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Santa Monica College
Cary Childress, MFA, Professor



Orthographic - Drawing type of showing 2 of the 3 dimensions in each view. Usually drafted 3 views- Plan, Front and Side Elevation.

Plan - The Orthographic View from above.

Elevation (Front & Side) - The Orthographic View from Front and Right Side typically (Elevations show views with heights).

45 Projection - Drafting trick to take dimensions from Plan and bring them down to the Side Elevation using a 45 degree angle. To avoid re-measureing.

Section - The Orthographic View showing a cut view of an object.


Drafting Line Weights:

4H 3H 2H H F HB B 2B 3B 4B 5B 6B (pencil weights, 4H=hardest/lightest, 6B=Softest/Blackest)

Layout Lines, (Construction Lines) - 4H, A hairline as light as possible and still visible. Meant to be light enough to disappear in printing so there is no need to erase.

Object Lines - HB, primary line weight seen in printed drawing, medium line weight.

Section Lines - 2H, secondary line weight, just dark enough to print, to show cut parts of objects (like mechanical, slanted saw marks).

Hidden Lines - 2H dashed, secondary line weight, just dark enough to print, to show lines of objects not visible. to viewer.

Center Lines - 2H short dash, long dash, secondary line weight, just dark enough to print, to show the center of an object or radius.

Dimension Lines - 2H, secondary line weight, just dark enough to print, to show what parts of object to which the measurement dimensions are referring.

Leader Lines - 2H, secondary line weight, just dark enough to print, to point out notes, arrows from notes to object.

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Lettering/Arrowheads - 3B, accent line weight, darker than HB object lines, used for printing letters/numbers(dimensions), arrowheads/tick marks.

Slant Chisel Point Lettering - Architectural style of printing using a sharpened 3B pencil with a crisp bevel (swipe with sand paper), thin verticals using sharp edge of bevel w/ straight edge combined w/ thick slanted freehand horizontal with bevel flat.

Short Break Lines - 3B, accent line weight, darker than HB object lines, to show where object is broken away instead of drawn completely.

Poche - 3B, accent line weight, darker than HB object lines, to accentuate the outside perimeter of an object for visual clarity. For Plans, term includes the shading-in of inside wall edges.

Border Lines - 3B, accent line weight, darker than HB object lines, to demark/frame paper edge or title block. (If not preprinted on paper in ink)

TYP - Typical

RAD (R) - Radius

DIA (D) - Diameter

DIM. - Dimension



Vellum - Highest quality translucent, drafting paper made from 100% cotton rags instead of wood pulp. Only paper that will print in blue-line printing process.

Tracing/Flimsy/Tissue - Inexpensive translucent paper. Good for sketching, designing, tracing.

Bond - Standard printer paper.

Newsprint - Low grade inexpensive paper used for warming up and bird cages. Will deteriorate rapidly with age &/or use.

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Perspective - The illusion of objects appearing smaller as they recede in space.

Sighting - Simplest type of perspective by which you simply draw what you see infant of you. Requires an object, and years of skill.

Meatball - Perspective where the illusion of depth is "eyeballed" (guessed by eye). Can be drafted or freehand.

Measured Perspective - Perspective where the illusion of depth is found using a "system" of measuring (no guessing).

True Scale Perspective - Where the view-height of the object is relative to the normal/expected height of the viewer (HL). Can be Measured or Meatball.

VP - Vanishing Point, The point in space where converging lines or planes meet. Also, The point in space where objects receding into space appear to shrink to the point of disappearance (vanish).

RVP - Right Vanishing Point

LVP - Left Vanishing Point

HL - Horizon Line (eye level), Typically 5'. The plane where all level lines and planes converge to a vanishing point.

SP - Station Point (standing point). Where viewer stands looking toward object in Plan view. The closer the SP, the more perspective distortion. The farther SP, the "flatter" or weaker the perspective and less engaging to the viewer.

PP - Picture Plane. The two dimensional (flat) surface where the image of a three dimensional object is projected. Moving PP closer to object creates a larger image.

OP - Object Point. Any point on the object in Plan that you want to find in your perspective drawing.

VML - Vertical Measuring Line. The only place your scale will measure heights correctly. (It's typically where the PP touches the Object in Plan.)

CLOS - Center Line of Sight. The line you stand on in Plan looking at the object. It determines the left and right of your view of plan.

COV - Cone of Vision. Typically 60%, Used as a distortion-guide for placing SP on the CLOS.

COD - Circle of Distortion. A circle through the VPs which the center is from the mid point of the VPs, (or 90 degree COV) that determines that any 2 lines from the VPs will meet on the COD at 90 degrees. Inside of COD = more than 90 (equaling non-distortion), Outside of COD= less than 90 (equaling distortion). COD is also used for MP Perspective System to find MPs.

Peripheral Vision - The area outside of a viewers direct area of view (outside of COV).

Plane - A flat surface imaginary or real without dimension.

Inclined - A slanted or angled plane not parallel to the ground. VPs for Inclined planes are found above or below the HL on vertical lines relative to their rotation.

