Drawing Tutorial – Part Two – “Going 3D”

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“Going 3D”


Lets go back to the original grid with the little central house from where you pulled the lines. It´s time to go 3D and create your first landscape feature, using precisely the first imaginary grid we sketched.
In this case we want to add another house. But as it´s located closer to the viewer eyes ,it stands on the ground and very important, in this case we are looking slightly down from an imaginary high point (maybe a hill), you get to see the top of the roof.
If you still only saw the facade then the view would be also different, but more on this ahead too. 😉

The new house looks 3D and with volume. That is simply because i´ve pulled the side lines of the original triangle further back to create some roof faces. Notice i´ve followed precisely the same angle of the imaginary green grid lines ? Well this is the secret to all this and the reason you have to pull them from a vanishing point. It adds depth.

Lets do the same with the other house on the side.
Notice you still have the original house facade intact. You´re only adding additional volume to it in relation to the guide-lines.

See how the left bit of the roof follows exactly the nearby left guide-line ?
See how the right side of the roof does exactly the same related to the next nearby right guide-line in which the house stamps on ?
Also now you can see a right wall on the house because we had to pull more lines from the square shape of the facade to follow the exact same guideline the roof is following.

And because we are looking from slightly above, the roof overlaps a bit of the new wall and you don´t need to pull the top line of the wall face also, because that right side face of the roof already defined the shape of the house when it was aligned with the guide-line. A house pointing into a vanishing point. 😉

This – pointing to vanishing points technique is the trick to place things right on 3D setting. As long you know, which objects relates to its vanishing point you´re on the right track to create all sorts of illustrations you dream of.
Maybe you can get into freelance illustration one of this days too.

Lets take a look at the example where you´re looking slightly up at the little house.
Notice you can see a little bit from underneath the roof ?
Why´s that ?
Is it pointing to the same vanishing point ?

What imaginary guidelines is this roof following ?

Well… these guide-lines. 🙂

As you can see, the lines that define the bottom area of the roof, are also following parallel to the new imaginary guide-lines for the sky.

The angle of these lines determines the depth or perspective in the way the roof looks to the viewer.

Once again you can experiment with grids having different angles to see slightly different depth views. Just remember to always pull lines and faces from an object in a parallel way to your guide-lines originated by the vanishing point you designated for each particular object.

This type of grid works well for a more graphic example like this and it´s good for beginners to get a good sense of how a vanishing point is used to create depth and volume, but as you can see it constrains the whole natural flow of a landscape and can make it a bit unrealistic. Tunnel-vision-style is never a good thing if you want to create a dynamic fantasy landscape or children book scenery.

After all, look around you… you don´t see everything converging into a single point of detph, do you ?

So how do you avoid creating a landscape, background or scenery that has this constraining and unrealistic tunnel view ?

You simply have to build a landscape based on multiple vanishing points. And those points don´t even have to always be associated with an object. Some can even be located outside of your canvas.

See those clouds ? What´s up with those ?

What guide-lines are these floating shapes following then ?!

Well they´re not following that single vanishing point grid for sure. And much less have much to do with the vanishing point on which the little house was built with depth.

At least at first glance.
Keep on reading and forget about the clouds for a moment.
Lets focus on the actual landscape ground elements.

More on clouds later.

 

Back to the beginning – “Intro

Back to 1 – “Little House on the Grid

Next – “Scenery takes shape

 

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Drawing Tutorial – Part One – “Little house on the grid”

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“Little house on the grid”


Ok, perspective…don´t cringe now.
It goes like this. No matter where you look at in nature or all around you you can always pull some imaginary straight lines from inside a central point of a feature you´re looking at.
And the only way to pull dozens of imaginary lines in your direction that don´t overlap each other is to give them diferent angles.

The degree of each angle does not matter now but it´s useful that you make sure you imagine the lines on your left to have the same inclination as the ones you pull on the right, just so that you can have a nice grid and not make a mess right at the foundation of what you´re going to use to grow a scenery out of it.
As you have to make sure these lines do not overlap naturaly as you spread them from a single point to the side they create that sense of 3D space because they endup occupying all the ground area of your pic.

So far so good, right ? You´ve created a little house on the horizon, you´ve pulled those imaginary lines on the ground and all the 3D effect is looking good.
But what happens if you want to add another house on the side ? Do you use the same lines you pulled from the central little house ?
And why did you pull those lines in the first place ?!
Well, more on this ahead, but for now you just place another house on the side right on top of the horizon and pull more lines from it.

You start by pulling a straight line right from underneath as you did on the original house, and then keep pulling lines to its sides.
This creates another grid that overlaps the original one. Don´t worry, this is what you want, only you don´t just know it yet.
Notice those original horizontal lines parallel to the horizon wich make the original green grid ? The closer to you, the bigger the spaces between them and as you have those you don´t need to create more to represent the floor.

Those central points on each feature from where you are pulling those imaginary lines, are what´s usualy called “vanishing points” and they´re one of the most important things you need to focus on when you´re creating a landscape, perhaps to illustrate a childrenbook or rendering a simple view.
A complex scenery can end up having dozens of individual vanishing points as each feature you want to put on the scenery needs those points (and their guide-lines) to be correctely placed on a 3D ground while relating well to the other scenery elements you have.
Are you cringing now ? It´s not that dificult. 😉

Look at my little house there. This is the most simple way to have a landscape. Ok, it´s not that impressive, but even with only the house and the guide lines, you already have a 3D space that people will imediatly recognize.

