NEW PERSPECTIVE SYSTEMS Seeing the total picture.
One through six point perspective.
Authored and published by Dick Termes. Copyright© 1998 Dick Termes. Rt 2Box 435B, Spearfish SD 57783 All rights reserved. Dedicated to:Victor Flach for helping me find the way Ken Scholz for suggesting I needed to show where six point comes from, Markie hanging Lang in there Kabe with me, and Bill Fleming for helping me with the design of this book.



you will be able to expand and capture more and more of your visual landscape surrounding you. The rules governing these differences are deter-• T E R M E S • Seeing the total picture 5 . the true relationship of objects or events to one another." Most people have observed that: 1) objects diminish in size as they recede farther from the eye. when you finish this manual. By first building upon traditional one and two point perspective. This manual gives you new ways to see and draw the world all around you. Surprising as it may seem. Have you ever been in places where you go crazy taking photographs but when you get back home and develop the photos you just don't feel they even come close to capturing what you saw? I would like you to be able to walk into a wonderful environment that is exciting in every direction and know you can capture it TOTALLY Webster's Dictionary defines perspective "as the science of painting and drawing which represents objects in their natural shape and appearance. and 3) that in general the appearance of objects differs from the your drawing. 2) that parallel lines appear to converge. you will have the insights to draw everything from top to bottom and all around.

I have expanded this discovery of perspective in order to allow the artist to capture more and more of this visual world. and interior designers to help capture the visual world in a very real way. but please do not copy the manual. South.mined by the principles of perspective. NEW PERSPECTIVE SYSTEMS . These grids. These directions could be any six equal distance points around us but for the sake of keeping it simple I will stay with the compass directions. their paintings could capture everything between the North point on the horizon to the East point. The basic rules of traditionally defined perspective were formulated in the fifteenth century in Italy by Piero della Francesca. Leon Battista Alberti and others. if the horizon around you was imagined as 360 degrees. In other words. which are included in the manual. Feel free to copy the grids in this manual. Zenith (above or top) and Nadir (below or bottom). on which we are focusing. Drawing on a sheet of typing or copy paper taped over the grids will show the flow of the projection direction and help you to learn quickly where the cubical lines should project. is used not only by artists for drawings and paintings. Linear perspective. I believe an integral aspect of learning to draw with perspective is the use of background grids. drawings and paintings reveal a total view encompassing the full 360 degrees in all directions. two point perspective drawings and paintings held 90 degrees of the visual world. The grids will help you learn the system of one through six point perspective 6 • T E R M E S • Throughout this manual. In the fifteenth century view. East. I will use the directions of the compass to talk about the different vanishing points as they are found around us: North. West. will help you learn more easily the six systems of perspective. but by architects. With six point perspective.

Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 7 .

Remember when you learn to draw the cube. another set projects to the east and to the West. is made up of three sets of parallel lines. tables. The cube or hexahedron. I was fascinated by the changes that took place in the lines of the cube as they took on more and more vanishing points. As the grid lines show through on your paper. When these cubical lines are projected out from the cube. Included in this manual is a NON-PERSPECTIVE CUBE GRID (fig. 1b).My way of learning and teaching perspective focuses on the cube because most of our constructed world grows from this geometric shape. we fill our cubical rooms with cubical-shaped objects couches. 2). We have indeed built some incredible structures with the simple cube. Practice drawing groups of cubes on a sheet of paper placed over the cube grid on page 34 To do this. Extending that further. Notice three sets of parallel lines. desks. Remember to use the same three sets of parallel lines shown on the grid for all cubes. This is very simple. and the third set of lines projects Up (Zenith) and down (Nadir)(fig. as are the rooms constructed within. furniture. radios. Later. shelves. let us first analyze the cube when it is not in perspective. and the like. begin drawing cubes. I discovered that the lines that construct the cube start to curve when you reach four point perspective. Use the same three sets of parallel lines but use them to subtract rather than add to turn them into realistic objects. One set projects to the North and to the South. you are also learning to draw the many thousands of objects that use the structure of the cube: televisions. To follow this logic. The grid can have lines added between them wherever you want. these will help you with your drawing. television are either looking down at them all or you should be looking up under them. this thinking will help you to create very complex perspective drawings. 8 • T E R M E S • NEW PERSPECTIVE SYSTEMS . radios. These cubes can be long or short cubes or any length you can come up with. houses. Experiment with the length of the cubes. Our cities are organized on a 90 degree cubical order. When I began my study of perspective. they go in six directions (fig. 1a). tape a sheet of typing or copy paper over the grid paper. books. but it teaches you the six directions cubes can project in space within the drawing. Another exercise you can try is to subtract cubical holes from some of these cubes. Try to have all of your cubes consistent throughout your drawing . Buildings are typically cubical.

Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 9 .

Add the rest of the lines back from the corners of the square (fig. 8. 35).One point perspective (fig. 6). start with the front square side of the cube. pg. pg. 13) scene. draw an inside (fig. This location of the eye or (vanishing point) becomes the place where cubes shift across in space to show their opposite side. 10 • T E R M E S • NEW PERSPECTIVE SYSTEMS . 7. 4) takes one of the three sets of parallel lines of the cube and projects them to a point. Non typical views. We will say this is the North direction. pg 12). 8b). On another sheet of paper. a VANISHING POINT. 13) or outside (fig. 5. As you are drawing a group of cubes. Lay a sheet of paper over the one point perspective grid (pg. can also come from this grid (fig. The other two sets of lines of the cube continue to run parallel and unaltered. from ride to left and from above you to below you (fig. such as drawing a scene of a room through the transparent floor. This vanishing point can also be considered where your eye is located in relation to the objects found on this page.

Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 11 .

A one point perspective drawing of a person drawing his complete room.5 Notice how the sides of the cubes shift as they move by the single vanishing point. Fig. 12 • T E R M E S • NEW PERSPECTIVE SYSTEMS .

Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 13 .

10 Fig. 11a and 11b). 9 Horizon line is fine if you are on Earth but from outer space. 10). the third set of lines continues to run parallel. eye level is all you have. Practice using the two point perspective grid (fig.Two point perspective uses two of these three sets of parallel lines of the cube. 14 • T E R M E S • NEW PERSPECTIVE SYSTEMS . Fig. 9) to draw some cubical objects (fig. they run straight up and down. are 90 degrees of our horizon. This HORIZON LINE is also the EYE LEVEL LINE. In two point perspective. In this case. North and East. The two point grid is on page 36. Continue on with creating an inside or outside cubical scene (fig. The eye level is better to use because if you are underground or in outer space there is no such thing as a horizon but there always is a location of your eyes (eye level). Notice the two points we are using. It projects one set of parallel lines to the North point and the second set of parallel lines to the East vanishing point.

11b Outside scene 2 point perspective Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 15 . 11a Inside scene 2 point perspective Fig.Fig.

Some three point grids can be turned so the cubes can be seen from above or below. You might. Which direction you use the grid would determine whether you want to be looking up or down at the cubes in your drawing. Similar to two point perspective. Either Zenith or Nadir can be used with the same grid just by spinning the three point perspective grid 180 degrees. 16 • T E R M E S • NEW PERSPECTIVE SYSTEMS . however enjoy this distortion. 12) or the Zenith point (above you) (fig.Three point perspective uses all three sets of parallel lines of the cube. You can project all of these lines with a straight edge. 13b). When you have an understanding of this. This drawing is most proper if held to the triangle shaped canvas or paper. play with an outside (fig. one of the sets of parallel lines aims toward the North point and the other set aims toward the East point. First try to draw a group of cubes with the three point grid on page 37 (as illustrated in fig. The third set of lines project toward the Nadir point (below you) (fig. If you go outside the line between the points you'll discover some distortion. 13a). 14a) or inside (fig. 14b) realistic scene.

Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 17 .

and 17c). 15). are now curving in like a football coming together at the Zenith and Nadir points. Not only does the cube look far in the middle.17a Illustration by Jan Stevenson fig. these up and down lines must project toward two points (fig. Now make some cubes into a city scene.16 18 • T E R M E S • NEW PERSPECTIVE SYSTEMS . If you were on the twentieth floor of a skyscraper. 17b. First. These lines. we use the same logic it takes to get to three point perspective. looking out the window at another skyscraper. Notice two sets of lines still run straight like two point perspective but the up and down lines project toward two points fig. it also seems to get smaller as it goes above and below your eye level. Notice the examples (fig. 16).Four point perspective can be thought of in a couple different ways. Two practice. But if the cube we are looking at is very tall and it projects above you and also goes below your eye level. 17a. you would see this type of effect. which used to be the up and down parallel lines of the cube.15 fig. slip the four point perspective grid under your paper and draw some cubes using the grid on page 38 (see fig. forty stories high.

Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 19 .


