Back in February, 2014, I first discussed what I call, the "dreaded P word" –Perspective. I am not a perspective nerd, but because perspective is so important to understand, I wrote a book about it, hoping to simplify the process, and take away some of the confusion. Let's look at this important aspect of perspective.
Part of the problem in dealing with perspective often comes from the photographic references artists use for their paintings. Below is an image that I took using a simple point and shoot camera. As you can see, the camera distorts the image. By working directly from the reference, you are simply copying the distorted image.
The problem is the same when drawing from life. The concept of perspective depends on the viewer standing still and looking straight ahead–not up or down, or right to left. Drawing something large, as a city scene requires us to look up at tall buildings, therefore distorting the image.
Understanding the basic rule of perspective will solve most of the problem. "All parallel lines will recede to a vanishing point."
All of these lines that are horizontal will converge to a point on the horizon line. The last example shows a plane, the roof of a house that is inclined, not horizontal. It will converge to a point, in this case above the horizon line.
There is an exception to this basic rule. That is when the parallel lines are parallel or perpendicular to the viewer as seen in the painting below.
Hungry for more fun with perspective? My book, "Put Your Paintings in Perspective"is available here on my website.