|Bird's eye view suspension bridge|
Sometimes it is necessary to add a third vanishing point.
Use three point perspective when you are close to a building (or geometric form) and looking up and when you are close to a building (or geometric form) and looking down.
If you do not know what a vanshing point is or how to draw a horizon line please read my other posts on perspective in this order:
Now you are ready for the advanced stuff; drawing in three point perspective.
With just a little more practice, you'll soon be drawing
entire castles and elaborate cityscapes
in magnificent three point perspective.
Worms eye view (looking up)
Draw your perspective lines with a ruler directly on top of your first printout.
Leave the other printout unmarked so you can refer to it later, when drawing your own tower.
|Extend the lines in order to find the vanishing point above the horizon line|
|Extend the lines of perspective to determine the two vanishing points. Connect the two vanishing points to create your horizon line. Once you have drawn these lines directly on the worksheet it will be easier for you to draw the tower in three point perspective.|
Why does it work? If you are standing close to a building and looking up, you create an optical illusion that all the vertical lines of the building are actually converging.
Your nearness to the buildings is creating that optical illusion.
If you were far away,the lines would appear vertical.
The farther away from a structure you get the more vertical the 'up and down' lines will begin to appear.
WORM'S EYE VIEW OF THE VICTORIAN MANSION,
'ANGEL OF THE SEA', CAPE MAY, NEW JERSEY
The vertical lines of the house actually converge at a point far above the top of the picture.
WORM'S EYE VIEW:
THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE*
This is a three point perspective view of the Brooklyn Bridge. The 'up and down' lines are closer to vertical than in the picture of the tower (because the viewer is farther away). However, if you were to extend the lines they would eventually meet at a vanishing point far above the horizon.
Try printing out this gray scale version of a worm's eye view of the Brooklyn bridge and gluing it to a very large piece of paper. Extend the lines to find the vanishing points and horizon line.
How far above the horizon line is the top vanishing point?
Try drawing the bridge in two point and three point perspective and compare the two sketches. Which version looks more dramatic?
Show the two sketches to a friend and ask them which one they like better. Chances are, they will find the three point perspective drawing more dramatic and interesting (even if they can't tell you why).
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, comparison of one point perspective and three point perspective (worm's eye) views.
*For information on designing and building your own model bridge, click here. You can also look to your right, at the 'some useful links' section of this website for information about bridges and bridge design.
USING THE GRID
Some students find it is easier to draw in three point perspective using a worm's eye view three point perspective drawing grid*. Other students find it easier to just use a ruler and draw their own grid lines.
If you print out the grid below you will not need a ruler at all. Just start darkening in the existing lines and, as if by magic, you will find that you are easily able to create three point perspective cubes.
Amaze your friends! Try overlaying a thin piece of paper and tracing the lines to make three dimensional cubes and rectangular solids (or use a light table).
The grid is already sized to fit letter sized printer paper, just right click on the image, select the print option and choose 'landscape' before hitting print. If the vanishing points are cut off, try choosing the 'fit to page' option before printing.
|Here is a sample of some simple three point perspective buildings,|
drawn directly on a printout of this grid
Try drawing an entire castle (or church) or city
from a worm's eye view in three point perspective.
from a worm's eye view in three point perspective.
Birds eye view (looking down)
Follow almost the same rules for a 'birds eye view' drawing. The only difference is now the third vanishing point is below the horizon.
Try it. Print out the following 'birds eye view' worksheets and see if you can find the horizon lines and three vanishing points. Just use a ruler to extend the lines.
How to draw a 'bird's eye view' cylindrical form in three point perspective:
First, click here for directions on how to draw a cylinder in two-point perspective. Next, print out this picture of a soda can. Then see if you can apply what you know. Remember, you can draw just about anything in perspective by first drawing the 'box it came in'.
Ready for an additional challenge?
Can you draw a suspension bridge from a bird's eye view, using three point perspective?
READY FOR MORE CHALLENGES?
|Use these simplified three-point perspective 'bird's eye view' buildings to get started on a 'bird's eye view' cityscape. Print them out and extend the lines to find the three vanishing points and the horizon line. |
Try creating an entire city from a bird's eye view in three point perspective.
You can copy these pictures to practice your three point perspective drawing technique...
or you can use them as inspiration for original 3D building designs.
You can even cut them out, glue them on to a large piece of paper and draw a three point perspective landscape or cityscape around them. Just extend the lines to find your three vanishing points and use those same vanishing points to creat all the other structures.
When you combine photographs with drawing (or other graphic media), you are creating a 'photomontage'.
Artists commonly use photomontages in illustrations and advertisements.
If you would like to use several of your own photographs to create a convincingly realistic photomontage, then you need to use photographs taken from all from the same perspective.
When you are done with this tutorial, set up your own bird's eye cityscape to photograph and draw. Use small boxes, children's blocks, toy buildings,toy cars and whatever else looks right.
Most of all, have fun!
*I prefer not to use a three point perspective drawing grid for the bird's eye view. It prevents the artist from using an angled horizon line and forces the composition to be too static. All the bird's eye views here have angled horizon lines to give them more dynamic compositions.
A bird's eve view photograph: