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Spiral Staircases

I’ve been taking some perspective drawing classes over the past few weeks in an attempt to refresh my understanding of it.  I’ve always had a basic working knowledge of 1, 2, and 3 point perspective drawing but I thought it would help if I learned some more technical approaches.

In our earlier classes we focused on constructing ellipses and staircases.  This naturally led right into the construction of spiral staircases!

The staircases above were drawn using a more technical method where you locate the vanishing points for each step individually as they turn in perspective. 

The 2 drawings below were done using a more of a ‘freehand approach’.  Basically the steps are all eyeballed in after plotting out an inclined plane that wraps around cylinder.

This is supposed to be a quicker method (and probably is with practice) but I found that it took me just as long to draw these as the more technical way and they feel a little wonky to me.  You have to eyeball the depth of each step as they turn away from you and it can take some trial and error to make it look correct.

I guess that in a situation where the stairs aren’t the focal point of a composition and you don’t want to spend too much time working on them that this method is the way to go.

As we got more comfortable drawing generic staircases from our imagination I thought it might be interesting to try and animate one turning.  So I animated this little 3 drawing cycle.

I’ve never animated a run cycle up a flight of stairs before so I might try to come up with an excuse to do it sometime.

We’ve just started into the Cylindrical-Curvilinear Perspective lessons during the last couple of classes so if you enjoy all this brain melting technical stuff as much as I do then stay tuned!  I should have some more stuff to post after the long weekend.  Happy Canada Day!!

Categories: Sketches
Posted by Gerry D on June 30, 2011
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. 12/11/2011

    This is very nice. I’m taking a perspective drawing class now and it helps to look at what other people have done when I’m ‘stuck’.

  2. 02/24/2013

    This is amazing……..ME trying to be an animator….


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