How to respect the distances in the perspective drawing? 4/4

The guide by our comic book/Manga drawing teachers

So here we are with our last chapter of this great subject that is perspective drawing.

If you are interested in this subject and want to learn more about it, in our art school, Apolline, our qualified drawing teachers will explain all these tips and more, so sign up now.

In the meantime, let's get back to our topic of the day: perspective drawing.

In our previous article we saw how to transfer a distance to a plane parallel to the image, now we will see how to transfer this distance in depth.

According to geometric principles, "The diagonals of a rectangle always cross at its center" this principle is also valid in perspective.

rectangle dessiné à plat et en perspective

Using a ruler and a square, you can define the center of a rectangle and transfer its length to a vanishing line, no matter where the rectangle is viewed.

Reporter des distances en perspective avec les diagonales d'un rectangle

This image shows us how to transfer a distance along a vanishing line while respecting the proportions.

The rectangle must first be drawn in perspective, and then the center must be established using the diagonals. This rectangle can be divided into two parts by drawing a horizontal line through the center. Then a new diagonal line can be drawn, passing through the intersection of the edge of the rectangle, the vertical line can now be drawn and so on, you can draw all the diagonals you need to transfer the distance and respect the proportions.

Although this work is tedious, it is extremely useful because it often avoids the need to transfer the depth in perspective.

Just keep in mind that the closer a vanishing line is to the vanishing point, the more squashed the distances will appear, and the more off-center your vanishing line is, the longer the distances will appear.

As you go further into perspective drawing, you will also need to know how to place a secondary vanishing point. This may not be necessary for a stand-alone drawing, but if you want to make comics, you will need to pay attention to the proportions in order to represent your subjects from all angles.
As you can see, this is not an easy task. However, thanks to the few tips presented in this series of articles, you have some basic tools to start practicing.
Let's take this drawing as practice, the author estimates the sizes and transfers his measurements:

exemple d'illustration à un point de fuite pas à pas

It can be seen that the head of the sailor is below the horizon line, however, as the sea level is lower than that of the pontoon where the observer is placed, the sailor is well placed. 

On the other hand, the sailboat on the right needs to be either repositioned (closer to the horizon line) or enlarged, because if we take the size of a sailboat (say, 6.5 m) and use the distance between its base and the horizon line, it would have to be twice as high.

The pontoon was drawn using the diagonal technique, thanks to which the author was able to know the location of the pillars and the horizontal boards.

un dessin en perspective à 1 point de fuite pas à pas : reporter les distances

Once these locations have been determined, it is time for the calculation, for example, the measurement between the surface of the pontoon and the sea. Thanks to this measurement, which allowed us to define the height between the horizon line and the sea (1m95), all the elements can be checked and corrected.

Now the calculations and the structure of your drawing are defined. The fun and colorful part of your work can begin. 

This is the end of this topic, as we tell you again and again, practice. Don't be afraid to start and start again. It takes practice to master this kind of technique.

If you want to go further in your drawing lessons or to try other genres, like Manga drawing, for example, Apolline offers drawing lessons in Lausanne, Montreux and Morges, as well as online Manga drawing lessons. Registrations are now open!

To learn more, check out our other articles:

Crédits images : & Francesca Sarac