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Old 03-13-2018, 07:59 AM
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Re: Are eye level and horizon the same?

Eye-level is a vague term which could mean a lot of things. If you're going to paint the horizon, then you're probably going to look directly at it. If you're looking directly at it, then it's obviously at eye level. Using this definition, everything is at eye-level when you're looking at it.

My understanding is that if your gaze is perpendicular to the force of gravity, then eye-level and horizon will be one and the same. It doesn't matter whether you're sitting in a chair or standing on it. If you get high enough, however, the curvature of the Earth will eventually bring the horizon down below eye level, but this wouldn't be the case if the Earth were flat and extended forever into the distance.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:09 AM
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Re: Are eye level and horizon the same?

Eye level is a horizontal plane passing through the eyes.

When constructing a vanishing point on a building look for a window cill or other building line which is horizontal. Tha is your eye level. All horizontal lines above that line slope down to vanishing points on the line, all horizontals below slope up to the vanishing points. Here's a small animation.



Doug
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:38 AM
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Re: Are eye level and horizon the same?

Ok, thought of another way to describe this.

Imagine standing in front of a very tall ruler sticking straight out of the ground. If your eyes are 5'6"" above the ground, then the horizon will be at the same level as the 5'6" mark on the ruler. It doesn't matter whether you're looking up, down, or straight ahead. If you look down, the horizon goes up in your view, but so does the 5'6" mark on the ruler by the same amount.

If you sit down and your eyes are now 4' above the ground, the horizon will appear at the same level as the 4' mark on the ruler. If you stand on the chair and your eyes are now 7' above the ground, the horizon will appear at the same level as the 7' mark on the ruler.

This is what is meant by horizon and eye level being the same.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:56 AM
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Re: Are eye level and horizon the same?

So far, most of the written and graphic examples of perspective have been taken from the standpoint of an adult human, standing on the ground, i.e., an "eye-level" perspective. In this case, the eye level and the horizon line are one and the same.

But...

Look at these perspectives, where the eye level and the horizon are not on the same line. In the first three paintings, the eye is clearly above the horizon line:







And here is an example of the eye located below the horizon line:



Can you tell the difference between the first four examples and this one with the eye located on the horizon line:



The eye and the horizon line are two different elements in linear perspective.

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Old 03-13-2018, 09:54 AM
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Re: Are eye level and horizon the same?

They all comply with the rule. If you are in an elevated position looking down on the corner of a building all the horizontals below you point upwards, all the horizontals above you slope downwards. If the face of the building is at right angles to your point of view they will remain horizontal at the centre and as you move away they will slope down.

Doug
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Old 03-13-2018, 11:13 AM
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Re: Are eye level and horizon the same?

Doug, you are correct as far as your statement goes. But your statement doesn't include the choices and results of where one chooses to place the horizon line.

Your statement is correct because all vanishing points always are found on the horizon line.

But where one chooses to place the horizon line creates vastly different perspective effects.



Do you see the differences in these two perspectives of the same subject, based on where the horizon line is placed?

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Old 03-13-2018, 01:08 PM
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Re: Are eye level and horizon the same?

Loads of long answers, brilliantly done, here's a short on to the original post's question:

Yes.

Why? This is for the purpose of drawing out construction lines/converging lines developed from vanishing points.

You, the painter, choose where to place the horizon line. This is always your eye-level. It is as noted, the level to which water fills up around you to your eye level - where ever you wish to place yourself - on the ground/standing/sitting/lying/flying about high above....

Separate out what seems logical in the real world from the simplified construct that is perspective drawing, and you'll be able to take it on board, internalize it and have fun with using it in composition/design. Which, I think is the goal

FYI, the great landscape painter Turner more often than not in his lovely paintings used a point of view from high above the ground to view his landscapes. Floating his mind's eye above the ground.

What fun to take source material where the actual point of view is on the real ground, and be able to imagine everything from a much higher point of view.

