Learning Drawing with Math: A Scientific Approach

By Wei Xu.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Drawing is an activity that turns visual information into lines/curves and shapes on paper. Math is expected to be the best tool to handle these geometric entities. Perspective Theory is one good example that projects 3D objects into 2D surfaces accurately with math transforms. Although widely used in fine art, architecture and engineering drawings, Perspective Theory does not solve all drawing problems, particularly, 2D image configuration issues. Little has been done so far to provide a general math-based solution that enables us to layout graphical structures in paper efficiently. Our research work presented in this article is one such attempt.
By using geometry theories and computer graphics principles, we will study image structures and shape orientation problems scientifically. A multiresolution triangulation approach is then suggested to help us to see any drawing scene anatomically and efficiently. Several new tool-free drawing techniques will be introduced to make the triangulation strategy practical. Integrating these results, an innovative Angle-Based Constructive (ABC-) method is finally delivered and demonstrated for its usage.

Keywords: Constructive Drawing, Observational Drawing, Angles, Math, Computer Graphics

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.167-180. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 5.292MB).

Dr. Wei Xu

Faculty, Game Art and Design, Visual and Game Programming, The Art Institute of California – San Diego, San Diego, California, USA

Dr. Wei Xu obtained his doctoral degree in Computer Graphics and Applied Mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin, USA. He is currently a faculty member at The Art Institute of California – San Diego (AiCA-SD). Being an artist, mathematician, and computer graphics scientist, he teaches a wide range of subjects including college math, video game programming, and life-drawings. In the past years, Dr. Xu has been exploring new methods to enhance drawing learning using math knowledge. Based on his research work and practices, he has offered numerous workshops on “Drawing Mathematically” for professional art students in AiCA-SD. His quick-sketch samples using the new methodologies can be viewed at the website: www.geomy.com.


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