A Line on Perspective

When drawing cityscapes or house portraits in two-point perspective, one or both of the vanishing points usually falls outside the borders of the paper. A folding six-foot carpenter’s rule, two spring clamps and some string make a “perspective stick” to help overcome this tricky problem. Fully extend the carpenter’s rule and clamp it to your easel behind the canvas support and at eye level, thereby creating a horizon line. Tie the ends of a five-foot piece of string at opposite ends of the ruler to mark the appropriate vanishing points.

Adjust the strings by trial and error to match your point of view and attach them to the top of your paper. Now the strings can act as guides to draw all the receding perspective lines at accurate angles.

Grigory Gurevich was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, receiving his master of fine arts degree there at the Academy of fine and Industrial Arts. He came to the United States in 1976 and has taught at St. John’s University in New York and at the Newark School of Fine and industrial Arts in New Jersey. He’s had more than 70 exhibitions in the United States and Europe, and his paintings, drawings and sculptures have won numerous awards. His works can be found in public and private collections in Russia, Switzerland, France, Israel, Slovakia and the United States. Gurevich lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, and paints in the United States and abroad, often spending part of his summers in Slovakia and Germany.

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