How to use perspective to create realistic environments

Purpose: It is important to learn the different types of perspective so that in your artwork you can make informed decisions as to which tool is the right one to use. Perspective helps with realism and accuracy.

Essential Question: Why is perspective important to a piece of artwork?

Artist Spotlight: Leonardo DaVinci

"Art is never finished, only abandoned."-Leonardo DaVinci

Leonardo da Vinci was a true genius who graced this world with his presence from April 15, 1452 to May 2, 1519. He is among the most influential artists in history, having left a significant legacy not only in the realm of art but in science as well, each discipline informing his mastery of the other.

Da Vinci lived in a golden age of creativity among such contemporaries as Raphael and Michaelangelo, and contributed his unique genius to virtually everything he touched. Like Athens in the age of Pericles, Renaissance Italy is a summit in human history. Today, no name better seems to symbolize Renaissance age than Leonardo da Vinci.

During the Renaissance in Italy, architects and artists investigated the question of how to draw three dimensional objects on flat surfaces. They began to think of a painting as an "open window" through which the viewer sees the painted world. They also developed a system of mathematical rules, known as linear perspective, to help painters achieve their goal of realism. Leonardo learned the rules of perspective and practiced using the window as a device for drawing perspective correctly while he was an apprentice in Andrea del Verrocchio's studio.

Talking Points...

1. What does using perspective help us to accomplish in our artwork?

2. Personally, do you think perspective adds voice to a piece or takes away from it?

3. Are the different methods of perspective all good for drawing the same scenes, or do some work better than others for different scenes?

4. What is a horizon line and what does it represent?

5. What is/are the vanishing points and what do they represent?