In this case, and referencing Len's figure the OP shows us, this is the equivalent of floating the painter's station upward so that NOW in this design choice, the horizon line (remember it is a construct used for vanishing points) could be the same as the generalized line of where the sky meets the tops of the low ridge in the distance ~ labelled as horizon by Len.

Yes, to open up the box of marvels that is perspective drawing, just think of eye-level as the same thing as horizon line. Sometimes, but not always, though sadly far too common (yawn) the design places eye level on the "world" horizon around the imagined viewer. Perhaps it would be helpful if the two terms were separated as horizon line and world horizon - they don't have to be placed on top of each other in design, but can be.

Just a note, folks talk, quite astutely, about tilting one's head to look downward/upward from the eye-level/horizon line. To be clear, the horizon line/eye level doesn't change with looking up or down - the horizon line is still the level of water filling up to our eyes. What does change, IF we want to incorporate this into our design, is using the head tilt/shifting eyes up or down to moving from 2 point perspective to 3 (or more) point perspective. However, what's fun about the flexibility of perspective drawing, is that we don't have to, and we can use the head tilt anyway (see La's two examples in her post + looking up at the birdhouse, and then down at the wagon).

Here's another way to think of this - significant head tilt POV? Then the eye-level (water filling up to our eyes, also called horizon line) - is either above or below the page, again, first noted by La.

Virgil, I totally enjoyed your astute and detailed posts, but I think you may be conflating things a bit unnecessarily for learning a beginner's use of perspective in design. This matches your advanced understanding for sure.Things can be simplified, perspective drawing is artificial. Though, I would be interested in why you may think it necessary to differentiate the two. It seems you suggesting vanishing points are always on the real-world horizon?

If I am at a high floor in the skyscraper painting, yes I can see the world's local horizon in the painting. But this is not where the construction lines are referencing their convergence to vanishing points. The vanishing points are level with me in the tower from from which I am looking out in this example. A lot of designs incorporate 3 point perspective into this. Which places a nadir point above or another point (forgot its name) below. Or both at the same time (4 point perspective). But, the horizon line /eye-level can still be where I placed it.

The only painting with the head tilt where its incorporated into the design in terms of perspective is the one of the trees = 3-point perspective.



And just to illustrate the flexibility of using perspective constructs can be, I present the skyscrapers:



And still a fabulous, convincing painting!

One can take away just enough from perspective drawing to help with design, one can be entirely selective. It is great fun to use!


Cheers!

Last edited by KolinskyRed : 03-13-2018 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:41 PM
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Re: Are eye level and horizon the same?

Quote:
Originally Posted by virgil carter
Look at these perspectives, where the eye level and the horizon are not on the same line. In the first three paintings, the eye is clearly above the horizon line:
I don't understand what it is you think you're defining as eye level. In all of the first three examples, the horizon is at eye level. In the first one the viewer is looking directly at the horizon but the building is blocking our view of it so that we can't see far enough in the distance to see the spot where the ground meets sky. In the second two paintings our view is clearly directed below the horizon line, but the horizon is still placed at eye level.

In the painting with the trees, the horizon line and our eyes are both below the bottom of the painting. In this case, however, the horizon line doesn't need to play any role in creating the artist's perspective. The farther you get from the standard landscape view, the more subjective it becomes in creating a realistic perspective.
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:03 PM
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Re: Are eye level and horizon the same?

In Virgil's excellent sketch, the eye level/horizon line match up with the local real world horizon (where the background trees meet the lawn. And, when viewing the drawing and using the perspective cues the artist's point of view (station point) can be inferred to be standing.

If Virgil could to do two more drawings, redrawing everything changing only the eye level/horizon line, a) in the first new drawing move the eye level/horizon line up to the eaves (artist's point of view from up on a ladder) and b) in the second new drawing have the artist sitting on the ground. The eye-level/horizon line now cuts through the standing man's knees, and

All I've done in the image below is move the eye-level/horizon line for new drawings not yet made.

