In the last post we saw how parallel lines all go toward the same vanishing point. This is an easy reference for everything that is parallel. But an object usually has height, width and depth – what about the lines that aren’t parallel? What happens to height and width? Nothing! They stay the same, parallel to the sides of the drawing paper. Let me demonstrate by drawing a box. For this exercise pretend you’re looking at a cube that you can see through. I’m going to draw it above the horizon line, centered on the horizon line – which means I’m holding it up directly in front of my eyes – and below the horizon line.
You can see that the lines that represent height stay parallel to the vertical sides of the paper and the lines that represent width remain parallel to the bottom. Only the depth dimension angles to the vanishing point. And because all of the depth dimensional lines are parallel, they all go to the same vanishing point on the horizon line.
I continued the drawing of the Train Depot by adding two railroad cars to the parallel track. Essentially these are just boxes with the horizontal and vertical lines parallel to the paper edges and indicated by the lines that recede to the vanishing point. Because both cars are lined up on the track, they are easily drawing along the same lines.
I’m sure you’ll agree this drawing is rather mechanical looking. I drew simple lines to explain the process. Check out the gallery for a looser, more expressive drawing of this scene. Perspective is a means to an end. It is worthwhile to work through it until it is clearly understood. Then it truly enhances your ability to accurately see what’s in front of you. Drawing is seeing.