And all this without even adding anything else to the scenery. Anyone looks at this and imagines a house, the ground area and sky.

Then again, raise the horizon level and you get plenty more of ground area to fill in later.

The angle of the pulled imaginary lines from the vanishing point also determines the angle in wich the viewer is seeing your scenery.
If i had placed those pulled lines in a more tigh angle to the central one right from underneath the house the floor would look much more inclined that it is now.

If you don´t get what i´m saying, try to pull some lines with diferent inclination to see the illusion effect you get.

In this case i´ve spread those lines in a more wide angle across the canvas and so my ground area became less inclinated than the one from the other example above independently of the fact that this is the version with the horizon placed up.

The angle in wich you pull the imaginary lines from each vanishing point determines the illusion of looking down in a balanced way or creates the effect of a really high straightforward drop.

Experiment with pulling those lines from an object and try to create all sorts of grids yourselves to get a more realistic idea of what i´m trying to explain here. 😉

And of course this is the version with lots of sky area to fill in.
How do you fill in that area in a realistic way ?
Oh, yes, once again…perspective and vanishing points and some new imaginary grids to place things in. Mostly clouds.

More on this later, at the right time.

 

Back – “Intro

Next – “Going 3D

 

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Drawing Tutorial – How to draw landscapes or background scenery – INTRO

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How to draw landscapes or background scenery – INTRO


Fear of the great outdoors ?
It´s a matter of perspective, you know. 😉

Want to know how to draw landscapes or background scenery ?
Looking for online drawing lessons on how to draw scenery backgrounds ?

If you browse most amateur drawing galleries on the web it won´t take much time before you notice that one of the things where people have the most dificulty when rendering a drawing is adding a background.
Particulary a landscape or scenery background.
Not many try, and most of those who are brave enough end up stuck somewhere.

Concept_Art_07_Wizard_of_OZ_site

There are thousands of drawings on those galeries but most of the time people stick to drawing characters only and rarely we see an amateur illustration with a great landscape complementing a figure, much less we find many landscape-only drawings around. Why ? Because people tend to think creating a scenery is very difficult due to the dreaded fear of perspective.

John_Carter_Arena-Fantasy-Art_LuisPeres

So let me show you how you can avoid all that and let you know how to draw, perhaps that imaginary children book landscape you always wanted to do but never thought you had the talent.
Stick with me, but be warned this is going to be a long and detailed series of posts. 😉

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INTRO

Are you looking at me ?…

You cannot escape it. No matter where you look you´ll find perspective staring back at you. The big difference between people who know how to render that on a paper and those like you who probably don´t, is that most of you don´t even notice perspective happening all around you in your ordinary life. Things were always there and they always will be, and of course you know if an object is far from you, it looks smaller and seems bigger the closer you get to it. But then things get more complicated.

If you´re looking straight at an object in the distance, (let´s say a house), and that house is right in front of you, when you walk straightforward towards it, the house gets larger as you get closer but its facade generally still has the same shape, you saw in the distance, only bigger. And generally the horizon line gets lower.

The problem starts when you get too close to the facade of the house. As you get near the house you see that the lines of its shape change at your eyes, the details increase and you get more choices where to look at.
You notice that, not only you can look at the house straightforward but as you are smaller in height to the architecture, you can even look up to it and see even more features revealed…by the perspective.
The same perspective that changes relatively to the observer as you move along in relation to an observable feature.
Note that now you can look up at the roof and see new lines that pull that shape of the roof behind the house into an unseen vanishing point and that enables you to look under that roof in this example. Same 3D effect on the window.

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If you want to create a cool landscape first of all you should start by deciding what type of view you are going to use, because once the process starts you can make some serious errors in your drawing if you try to correct or change that type of view later on.

So first, imagine that you´re inside your paper and decide if you´re going to look at your landscape illustration from below, from above or straight at it.
Maybe you´re at the bottom of a castle tower looking up, or flying above the clouds looking down. Or maybe you´re on plain looking straightforward at a farm house.
Essentially you have to choose your view and be the eyes of the person wich will look at your scenery when it´s completed.

You can create something at eye level where all the vanishing points (more on this ahead) are located at eye level and where the amount of sky and ground area is more or less the same like you see on the pic below.

You might decide you´re actualy looking down at your landscape and so the lower you look at, the less sky area you can see as the horizon line in your sketching goes higher almost to the top of the canvas.

This is what gives the first illusion you´re looking down. As you see more of the ground than of the sky as it happens in reality.

If you´re into radical drawing experiences, you can even eliminate the sky area totaly and create a pic where people are really, really looking down, but i wouldn´t advise it if you´re just beginning.

Having a horizon line to place your vanishing guiding points is not only useful but trully mandatory if you know nothing about creating a scenery.

And of course, if you´re going to do something with a vast scale looking up, maybe a fantasy illustration where the sky is the main element, the more you look up the less ground you see and the more sky area you have to work on.

Notice that independent of the fact that you look up, down or straight ahead if you place an object at the horizon you can still be looking straight at it at the same time if you choose to make it so.
Once again, this has to do with perspective.

Keep on reading.

Next –  Little House on the Grid

 

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