Perspective - Part 3

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In the previous lesson we learned some terminology, and principles that apply to perspective with one vanishing point.  In other words, when the eye of the viewer in at a 90 degree angle relative to the surface directly in front.  But, what happens when these surfaces are are at a different angle, but the eye of the viewer is still at the same frontal attitude?  Enough words.  A picture is worth a thousand words; so here it is.

In the graphic below, we have depicted two boxes in two different spatial locations; but, this time each has its own vanishing point because the eye of the viewer is not perpendicular to the front of the objects.  Also, notice that all vertical  lines that compose the boxes are still parallel to each other, but not so with the horizontal ones, which in this case have a vanishing point. All this occurs  because the frontal faces of the objects are not perpendicular to the viewer (90 degree angles.)

These two boxes were constructed using the converging lines as guides

The two boxes in all their glory

Note: The vanishing points are not always within the composition.  Often they are placed outside the painting.  In the Rockwell painting, If you project the sides of the mirror until they meet, you'll discover that the vanishing point is well outside the confines of the painting.

Application:  Ok, by now you should be confident enough to be able to recognize all this new information in the following examples:

Girl at the Mirror by Norman Rockwell. 1952.  Two vanishing points were used here.  One for the mirror and the right side of the bench, and the other for the chair and the left side of the bench.  The bench is almost identical to the blue box in the graphic above. In this Canaletto painting we see clearly that the two vanishing points are completely outside the composition.  The first one, to the right, gathers all the convergence lines from the right side (of the viewer) of the structures into one vanishing point.  The second gathers the convergence lines from the left side of the structures.

Go to Part 4

Graphics by Santa Maria Studio. All Rights Reserved. 2003