Remember that the eye-level/horizon line can move up and down within the picture plane. Down (towards more worm's eye view) tilts the real or imagine flat ground plane downward and we "see" less of it. Move the eye level/ horizon line up and this tilts the imagined or real ground plane upwards towards us and we see more of it. As already noted, the eye-level/horizon line cone move downward right out of the picture below, or right upward and right out of the picture above.



The most important shape in perspective drawing is the picture plane (edges of our canvas/paper). Where is our real or imagined drawing in relation to this most important frame shape. How far away is the "frame" from our subject? Or how close? Given the answer, then how big or small is the frame? Where within the frame of the picture plane does the eye-level/horizon line cut? Or is it so high it's out of sight above the picture plane, or so low it's below the picture plane?

It's so important, and its the first shape we completely often forget about. Thanks so much for your consideration!

Last edited by KolinskyRed : 03-13-2018 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:21 PM
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Re: Are eye level and horizon the same?

And in reference to the OP:

Les, the wonderfully generous Youtube painting instructor, gives little lessons in perspective. Well done, but I feel a bit too rough/wonky in his illustrative sketches.

Here's a thought process to consider. I've done this at my table on which I've placed a fairly big box. I then try to get as far away from it (standing) as I can. Then I move towards the set up thinking about how the perspective lines change with my distance from the set up. Next I repeat from the seating position - moving my chair. And from sitting on the floor (though that gets cut off at close enough range). Anyway very helpful thought process.

Now, Len in his youtube videos, often uses paintings of a cabin out on the landscape. Like the box on our table, this is an interesting set up to think about. Using the cabin itself as our measuring unit, are we one cabin length away? Or ten cabin lengths away at our station point from which to create everything? Considering which distance we set ourselves upon, how much of the landscape around us do we wish to include? A lot? Or a closer crop and a little - for both the near and the far distance-from-cabin. Is the landscape level or sloped? Are we on that landscape, or floating above it?

For most results, there is actually very little perspective convergence of the overall box shape of the cabins. Except if we are really close and we wish to include the landscape around the cabin.

Here's some educational examples (oh the memories! I lived and worked for years in one of these places). Please note the convergence if any in each building. Are we above or below the building? How far are we from the building? How much of the image does the building take up? Are we far away and its view-scape cropped in close? Having answered these questions for each image, how much convergence (perspective is there really in the building/cabin? And, having answered such questions, where do we think the eye-level/horizon line is in each image? And the VP(s)? If we tweaked those placements nudging about the horizon line/eye-level and /or the VP(s) spacing to meet our composition goals, how would that change the shape of the cabin, if at all?
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Last edited by KolinskyRed : 03-13-2018 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 03-13-2018, 06:29 PM
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Re: Are eye level and horizon the same?

This thread explains why perspective is often a very confusing subject for many early artists. And that's because perspective, and all of the many varieties, can indeed be confusing.

For my students, however, I teach that if one can understand and construct a simple two point, "eye-level" perspective, where the horizon line is at the height of the eyes of a standing adult, one need never draw any other sort of perspective, unless very special effects are desired.

The key elements of a perspective are the: 1) horizon line; 2) location of the vanishing points; 3) the desired location of the horizon line (or eye level) compared to the subject.

Here's an example of the effects of various locations of the vanishing points on the horizon line:



Generally speaking, the closer together the vanishing points, the greater the visual distortion of the subject. The further apart, the greater may be the reality of the subject.

Here's an example of the effects of various locations of the horizon line (or eye level) compared to the subject:



We can see that when the horizon line (or eye level) is below the subject, a "worms eye" view is achieved. When the horizon line (or eye level) is above the subject an "aerial view is achieved.

And when the horizon line (or eye level) is at the height of a standing adult human, a "normal" perspective view is achieved:



It's really not all that complicated, but we can quickly make it so! :-)

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Old 03-13-2018, 08:19 PM
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Re: Are eye level and horizon the same?

