Before starting work on the Space Needle itself, you must first poses an understanding of perspective. Let's start at the very beginning (if you already have a good grasp of how to use perspective to draw buildings, you can skip ahead to step 9). Let's start with using one point perspective to create cubes. Using a ruler and a 2H or harder pencils, very lightly draw the horizon line (blue line) and the vanishing point (red X).
Next, draw a few squares floating in various places on the page, but not too close the vanishing point.
Draw lines from the vanishing point to the closest corners of each square (red lines). Then close off your cubes by drawing the back line of the cubes (green line), but be sure to stay within the red lines leading to the vanishing point.
Erase your unneeded guidelines leading back to the vanishing point and darken the lines of the cubes. You now have a cube created in one point perspective.
To draw the Space Needle, we also need to obtain an understanding of how to draw circles at an angle. Using the tips we learned in steps 1-4 to utilize one point perspective, first create a few one-sided squares leading back to the vanishing point. Then draw an X from corner to corner inside each square. Then draw another X in each square from top to bottom and side to side. This will find the center of each side of the square and act as a guide to create the circles.
To draw the actual circle, draw the lines through the points where the inner X meets the sides of the squares. This will create properly proportionate circles leading back to the vanishing point.
However, the Space Needle is not made of just circles, but it is also made of disk-like shapes. To create the disks. use the above methods to create a partner circle next to your original circle. Again, make sure you lead back to the vanishing point. Then, draw a line from the top edge of the first circle, to the top edge of the new circle, as seen here with a green line. Do the same for the bottom.
Then ink or darken the proper lines and erase all unneeded lines. You should now have disk or cylindrical shaped objects. You can use this method to create things such as the Space Needle, car tires, round table tops, or anything else that is a three dimensional circle shape.
So let's get to work on Seattle's famous Space Needle. Using a 2H or harder pencil, lightly mark your horizon line and your vanishing point. We will be working in one point perspective for this illustration.
Secondly, draw a tall vertical line through vanishing point as a guide (green line). This is the very center of the building. To mark the size and placement of the building, draw a tall rectangle and be sure to use the center guide to measure equal distance on either side so that the rectangle is perfectly symmetrical. For example, if your rectangle is four inches wide, then two inches should be on the left of the center line, and two inches should be on the right. While we're at it, it's also a good idea to mark the placement of the thin elevator shaft up the middle of the structure.
We can begin working on the foundation of the building, which is circular. Using the methods we learned in steps 5 and 6 above, create a square leading back to the vanishing point, and then create the circle inside the square. Notice how the circle fits nicely inside out rectangle guide, but the corners of the square bleed out a tad.
Working our way up, we can now build the gift shop that rests at the base of the tower. Using the methods we learned about creating disks and cylinders in steps 7 and 8, create the top of the gift shop and the outer walls.
Next, we need to create the circular pieces of architecture that hold the legs of the tower. There is one on top of the gift shop, and another at the top of the legs (which will be at the base of the restaurant). These two circles are exactly the same size. Be sure to watch the vanishing point when creating your squares (prior to creating your circles). Also make sure that they are directly in alignment win one another, hence the reason we created the center guide in step 10.
The legs are a bit tricky. Without getting into complex engineering, there are not cut and dry rules on how to create them by using the horizon line or vanishing point. There are three legs that make up the tower, and each leg it split in two near the top and bottom of their construction. Make sure that they bend inward and have beams connecting the pairs together.
Let's not to forget to draw the banquet hall near the base of the legs. Again, this structure is constructed in a very complex manner, fitting between the legs of the tower. It has three side (only two visible here) which protrude out slightly past the legs, with their corners receding behind the legs of the tower.
Draw the elevator shaft up center of the legs, through the banquet hall. Have fun with it and insert an elevator climbing up the shaft.
We can now begin with the upper restaurant and observation deck. Use the methods we learned in steps 5-7 to create each section. Starting from the top of the legs, the sections are as follows:
1: Base of restaurant
2: Restaurant windows
3: Section of wall between levels
4: Observation deck
Between the restaurant and observation deck is a large safety grid to prevent people from jumping off of the building from the observation deck. Draw the ring in the same method as steps 5 and 6. Then draw the safety bars which recede inward towards the center guide line, but stop once they hit the top of the restaurant windows. Similarly, draw the decorative architectural pattern on the base of the restaurant. Include the roof and peak of the tower at the very top.
Draw in some window panes on the various levels of the tower.
As a finishing touch before we ink, draw the flag at the very top.
The final step is to ink the structure with Micron or Copic markers. Be careful not to ink any unneeded lines. Erase the pencil marks with a kneaded eraser. And you're finished!
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