West and back to North (fig. East and South again. The grid covers 180 degrees of the horizon around you. This system keeps the Zenith and Nadir lines of the cube actually parallel. 21a). Something else to look at in the room example is how the ceiling tile and floor patterns fit together. taping them together edge to edge so. West. Try drawing cubes using the grid on page 39 (see fig. East and South vanishing points. It can be rolled up and taped together to show the total wraparound view. Note the outside scene (fig. draw an inside and an outside scene (see fig. South. In Figure 21c. and curves the North to South and East to West lines of the cube (fig. 22. some of the floor below and the ceiling directly above you. South. It misses. If you want a drawing which shows a room where you are rotating in many circles. Using these two continuous four point perspective grids. 24) you can start with a North direction and you turn to the East. pg. This double grid allows you to stand anywhere in any cubical room and produce a 360 degree strip of the room. Each revolution can show time passing almost like a moving picture (fig. 18). pg. If you look closely at the repeated walls. you can capture the directions of North. pg. then back to North. you'll need to start and end with the same spot on the eye level line. 21b. 21b at right). The results of drawings made from this long grid paper can be displayed on the flat surface or cylindrically. 20). 24). 23) or inside room (fig. Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 21 . To achieve this total view. 19). you also will find you are seeing the walls from different locations within the rooms (fig. (pg. You turn around in this drawing one and one half times. pg. East. 23a.Another way to think of four point perspective is what I call the continuous four point perspective. You can also try making two copies of this pattern. 21c. 25) makes a full revolution. however. pg 24 and fig. 25). You can view it from the inside or from the outside of the cylinder (fig. tape more and more grids together. 23b. Notice the North.

drawing fits with the left side. pg. 23b. 21c. As you can see.Fig. pg. Notice the only straight lines are the up and down lines. you also will find you are seeing the walls from different locations within the rooms (fig. 21b). 24 and fig. 22 • T E R M E S • NEW PERSPECTIVE SYSTEMS . If you want a drawing which shows a room where you are rotating in many circles. pg 24). the right side of the Closely at the repeated walls. 23a. 21b This shows a full view of rotation 360 degrees around you. tape more and more grids together. 25) Using these two continuous four point perspective grids. draw an inside and an outside scene (see fig. Each revolution can show time passing almost like a moving picture (gig.

Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 23 . notice the only straight lines are the up and down lines. 21b This shows a full view of rotation 360 degrees around you/ As you can see. the right side of the drawing fits with the left side.Fig.

24 • T E R M E S • NEW PERSPECTIVE SYSTEMS . The grid helps to show you which lines curve and how much. It is important to note how the floor and ceiling tiles fit. Walls bulge out and corners are the furthest away like it would be in a real room.Continuous four point perspective uses a curved line grid.

Fig. 22 Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 25 . This technique implies either that the viewer is "everywhere at once" or is moving through time (the fourth dimension). Student drawing by Jan Stevenson.Fig. 23b Notice how objects repeat but are seen from a different position.

the lines of the cubes drawn have two sets of the parallel lines curving. If these small cubes were made into individual houses. east. 29). you would have an example of an outside scene (fig. 24a. pg. Draw a group of cubes within this circle grid to see if you understand this five point concept (fig. draw lines out from the four corners of the rectangle. To create an inside scene. south or west wall. The center point could also be the ceiling or the north. It is easiest to start with the distant rectangular wall first (fig. You now can illustrate 180 degrees of visual space around you. North we'll say.This system of perspective. you place the sphere there and imagine you could somehow step inside this transparent ball. It captures everything from North to South and from Nadir to Zenith. 24d). 24d). The other two points are directly above and below the North point on the top (Zenith) and bottom (Nadir) edge of the circle (fig. In other words. creates a circle on a piece of paper or canvas. Notice how figure 27 on page 28 shows you how the center vanishing point of this room could be straight down. 30). is in the middle of the circle and four other points are equal distant around the outside edge of the circle on the same horizontal line that the North vanishing point is. 25a). 27). 25b). 26 • T E R M E S • NEW PERSPECTIVE SYSTEMS . and the other set projecting straight to the center point. One of the points. pg. Try any outside cubical scene (see fig. 24b. A cube or cubes drawn in this space project with straight lines into the center point like a one point perspective The second set of lines curve from the West point to the East point. All windows and doors and the thickness of the windows and doors use the same projection vanishing points as the walls use (fig. if it is located in the center of the circle. 28. Next. Think of yourself inside a really exciting visual environment like St. these lines change their shape from a straight line. When you find a spot in the Basilica where any direction you look is visually exciting. pg. 24e). start with the basic inside cube room. With one eye you look from the very center of the sphere at the Basilica all around you. but project from the Zenith point to the Nadir point (fig. You bring a transparent where along with you. Now paint what you see outside the sphere onto the inside surface (fig. The other set of lines do the same. This five point grid will allow you to do the same thing. to more and more of a curving line as it moves out to the edge of the circle. A fish eye lens has this kind of effect. Depending on where the cube is located within the circular sheet of paper. A five point perspective scene would stop at half of the sphere (one hemisphere). Now add doors and windows and other details to these inside walls. Peter's Basilica in Rome. using five points.

