Before starting work on The Chrysler Building, 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 10). 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.
Now let's work on two point perspective. After drawing your horizon line, place two different vanishing points on opposite sides of the horizon line. This time, instead of drawing squares, just draw a few vertical lines floating on the page in various places. These lines will become the front edge of our cubes.
From the tops and bottoms of each line (cube edges), draw lines leading to both vanishing points on the page. It's ok if some of your lines run through each other because they can be erased later.
Now close off the sides of your cube in the same manner as step 3 above. But we are not done, since we still need to draw one more side of each cube.
This is where it gets a tad tricky. To finish off the cubes, we have to draw the third side on all necessary cubes. For any cube floating above the horizon line, we will draw the bottom side of the cube by drawing a lines from the bottom tips of the side edges of the cube leading to the opposite vanishing point. Similarly, for any cube floating beneath the horizon line, we will draw the top side of the cube by drawing a lines from the top tips of the side edges of the cube leading to the opposite vanishing point. Note that any cube who's front edge runs through the horizon line will not require a third edge, as it is hidden from our perspective.
Erase unneeded lines and darken up your cubes if you wish. You now know how to utilize two point perspective, which is a must have skill in order to draw buildings.
So let's begin working on the Chrysler Building. Working on a very wide surface, use a ruler to draw your horizon line near the bottom of the page. Draw your vanishing points on either end of the line.
Let's draw the base of the tower, making up the lower levels. Draw a simple cube shape near the left side of your page, the bottom of which should rest just below the horizon line. Be sure that your upper and lower edges of the cube recede towards the appropriate vanishing point.
The cube should have a large wedge taken out of its front side. Pay attention to your vanishing points when draw thing wedge - notice the green lines which I have inserted as a guide.
Draw a stack of rectangular shaped cubes on either side of the wedge resting on top of the base of the building. An additional, smaller cube should rest at the top of the rectangle shape.
We can start giving some real height to the building. Draw a tall rectangular shape extending from the base of the building. Notice how there is a section of the tower that is wider near the bottom. Pay attention to your vanishing points!
There are smaller sections at the top of the tower that are not as wide. They in the shape of shallow rectangular cube shapes. There is one on each side.
The peak of the building is one of its defining characteristics. It extends straight up for a few levels, and then has a series of arches that make the peak of the tower taper into a point at the very tip. Notice the location of the green line which serves as a guide for the midpoint of the tower.
Draw miscellaneous details starting with the arched entryway at the base of the tower. There is also a series of large windows surrounding the base of the building. The center of the tower has three large grooves running up the length of the tower, starting just above the base. Draw the antenna at the very tip of the tower, which should be slightly wider at its base than at its point.
Drawing the windows can seem like a daunting task as first, so let's do it in sections starting with the base. Draw a series of thin lines on either side of the base which recede back to the appropriate vanishing points. These lines represent the tops and bottoms of each window.
Now draw thin vertical lines running through the lines made in the previous step. These lines represent the left and right edge of each window. This grid work may look messy at the moment, but it will clean up nicely.
If you wish, and if you are able to, you can erase your unneeded lines that were made when drawing the windows in the previous two steps. Be careful not to erase the square shapes that make up the individual windows.
Repeat the above steps to draw the rest of the square shaped windows on the building. Notice how the windows on the mid section of the building are very tall and skinny. We are now done with the windows.
Now draw the triangular shaped light structures that peak out of the arches at the top of the tower. They should look like star bursts coming out of the arches.
There are gargoyles on the corners of the upper tower, so don't forget them. Because of our great distance, we cannot see any significant detail in the statues. Just the basic shapes are adequate.
Now that we are done drawing the image in pencils, let's ink it! Use a ruler along with Micron markers, or Copic Multiliners. Use a fine tipped marker to help you with the windows, and a fatter marker to ink the outline of the structure. Be patient and make sure not to ink any unneeded guide lines. When the ink has dried, you can erase your pencil marks with a kneaded eraser. If you need to make any corrections, use white ink or opaque white paint with a brush. And that is how you draw the Chrysler Building! Congratulations!!
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