# 25 Days to Better Drawings: Sighting, Measuring, and Mapping

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## Lesson Description

Learn how to use sighting, measuring, and mapping to ensure greater accuracy in your drawings. Create a still life drawing of a vase.

## Lesson Materials

Graphite drawing pencil, kneaded eraser (or any eraser) and white drawing paper.

## Lesson Resources

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Reference Image

## Lesson Discussion

1. Claudia Godinez says:

Although I have learned this many times in different ways, I still have found that I can be confused with the 3 techniques and how they work together. Your teaching of this concept is scaffolded in a way that makes sense, with each instruction building on the next. I now feel like I can refer to this structure and have a firm grasp of these methods. Thank you!

2. Åshild Næss says:

I found this quite confusing. I understand about the relative measurements – so deciding what the height of the vase is going to be in the drawing, and working out how wide it needs to be based on that. Where you lose me is where you get to the ball. You measure to see that it’s the same height and width, and that’s fine. Then you say ‘we’ll start with the measurement of height, and working down from the line that we just drew, we can find the bottom portion of the ball’. But I don’t understand how you get to that measurement. You don’t seem to be comparing it to anything in the rest of the drawing anymore (e.g. width or height of the vase), so is it somehow the absolute measurement that you get from sighting along the pencil? And if so, how do you make sure that’s in proportion with the rest of the drawing?

• matt says:

Hi Ashild,

There are two ways you find the measurement for the ball. The first is to compare the height of the ball with how far down it extends below the bottom of the vase. The second requires the photo reference to be the same size as the drawing. If this is the case, then you can find the ball’s height by comparing it to the photo reference. Sometimes, you’ll have subjects that are easily compared and mapping is easy. Other times, you won’t find any suitable sections to compare. This is why this approach is helpful, but not an exact science.

3. Christine Maitchell says:

I think I must have missed something obvious as I did this exercise twice and both times managed to NOT get the ball to overlap the vase. Any clues as to where I am going wrong please?

• matt says:

Hi Christine,

Its hard to say without seeing the drawing, but I would say to simply draw the ball so that it’s in front of the vase.

4. Margaret Voorhaar says:

Hi,
Newer member here. I love this technique! Should I be trying to use your vase and ball and work with you or do we need to try our own still life?

5. Margaret Voorhaar says:

Hi again,
I see that you indicated early on in the video that this technique can be used as with a photo reference, so my Q above has been answered!

6. Michele Laconto says:

I’m new at all of this and when I was a kid in school, I think only learned one and two point perspective. This is a bit of work, but it’s something new that I’ve learned and will have to practice more. Thank you.

7. Jan Gregory says:

Well I have been drawing for years, today is the first time I’ve understood why artists hold a pencil up & why they do that , I was never sure what I was supposed to see when I held the pencil up! & how it relates to measuring & mapping out a drawing,
It has really made me understand this concept!
Many thanks Jan

8. Jan Gregory says:

l I have been drawing for years, today is the first time I’ve understood why artists hold a pencil up & why they do that , I was never sure what I was supposed to see when I held the pencil up! & how it relates to measuring & mapping out a drawing,
It has really made me understand this concept!
Many thanks Jan

9. sheryl pierce says:

Thank you, Matt
I find drawing what you see to be difficult. I will continue to practice!
I am new to drawing and loved the one and two point perspective!

10. Paula Reves says:

Hi Matt. In your video, you have marked the centre of the vase with a dot and this point is reference for measurements. I understand the technique. And with photo this method would be straightforward.
BUT in a still life observation. It would be impossible for ne or at least extremely difficult to locate the point and find such small units ..it would not be consistent .

What do you suggest? Thanks

11. Tammy Lisec says:

I have difficulty determining angles when looking at a reference picture. My drawings are tight, I overthink and over work them. I have a tremor and am trying to loosen up my work.