Perspective- pleeease help!

  • Hi all,

    I’m at the rough sketch point of this piece that I intend to be part of a series for my portfolio but I’m really struggling with the perspective on this one, if someone could please help I would be eternally grateful 🙏🙏🙏33D09CDE-14C2-48FA-AAED-E54E7DBDC683.jpeg

  • @anya-macleod Have you tried dropping in a grid? I learned by watching this video and use these techniques literally anytime I draw anything : )

  • @Katie-Kordesh thanks I'll check it out!

  • Hi Anya. Your drawing in looking really nice. I used a grid and I think this is where your perspective is. As you can see the book shelf behind the girl is off slightly and the books on the table have there own perspective on the horizon line because there are turned. Hope this helps abit

    Perspective copy.jpg

  • @Lee-Holland thankyou so much this is super helpful! I think I was really struggling to determine where to place my horizon line and this really helps!!

  • I used the grid that @Lee-Holland showed me and I think the bookshelves and floor look much better, but I’m still a bit confused with the foreground items, chair and table with books, do I need to match it to the perspective of the background? Does it look weird how it is? I can’t even tell anymore lol4550D543-FDF7-472D-8F88-2CFE86F7FDF1.jpeg

  • @anya-macleod I think you can have multiple vanishing points in an image. So I think the books and the table in the foreground don’t necessarily have to match the floor and and bookshelves, but they do have to work within themselves. Meaning, the parallel lines of the table vanish to the same point and the parallel lines of the books vanish to the same point.

  • @anya-macleod I'm not gonna lie, the perspective isn't perfect. And really, that's fine 🙂 I might tweak the bookshelves to make the lines 'agree' with each other (I may be able to do a quick draw over later...)

    However, the big thing that I find helps make a piece look like it works perspective-wise is to make sure that any objects in the scene agree with the background and are grounded.

    I'm usin' a whole bunch of non-technical terms that I think of when I draw but don't make much sense otherwise, sorry 🙂

    The little girl right now is the one thing (maybe the cat, too) that looks like it's not connecting with its environment.

    I'll do a draw over in a little bit to show what I mean.

    It's not as 'off' as you think it may be 🙂 perspective is always hard to get to look right.

  • @anya-macleod The perspective of the table might be a little off but I don't find it distracts too much, especially for a children's book illustration. It's hard to get right when the table isn't at the same angle as the floor/shelves. I think if you want to fix it, we would maybe just see a bit more of the top of the table and less from the side, and if you want to make the girl more grounded as @Braden-Hallett suggests, I would just add a cast shadow on the floor. Hope this helps! She looks cute ☺

  • SVS Instructor Pro

    Great feedback from everyone, and you may have already solved this issue, but I noticed that many answers above were by qualified with variations of "if you are trying to do . . . "

    So what I would like to suggest is that when posting an image for critique/corrections make it as easy for everyone as possible. Rather than guessing what you are looking to draw, show members what you have in mind. This is fairly easy with a simple plan view drawing. See below:
    Here I've made two educated guesses as to what you want this room to look like. In one the lamp table and the cat chair are parallel to the bookcases. In the other I guessed that the lamp table and cat chair are parallel to each other but at an angle to the bookcases.

    Every time you twist an object in a room you create a new set of vanishing points.

    These concepts are introduced and discussed in more depth in the Basic Perspective Drawing class here on SVS.

  • @davidhohn Well that... Well darn that's just a really good way of approaching this situation.


  • @davidhohn thankyou so much that is very helpful, I hadn't thought of doing a layout plan like that, I think I was more going for the objects being parallel to the walls but for some reason they ended up angled but now I'm confused as to how it should be so back to the drawing board for me haha, I'll definitely do the class you mentioned too thankyou

  • @Braden-Hallett ehhh perspective is the bane of my existence lol! When you say agree with each other do you mean match up with the two sides of the bookshelf? I agree the girl and cat dont look grounded, I'm not sure if it's because I haven't added shadows yet or if the perspective on them is also off 🤔

  • SVS Instructor Pro

    Since you clarified that you intended the table and chair to be parallel to the bookcase then I wanted to provide a rough draw over of what the basic shapes should look like.

    Couple things to remember:
    If one vanishing point is fairly close to the station point (where the viewer is positioned in the image) in this case VP1, then you know that VP2 is going to be waaaaaay further out. Seriously, it's much further than you "think" it should be. A chronic problem with so many perspective drawings is that the vanishing points are just too close together.

    The second thing is when doing perspective drawings, don't let it get too complicated too soon. Keep things as simple cubes and rectangles first. Then carve cubes into cylinders and cones. Then start adding in sloped planes and give objects thickness. All the while making sure that the shapes you are creating conform to linear perspective.
    Save compound curves and details for the very end.

    You can see me doing this with the chair. I start with a very stiff, cardboard thin, uncomfortable looking chair. In this drawing I then tilted the back and lopped off a triangle from the front of each arm. But with both "details" I made sure everything was tracking back to VP1.

    If I were to continue refining the chair, I would start adding thickness to the arms and back. Eventually adding cylinders (and the associated ellipses) to make the curved arms, etc.

    When you build up a drawing in this way it becomes a bit like a puzzle. But one with very clear "rules".


  • @davidhohn thankyou so much that really simplifies the process, I always seem to get overwhelmed by it and not know where to begin, I'm about halfway through your class and it's really great! I wonder if you can help me with one other thing, I'm really drawn to the kind of illustrations that have somewhat wonky playfully perspective where one side appears flattened, similar to a lot of Lee White's work and Beatrice Alemanga etc, and I really want to introduce some of that into my work but I don't know how(aside from obviously learning the rules first before breaking them 😂) but was wondering if you have any tips for that?

  • SVS Instructor Pro

    For what you are looking to do -- I would say learn the rules so that you can confidently break them. I'm introducing some of that wonky perspective into my own work and that's how I did it.

    But I'll tag @Lee-White in this message to find out if he had a different path in achieving that effect.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Thanks for the tag @davidhohn. I came at the wonky perspective after I was already doing very perspective heavy professional work. I was doing concept design layouts for architects and doing interior and exterior drawings to scale. So I was very comfortable with pretty complex perspective problems before I started warping mine too much.

    BUT, I will also add that it's not the only way to get there. In doing any illustration, as long as you are getting the look you want, you actually don't need to learn anything beforehand. The trick is what to do if you AREN"T getting the look you want. Do you go back and learn traditional perspective, or do you keep trying the wonky stuff until it eventually works out?

    To tell the truth, I'm not sure which one I would prefer. Sometimes the more you learn a "system" like linear perspective, the more it comes to shape how you think. On the other hand, there are many times where I mix systems of drawing to get where I need. Some parts will have linear perspective, some parts will be flat and wonky, some parts will have realistic lighting, and others won't have any lighting at all. I guess my general recommendation is you should be able to do traditional perspective and understand it. It sure can't hurt you. But if you are after a different look, I would be trying to work on those kinds of images too. The wonky work relies heavily on "instinct" and what "feels right". That takes time and you just have to grind it out until you get a feel for it.

  • @Lee-White thankyou so much for the tips, it's helpful to know that mixing different systems in one illustration can work as that is something I was struggling with understanding, I guess like you said it's just a matter of grinding it out until I can find the fine line between it looking artistically wonky and looking like I tried to do linear perspective and got it wrong
    @davidhohn I definitely agree that understanding the rules will help me be more comfortable in breaking them, your class has been very helpful, I don't know what it is about perspective but I've just always struggled with grasping the technical concepts, but I think it's finally starting to sink in

Log in to reply