Virgil, in four of your posts you've stated that eye-level and horizon line are not the same thing, except for the one situation you say where they can be. And in your last post here, you're now writing that eye-level does equal horizon. You suggest that the simple case of horizon line at standing height eye level on a flat plane is the only one worth knowing. That's quite alright, if you wish.

Everyone else (including me) has been noting that eye-level is the horizon line ... always.

If it's well understood, and that's easily done, it's eye-opening and amazing how the manipulation of the eye-level/horizon line position changing the compsition!

I would suggest that an introduction to perspective using the simple situation you've described for your student is great. But please don't suggest that eye-level isn't always the horizon line because that is indeed confusing. Eye-level = horizon line, the line on which we set the vanishing points in 1 and in 2 point perspectives.

The incredibly popular graphic novels often created by young people use perspective drawing techniques extensively - and they rarely ever use the single intro set up you're teaching your class. Yep, kids are mastering perspective drawing methods in all their glory. Check out the local library for their collection of graphic novels, it's all really quite surprising, and the designs/composition cover quite the gamut.

But the long and short of it is this: is eye-level always the horizon line - think of water filled up to your eye level. This is the line for vanishing points in 1 and 2 pt perspectives. Horizon line/eye level can be anywhere on the page - above the page, below the page.

I do recognize that for an intro, having the horizon line on the page, and the vanishing points on the page is quite helpful. But showing how they don't have to be is extremely important for an artist, even the beginner. Also showing the little trick to having vanishing points well off the page, and not having to measure them out - that's pure gold.

Cheers!

Last edited by KolinskyRed : 03-13-2018 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:51 PM
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Re: Are eye level and horizon the same?

KolinskyRed, sorry if my posts have been confusing. Perspective, it seems, has long been a confusing subject. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to simplify it and communicate the simplicity, rather than dwell on complexity. For those who want greater detail and complexity, that's fine. Perspective is a worthwhile subject to probe and explore in greater detail, IMO.

That said, there are ways to simplify a two-point perspective.

1) Simply make the viewpoint for the perspective that of an adult standing human. That means the horizon line will be more or less 6-feet above ground level. That's as simple and as "realistic" as a perspective can get. Pretty sure!

2) For more dramatic perspective views, however, one may wish to adjust the horizon line and the viewer's eye relative to the subject. For example, many painters of urban and townscapes enjoy a point of view many feet in the air looking down on the urban and townscape.

3) Another approach to create striking compositions is the opposite of 2) above. That is, to create a point of view virtually on the ground (or even below it) looking upward at the landscape or urbanscape.

What is confusing in the descriptions of these alternatives is where the eye is located relative to the subject. I agree where the eye is located there will be an imaginary/real horizon line. But it isn't the horizon line of a standing adult human is it?

In the case of 2) above, the eye is many, many feet in the air above the subject. Certainly the eye at that point has a horizon line, but it's an artificial horizon line compared to the reality of a standing human isn't it?

Similarly, in the case of 3) above, the eye may be inches from the ground (or even below ground) to achieve the special effect of a "worms eye view". And when one's eye is on the ground, certainly there is an imaginary horizon line from that perspective, but it's not that of a standing human is it?

The learning point is that perspectives can be constructed to illustrate all sorts of views; all sorts of designs and compositions, some realistic and some highly imaginative.

And that's what painting--design and composition--are all about isn't it? Creating a personal story and expression which an artist wants to communicate.

The important ingredient is knowing how to do it.

Sling paint,
Virgil

PS: We are getting into "he said, she said", which is unnecessary. "...You suggest that the simple case of horizon line at standing height eye level on a flat plane is the only one worth knowing..." I didn't say that, now did I?
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Old 03-16-2018, 01:39 PM
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Re: Are eye level and horizon the same?

I am the creator of the first post on this thread. As much as I love you guys for taking the time to respond to my post, I still find this eye level, horizon, perspective, etc. quite daunting.
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:04 PM
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Re: Are eye level and horizon the same?

it is daunting, no denying it
start with one point perspective
graduate to two point perspective
three point, some never get there, but dare if you dare

la
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