Rotate - When an object rotates (turns, spins) parallel to the ground, it's VPs move left and right along the HL.

Perpendicular - Lines or planes that meet or cross at 90 degrees to each other. (Right Angle, Square).

Parallel - Lines or planes that remain equal distant apart.

Diagonal - Any angled, straight line. Many perspective uses when applied from corner to corner of squares or rectangles, such as dividing or multiplying depth.

Converging -Lines or planes that do not remain equal distant apart.

Right Angle - Lines or planes that meet or cross at 90 degrees to each other. (Perpendicular, Square)

Thumbnail - A small preliminary sketch to work out composition, values, proportions or point of view. A quick study before beginning a drawing.

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Ellipse - A foreshortened circle in perspective. (An oval.)

     Major Axis - The long axis of an ellipse. Always 90 degrees to the Minor Axis.

     Minor Axis - The short axis of an ellipse. This is the axis on which the circle (ellipse) rotates.

Slant Ruler Method - A scaling trick whereby you can foreshorten the scale by slanting (angling) to get in-between scales.

Dimension - A measurement of distances. There are three dimensions in the physical world.
     1. Height - The dimension of up and down.
              Vertical - Usually depicting height.
                    Plumb - A perfect 90 degree vertical.
     2. Width - The dimension of left and right (across).
               Horizontal - Usually depicting width.
                    Level - A perfect 0 degree horizontal.
     3. Depth - The dimension moving away or toward the viewer.


Paraline Perspective:

Paraline (Parallel-Line [fake-perspective] Drawings) 3 types:

            Axometric - similar to 3pt (works well from angled plan)

            Isometric -similar to 2 pt (works well using low angles 30/30 or 15/15)

            Oblique -similar to 1pt (works well from Ortho Elevation)



Value - The term describing the lightness and darkness of an object or color. Low Value is dark, High Value is light. On a 0-10 Value Scale, 0 is white, 10 is black.

Hue - The term describing the name of a color. i.e. Red, Blue, Green etc.

Intensity (Chroma) - The purity of the color. High Intensity would be primary colors before mixing down into lower Intensity colors.

Tonal Gradation - Value steps going from light to dark. Smooth Tonal Gradation is blended so the steps do not show.

Hard Lighting - Harsh, Hard Lighting has strongly defined shadows from lack of Ambient or Reflected light for softening. I.e. Direct summer sun creates black shadows. Dramatic, not flattering, higher contrast.

Soft Lighting - Lighting with a lot of Ambient Light or reflected light to lighten up shadows. I.e. cloudy day, shadows are subtle. Flattering, non-dramatic, lower contrast.

Ambient Light - Extraneous light existing outside of the light source. Could come from reflected surfaces. Softens shadows.

Highlight (HLt) - Highlight is the lightest part of the object. Usually the top.

Mid Value - Between Highlight and Core. But more importantly, it is the "True Value" when matching value or color to an object.

Core Shadow - The Core or Core Shadow is the darkest part of the object. Usually the vertical side away from light source. Same side as shadow.

Reflected Light (RL) - The Reflected Light is a little lighter than the Core. It's bounced light treated as a weaker, secondary light source.

Contrast - Contrast is the amount of difference between the low value and the high value.

     High Contrast (Contrasty) - High Contrast is a large difference between the low and high value. I.e. 0-10.

     Low Contrast (Flat) - Low Contrast is a small difference between the low and high value. I.e. 0-5, 3-7, or 5-10 etc.

High Key - When the majority of the composition or light is High Values.

Low Key - When the majority of the composition or light is Low Values.

Light Logic Rule - Change of Plane, Change of Value.

     Value Steps - Each plane of an object should change at least 2 values scales (more for higher contrast).

Shadows - Shadows are the voidence of light. Shadows do not change color but only lower the value (slightly cooler in color is OK). Shadows should only lower the value 2-3 value steps. (More in higher contrasty light, less in Softer, flatter light.)

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HL - 5'-0"

Ceiling Height - 8'-0"

Door Height - 6'-8"

Window Height - 6'-8"

Lower Kitchen Cabinets - 3'-0"h X 2'-0"d

Upper Kitchen Cabinets - 1'-6"h space & 1'-0"d



There are 3 dimensions - Height, Width, and Depth (all interchangeable according to point of view.)

1pt Perspective - When one of the three planes (dimensions) recedes away from you (your PP), toward one Vanishing Point.
2pt Perspective - When two of the three planes (dimensions) recedes away from you (your PP), toward two Vanishing Points.
3pt Perspective - When three of the three planes (dimensions) recedes away from you (your PP), toward three Vanishing Points.

Perspective Test:
     If a dimension (line) is parallel in reality and parallel to you (PP), then it remains parallel in the drawing.
     If a dimension (line) is parallel in reality and NOT parallel to you (PP), then it converges to a VP in the drawing.

To Find OP (Object Points) in drawing - SP to OP, PP & Dwn.

To Find VP (Vanishing Point) - A Line From the SP to the PP, Parallel to the Object & Dwn to HL.

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