Noble Shepherd, Graphite on Paper, 22 x 15 inches.This drawing displays a shepherd with a Desert bighorn sheep standing before Mayan architecture based on a building at Chichen Itza, Yucatan. He is grounded on a Mexican style rug ready to ascend a staircase. I used one point perspective to create an environment in this drawing. I changed the animal from the Oryx gazelle on the bottom image to the final Desert bighorn sheep because while Oryx gazelles look interesting, they are native to Africa and Desert bighorn sheep can be found in Mexico. Many are now hunted for their curved horns yet this shepherd stands by his sheep in protection.
A summary of the general process I followed for creating the ground grid and objects in the scene is described in this post.
After completing the block-in of the model I began the ground grid by drawing a square around the model's feet. To do this I first established a horizon line by determining how high my eye level reached on the height of the model from my point of view. Then I established the vanishing point along the horizon line by determining my position from left to right in relation to the model from my point of view.
I drew the square around the model's feet by first establishing a horizontal line for the front of the box and then drew lines from each end of the front of the box to the vanishing point, labeled VP. To determine how far to place the back of the box I drew a diagonal line from the front left point of the box to a point of distance along the horizon line, not seen in the picture because it is off the page. Generally, the point of distance is about 2 to 3 times the height of the model to create perspective without distortion.
I was so close to the model while making this drawing that I was tilting my head up towards the portrait and down towards the feet to see the entire model. So when I used the measurement for the distance that I actually was away from the model to create the box it resulted in a distortion of the box appearing to tilt too far up towards the viewer's eye, as if the box was not resting under the model's feet but instead tipping forward. I settled on using a further point of distance to make the box appear tilted further away and appear less distorted. I checked the box to see if I could believe that it was tilted far enough away for the model's feet to stand on it or if it seemed that the model would fall off, thinking of the box as if it was a surfboard. I adjusted how far to place the back of the box accordingly for the perspective to appear more believable.
To create objects on top of this grid one can raise the height from the ground line as far as needed and extend lines back to the vanishing point as far as needed to establish the depth of objects. The units of the tiles on the ground can help in measuring the dimensions of objects.
I used the measurements of the tiles along the ground to assist in establishing the dimensions of a rug.
Thanks to all the help in learning about perspective from Anthony Baus in this drawing and in his perspective class at Grand Central Atelier. I also utilized concepts of one point perspective described in G.A Storey's book the Theory and Practice of Perspective.
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