David Rickert

Fun with Perspective (and Snow)


This is a drawing for the 51st book in the Sam and Friends series, a collaboration with Mark Pennington from Pennington Publishing. The book involves Sam and Tom designing a sledding course with a tow rope.

The focus of the text is on Sam and Tom creating the tow rope and setting up the motor. I had to decide how to position the image so that the focus was on that. I could have drawn the image from the bottom of the sled run, but that would have made Tom and Sam really small at the top of the image and the focus wouldn’t be on them.

Therefore, I positioned the image from the top of the sledding run. But since this was the first image of the run in the book, I wanted to make sure that the reader could see that too, and I wanted to make it look fun with turns and a jump. When I finished it, it reminded me of the alpine slide we used to ride as kids (P.S. no sane person should ride these): 

It also had to look long, which I achieved by making the sled run diminish as size. I used a smaller line width as well. Thus I employed two basic principles of perspective:

1. Objects appear smaller the farther away there are.

This may seem obvious, but it can be difficult to put into practice. It was important to have the top of the sled run in the composition to indicate how big it was in relation to Tom and Sam. Therefore, when it became narrower at the bottom it was apparent that it was still the same size, but just farther away.

2. Heavier lines indicate something close up; lighter lines indicate something further away.

Not only do things in the distance have less detail, but there is also more atmospheric noise in between our eyes and the object. Light brush lines help indicate this phenomenon.

I also included the trees on the horizon which helped indicate distance (as long as you draw trees that look like trees) and also added some height to contrast with the horizontal lines that dominate the picture.


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This entry was posted on February 5, 2015 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .
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