about the perspective – but you know, I think that’s what’s so charming about old buildings.

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
15 October 2015