25a fig25b Five point perspective is a hemisphere of view. fig. 180 degrees of your view above.Fig. below to the east north and west. 24d. Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 27 .

Student drawing by Jan Stevenson.Fig. 27 Looking straight down on the floor from a ceiling view. 28 • T E R M E S • NEW PERSPECTIVE SYSTEMS .

Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 29 .

but it must be organized to the first drawing. If you were back in the transparent sphere in St. the whole picture that is. 25c). Continue the four lines of the basic room. With five point we get half. If you wanted to get the rest of the picture. which run off the circle of your paper (fig. you copy onto the inside surface everything you see all around you. The center point. of the visual world around us. The clear side of the drawing paper is facing you. Now move the grid paper around to the other side of the drawing paper. 25d). Staying with the flat surface. 30 • T E R M E S • NEW PERSPECTIVE SYSTEMS . which is showing through is now the South (or the sixth) vanishing point. 24f). Peter's Basilica and could get inside of a clear ball? With one eye in the center of that sphere. but everything behind you as well (fig.The sixth (South) point is missing from five point perspective drawings. You can also add the South wall of the room to this new side. Start by cutting out your original circular drawing from the five point perspective exercise (fig. Peter's Basilica you would have to copy not only what you see in front of you. a very interesting way to create the rest of the visual world is to continue the drawing from the outside edge of the circle around to the back side of the piece of paper. 25b). You would have to turn around and look at the room BEHIND you to see the rest of the room and to find that last point. hold the paper up to the light of a window you can see the grid. or a hemisphere. These lines now must aim toward the new South vanishing point. This is how one side of the sphere would look… What if you were inside St. We are going to use this same grid to help us organize this new side. The gird paper is now sandwiches to the original drawing side. you must add that last vanishing point. Now move outside the sphere to see the total picture you have drawn. Lightly tape these two sheets together. Make sure the grid points are overlapping the first drawing's points. Make it either closer to you or farther away. This gives your total room more variety and helps to make your room more interesting (fig. With the grid attached.

smell. This adds to the excitement of the concept. you should make sure there are many objects on that edge to be brought around. and intuition).) that disappeared at the edge of the circle. hearing. Here have repeated the back side four times (top. etc. television cabinets. chairs. These images can now continue around to the new drawing to complete them (fig. pg. 26 and fig. right and bottom) on each of the four corresponding vanishing points to show how this drawing entitled "The Six Senses" uses the vanishing points to focus on each sense (sight. Fig. You now have a six point perspective drawing (fig. touch. 25c Turn sheet over and continue the four lines from the back wall around the edge of the paper to the back of the sheet. left. they can be glued to a circular piece of foam and hung from the ceiling. 32). To make this flat six point perspective concept more exciting the next time you do one. You can hang the two sided drawing with a string from the top vanishing point. If you used two sheets of appear. Extend windows from North (opposite) side. 25e Finish South part of room. Fig. 28 (also front & back cover of book) Both sides of total visual world. Fig. taste. 25e). Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 31 . 27.Notice any details in the original five point drawing (couches.

What are truly six point perspective concepts? This way of thinking is what led me to use the sphere as my canvas since 1969. I call my paintings Termespheres. These are silk screened limited edition spheres. They range in size from 12" to 7 ½ feet in diameter. Lately I have found a system to reproduce my spherical paintings. Subjects on the spheres range from geometric to surrealistic to a series on famous interiors from around the world. Your next job is to think of and express ideas which fit this concept. To date I have painted over one hundred and fifty of them. The Termespheres hang and rotate from ceiling motors.Being able to enclose total visual environments is a very rewarding accomplishment. See the inside back cover of this book for more information 32 • T E R M E S • NEW PERSPECTIVE SYSTEMS . How these spherical paintings were accomplished will be explained in the next manual.

The distortion on the edge of the mirrored ball becomes much more readable when organized with the six point perspective system.) The window and the table are added on the back sides. Escher3" takes Escher's "Hand With Reflective Sphere" and spreads it out around an actual sphere (shown here in six different rotations.The painting. Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 33 .


ONE POINT PERSPECTIVE GRID -BY DICK TERMES Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 35 .


THREE POINT PERSPECTIVE GRID -BY DICK TERMES Seeing the total picture • T E R M E S • 37 .




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