Working on a slant

Debbie wrote to ask:
I just wanted you to know that I’m learning a lot from your book. But I have a question. I’m ready to start shading, blending ect. When you do this do you do it with your drawing board flat or still on a tilt?

On a tilt, Debbie – for two reasons.

First, I’m too lazy to readjust my drawing board 🙂

Second, it allows loose graphite to drift down away from my drawing surface. There is almost no other reason why you shouldn’t work on a horizontal board.

However, the practice of drawing on a tilted drawing board is universally accepted because it minimises parallax errors. If you work on a flat board you may be looking directly down at the base of your drawing but parallax distortion will occur because the top of your drawing is angled away from you. This is like working in perspective (measurements diminish in size with distance) on something that will ultimately hang vertically in front of the viewer.

That said, if you already have guidelines in place then parallax errors shouldn’t occur, because you will simply be working within predefined boundaries.

It’s your choice but, personally, I’d choose a tilted surface where every part of my drawing is an equal distance from my eyes.