The Vanishing Point

The Vanishing Point. In this way you get the lines for the cornice in a building, or row of buildings, upper and lower lines of the windows and doors, base and sidewalk.

In making a sketch of a building, it is only necessary to get the general outlines, and instead of working in all the doors and windows, finishing up the cornice, etc., all that is necessary will be to get the outline of one door or window, and the style of cornice, and indicate the remainder by merely a mark showing the position, and make a memorandum of the essential points which is seeded in completing the work. In figure 5, street view, make a dot on the sketch board at a point where you wish the first upper corner of the building to commence, draw a perpendicular line for the corner, do likewise at such a distance to the left as you wish the building to extend on the sketch, and you have the other corner. Holding the drawing book perpendicular between you and the building, and on a level with the eye, place the ruler on the sketch-book corresponding to the upper horizontal line of the building, and make a line for the cornice, the base line is produced in the same manner. The point C, where the two lines would meet, were they continued toward the left, will be the vanishing point, from which run all the other horizontal lines when you come to finish up the drawing.

Fig. 5.

Fig. 5.

The Effects Of The Drawing In Different Positions Of The Horizontal Line

A horizontal right line has, with respect to the plane of the picture, one of three positions. It is either parallel to it, oblique to it, or perpendicular to it. We will sit with the back against one of the walls of a rectangular room. The wall opposite is parallel to that behind us, and consequently to the plane of our picture in that position. The two remaining walls being at right angles with that opposite, are evidently perpendicular to the plane of the drawing, and all horizontal right lines on those two walls, are also perpendicular to that plane, and will appear to tend towards a point immediately opposite to the eye. H. H. is the horizontal line or level of sight; C the point opposite the eye, and that point toward which all horizontal right lines on the walls, A & B, appear to slant, though in reality they are perpendicular to the wall C. The lines 1 & 2, where the ceiling and sidewalls meet, and 3 & 4, the lower limit of the walls, as well as the horizontal lines of the door, and its panels, are in that position, all perpendicular to the plane of the opposite wall, and therefore to the plane of the drawing. The effects of the drawing in different positions of the horizontal line, should be carefully studied; if it be placed above the level of the eye, and removed to the right or left, it will appear like this:

Fig. 6.

Fig. 6.

The Vanishing Point 18

If below the level of the eye, it will assume a direction like this:

The Vanishing Point 19

But placed to the right or left of the eye, on a perfect level, and horizontal, it will appear thus:

If drawn from, and directly opposite to the eye, the end may appear thus:

A point has position, but not magnitude.

If a book, or block of wood, having a square base, be represented at different distances, seen from a point in which its sides are oblique to the plane of the picture, and seen from both points, under the same circumstances in all respects, as regards surrounding objects, except that the distance of the artist from the base line is much less in one than the other, then it will appear as do figures 7 and 8.

Fig. 7.

Fig. 7.

Fig. 8.

Fig. 8.

A surface has length and breadth only. A solid has length, breadth, and thickness.

In figure 7 the distance from us is much greater than in figure 8, and the vanishing point farther away. We will find the first the most pleasing to the eye, although both are accurate. In these figures we make the two oblique lines of the base equal in length, and our position directly opposite the center perpendicular line. If we should change our position further to the right, the left oblique line at the base would apparently shorten, and vice versa.

In making a sketch from nature, the artist must choose a position that will command the best view of the scene about to be placed on paper, and from a standpoint that will secure the leading objects in the landscape before you. Begin by sketching those objects nearest you first. The reasons will be shown hereafter.