Perspective and Believable 3D Objects

Start With 1 Point Perspective

In sketching for ideas, keep the draft simple by using only 1 point perspective. This is especially true if you are not familiar with the rules of perspective yet.

During sketching stage, just try to transfer your visualization into paper as best as you can, without worrying about making it appears realistic yet. Then, take a new sheet of paper and try to draw the same picture with 2 perspectives, and then 3, and so on.

Having multiple perspectives can be daunting to work with, so do yourself a favor and start small. Perspective does not have to be a mystery or nuisance, just start by familiarizing yourself with the basics and build your knowledge from there.

Create An Illusion Of Depth Using Foreshortening

Sometimes you simply have to really on your own eyes, rather than the planned perspective, when drawing certain subjects. This is especially true if you are trying to draw or paint objects in the background.

In this case, remember the basic rule: objects in the background will appear to be less detailed and more saturated, while objects nearer to the viewer naturally will have more details and brighter color. If you are not using colors, try to manipulate the weight if the lines of your main subject. Objects with thicker lines will stand out more and give the illusion of being closer to the front.

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Paint the background first

Having a background will not only set the mood for the whole painting, whether it will be a warm or cool picture, but the background can sometimes help you to determine the correct light sources for the objects in the foreground. Besides, you will less likely have to worry about the paint bleeding into the main subjects, as often happen if you are paint the foreground first.

The exception to this is if the painting is supposed to have the background is simple or plain, where the focus in only in the main subject. At the end of the day, this is simply a matter of personal preference. Try to practice painting 2 similar pictures with different starting point and notice how easy or hard it is to continue with each one.

Balance The Light And Shadow

Some artist can paint excellent pictures with multiple light sources, but they have the tendency to forget to include the shadows. A realistic object not only bounces back light, but depending on the shape and light source, it will also have dark areas where light did not reach.

Keep this in mind when sketching ideas and new objects, and observe your subjects well. It is always better to have a model in real-life that you can observe, but you can also draw from imagination well if you remember to include at least one light source, and draw the shadows.

When objects in real life that have strong light source with no noticeable shadow, you will still know that the objects are 3 dimensional from the varying color values it have, the gradual shift from bright area where most light falls, to a darker area that is not quite a strong shadow, but have little light on it.

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