Drawing as transformation: From Primary Geometry to Secondary Geometry

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Howard Riley: Drawing as transformation: From Primary Geometry to Secondary Geometry. In: Generative Art 2001.



A distinction is made between primary geometry, the arrangement in space of lines of projection from a 3-D object to a plane of projection, and secondary geometry, the relationships between the points, lines and shapes of the drawn projection on a 2-D surface. Drawing projection systems, such as those classified under British Standard 1192, are illustrated, and are shown to be defined in terms of primary geometry. It is argued that a re-classification of projection systems in terms of secondary geometry enables first-year students of drawing to relate more easily such systems of geometry to their observational experiences. Student drawings illustrate the argument.

Extended Abstract


Used References

Marr, D. 1982 Vision. A Computational Investigation into the Human Representation and Processing of Visual Information. New York: W. H. Freeman

Recommendations for Building Drawing Practice B. S. 1192 1969 London: British Standards Institution pp. 31-34

Dubery, F. & Willatts. J. 1983 Perspective and other Drawing Systems London: The Herbert Press

Booker, P. J. 1963 A History of Engineering Drawing London: Chatto Windus

Willats, J. 1997 Art and Representation. New Principles in the Analysis of Pictures. New Jersey: Princeton U.P.

Marr, D. & Nishihara, H. K. 1978 Representation and recognition of the spatial organisation of three-dimensional shapes. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London Series B200 pp. 269-294

Cennini, C. 1390 The Craftsman’s Handbook Transl. by Thompson, D. V. 1933 New York: Yale U.P. Reprinted 1960, Dover Publication

Gibson, J. J. 1979 The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception Boston, Mass: Houghton Mifflin

Kemp, M. 1990 The Science of Art: Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat. New Haven, Conn: Yale U.P.

Ibid. p.9


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