Angle Transference

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Sometimes, an artist may wish to transfer the angle of a line directly from the subject to the drawing. This is particularly useful when drawing a scene that involves perspective (not all drawings involve perspective). To perform this, students are to place their pencil alongside the observed angle and then move their arm over to the paper, transferring the angle in the process.

This is not as easy as it may seem. This move is to be done from the waist so that the angle of the pencil does not change (as shown in Fig. 1). Should the move be made with the arc of an arm-swing, the angle of transference is likely to be inaccurate (As shown in Fig. 2).

Fig. 1. Angle transference: the correct method.
Fig. 2. Angle transference: the incorrect method. See how the angle has been wrongly estimated.

Students should also be standing at arm’s length from the board when they transfer an angle. Standing too close will result in the extended arm hitting the drawing board.

The pencil is to be maintained on the vertical of the picture plane (as shown in Fig. 3) and is not pointing into the scene (as shown in Fig. 4). To address this tendency, it is advised that students be told to imagine the picture plane as a sheet of glass in a window that faces the scene. In transferring the angle they are to place their pencil so that it lays flat on the glass of this window pane.

Fig. 3. Here the pencil is maintained on a vertical plane that corresponds to the picture plane.
Fig. 4. Here the pencil is inclined into the scene. This will make it very difficult to transfer the line onto a drawing as the pencil would be pointing directly into the paper. .