Stop drawing Perspective the old way: Level Up Your Drawing Skills with 2 Game-Changing Tricks | MAGES Institute

Stop drawing Perspective the old way: Level Up Your Drawing Skills with 2 Game-Changing Tricks

This blog focuses on streamlined method for drawing basic perspective by hand, perfect for concept artists who want to focus on design at the beginning. We’ll break down how to use centerlines and contour lines, which are the essential tools for turning flat shapes into exciting 3D objects.

While traditional perspective methods with complex grids and vanishing points are valuable, they can be overwhelming for beginners. This blog focuses on a simpler approach to freehanding basic perspective, ideal for concept artists who want to prioritize design in the initial stages. We’ll explore the use of centerlines and contour lines – the key elements that transform flat shapes into dynamic 3D objects. But before you level up your drawing skills with 2 game changing tricks, our MAGES Institute’s Diploma in Concept Art program will ensure you have the essential skills to fuel your drawing skills.


Understanding Perspective: A Balancing Act

Perspective is a fundamental artistic technique used to represent objects on a flat surface in a way that creates the illusion of depth and three-dimensional space. Traditional methods like one-point, two-point, and three-point perspective rely on a set of established rules and guidelines, including the horizon line and vanishing points.

However, the challenge lies in striking a balance between the technical aspects of perspective and artistic expression. Concept design isn’t about achieving perfect mathematical accuracy in perspective. The focus should be on creating a compelling design. As long as the perspective is implemented in a way that avoids glaring errors in structure and maintains a sense of logic, artists can prioritize design elements and freely explore ideas in their initial sketches.

Understanding Centerlines: The Backbone of Your 3D Object

The centerline is a fundamental element that represents the main axis or longitudinal form of your 3D object. Imagine it as the central spine running through the object, especially useful for symmetrical shapes. In the example of spaceships, the centerline would run along the length of the ship.

Contour Lines: Defining Shape and Silhouette:

Centerlines and contours provide a simpler way to establish basic 3D form. While a perfect two-point perspective isn’t essential at this stage, maintaining a consistent eye level (horizon line) is important to prevent the object from appearing tilted or distorted.

Once you have the centerline established, contour lines are added. These lines define the curves and overall silhouette of your object, wrapping around the centerline to create a basic 3D form.

Our Brains are Wired for Depth Perception

The beauty of this approach lies in our inherent ability to perceive depth. Even without perfect perspective, our brains naturally interpret the interplay of centerlines and contours, creating a believable sense of 3D space. This allows you to focus on design elements during the initial stages of concept art.

A Simpler Two-Point Perspective Technique

Here’s how it works:

Establish the Eye Level:

Draw three lines – two converging at a point and a third intersecting them. A horizontal line drawn across the point where the two converging lines meet establishes the eye level, also known as the horizon line.

Create the Vanishing Point:

Draw a fourth line that intersects the two original converging lines and meets the end of the third line. This creates your second vanishing point.

Common Mistakes and the Solution:

While this is a simplified method, beginners often struggle with ensuring both vanishing points are on the same horizontal line (eye level). This inconsistency leads to distorted shapes and perspective errors. By being mindful of this key detail and maintaining consistent eye level, you can significantly improve your two-point perspective drawings.

Here are some final takeaways to conclude our blog and solidify your understanding of perspective simplification for concept art:

Subtracting vs. Expanding

Finding the Right BalanceAs you develop your initial form, consider whether simplification or detail serves your design best. Sometimes, strategically removing elements can enhance clarity and effectiveness. In other cases, adding details can bring depth and complexity. Experiment and find the approach that best suits your specific project.

The Power of Centerlines and Contours

By simplifying perspective with centerlines and contours, you can focus on design during the crucial concepting stage. This approach allows you to explore ideas freely while maintaining a fundamental sense of perspective and avoiding major errors in object scaling.

Looking Ahead: Advanced Techniques

This blog has provided a foundational understanding. Future blogs will delve deeper into more intricate perspective techniques, such as plotting vanishing points and the “draw-through” method. These advanced approaches will equip you to tackle complex subjects like epic landscapes and architectural structures.

Embrace the Journey: Perspective Without Fear

Remember, mastering perspective doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. By embracing this balance between creative freedom and a basic understanding of perspective, you can unlock the joy of creating dynamic 3D art.

Once again, look out for our next blog where we get into an interesting topic on practicing concept art on mobile devices.

    Mages Whatsup