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How to Paint Parallel Walls

2012-09-04   Views:1

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Walls generally have straight lines making them easy to draw or paint. You only need to know a little about perspective to create a convincing illusion of depth. Perspective is the science of painting or drawing objects so that they appear to recede

How to Paint Parallel Walls

Walls generally have straight lines making them easy to draw or paint. You only need to know a little about perspective to create a convincing illusion of depth. Perspective is the science of painting or drawing objects so that they appear to recede into the distance. It makes use of the fact that faraway objects look smaller then close-up objects of the same size. For parallel walls, use one-point perspective. This means that if you were to extend the lines that are the tops and bottoms of both walls into the distance, they will meet at one point. Follow these steps with a reference photo, then you can apply what you learnt to paintings done on location, or from your imagination.

Skill level:Easy

Things you need

Reference photoRulerPencil or penSpare copy of the reference photo that you can mark onYour normal painting supplies and set-upPainting surface with the same height-width ratio as the photo

Instructions

1 Make sure that your painting surface has the same height-to-width ratio as the reference photo. Refer to the online ratio calculator in the Resource Section below.

2 Draw guidelines on your spare reference photo. Lay the ruler's edge against the straight lines in the photo and draw reference lines that extend beyond the wall and into the distance. The most important lines are the tops of the walls, or where they meet the ceiling, and the bottoms of the walls, or where they meet the floor or ground. If a row of same-size doors or windows runs the length of a wall, the tops or bottoms will create more lines that you can trace.

3 Find the vanishing point. The lines may not actually meet at the exact same point, especially if there is some distortion in the photo, but there is a general area in the distant part of the image where all of the lines will converge. This is the vanishing point.

4 Use the pen and ruler to highlight other important lines such as the vertical lines that indicate where the walls begin and end.

5

How to Paint Parallel Walls

Draw the reference lines on your painting surface. Use a graphing technique or draw freehand. For watercolour, use light pencil lines that can be erased or obscured by paint. With oil or acrylic paint you can be less careful because the lines will be hidden by subsequent layers of paint. Pay special attention to the placement of the vanishing point and to where the lines run off the outer edge of the paper. If the walls are in front of you (as in the second photo), then the lines will not run off the paper at all. In this case you will draw vertical lines to indicate the closest edges of the walls.

6 Fill in the details. Use the reference lines to guide you as you create your painting. Place other objects and textures in relation to your guidelines and you will create a convincing illusion depth, and of parallel walls that recede into the distance.

Tips and warnings

To paint parallel walls on location or from imagination, ask yourself the following question: do I want the viewer to feel like she is standing in the centre of the walls and looking straight between them, as in the first photograph above, or is she standing to one side, as in the second photograph? In the first case the vanishing point will be in the centre of the paper, and in the second case it will be off to one side. If the viewer is meant to feel like she is between the walls, as in the first photo, pay special attention to where the lines will run off the edge of the paper or canvas; if she is meant to be looking at the walls in front of her, as in the second photo, the placement of the closest vertical edges is important.

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