One Point Perspective
One point perspective has also been called central perspective and single-point perspective. These obviously describe a situation where only one direction point (see previous lesson) is needed to draw an entire form or scene. (below)
In one point perspective, only one direction point is needed because the sides of all objects are moving away from us in the same one direction.
This point, itself, is at times called the central vanishing point, principal vanishing point or center of vision.
As we covered in our previous lesson, when perspective was initially developed, artists used only one direction point for everything within the drawing or painting. (above) It was not for several more centuries that the understanding and use of more than one direction point entered into the operation for most artists.
One point perspective is still much used today, primarily because it is so easy. Since the front and back faces of objects are not angling away from us here, we can trace their actual shapes onto our paper and simply connect their edges to that one direction point. (above)
it may be that what you are drawing consists entirely of something moving
into the distance, as with the commonly demonstrated train tracks extending
out. (right) In such a case, like the example above, because they
are going in the same one direction away from us, they will be directing
toward just the one direction point.
The Viewpoint & Vanishing Point
As will be covered in our next next lesson, a direction point has characteristics similar to our viewpoint.
The placement of a direction point in one point perspective will actually reflect our position in relation to the subject. This means that if you wish to see a box from a perspective above, simply place its direction point above it. (right)/p>
To see it from below, draw it with its direction point below.
Estimated One Point Perspective
UUnder one-point perspective, as with this box illustrated to the right, the fronts and backs of objects do not angle toward any direction points. In other words, the front part of this box, for example, remains a perfect square.
This object has been drawn accurately according to the rules of one point perspective, keeping us safe from ridicule by our audience, fellow artists and instructors./p>
But since we are viewing it from above, its bottom should look smaller than its top (being farther away)and thus presenting some foreshortening. (left)
In the past, such foreshortening was omitted unless a direction point could be included underneath the cube within a reasonable amount of table space.
One solution is to approximate how much a form foreshortens away from us based on our viewing angles to it, regardless of whether direction points are feasible. (right) Because it will still noticeably foreshorten in real life this presents a more realistic image than if nothing were attempted at all.
In a photograph, we might see foreshortening similar to this. That, however, is achieved by the warping or bending together of those lines. We are adapting this here through the subtle convergence of its straight lines instead./p>
If not done subtly enough, though, the result will stand out as an error or distortion.
This technique has no particular method to it. If that makes you feel at all unstable, realize that even foreshortening such things too much or too little is still no less accurate than using perfectly parallel lines. So, technically, this is not necessarily creating accurate imagery either and its usage is entirely optional.