I thought that I was an old hand at understanding and drawing ellipses, but this set-up had me a bit confused. Both the lid on the orange box, and the silver bowl are set at an angle to the tabletop. I wasn’t sure how to calculate the angles. Also, there are several concentric ellipses on the lid. I didn’t remember how to draw these correctly. I immersed myself in an old book on perspective, and I think I have it straight now. One particularly confusing point is that the actual center of an ellipse (its major axis) is not the same as it’s perspective center. In the illustration below, the perspective center of the ellispe is at c, the center of the square in perspective in which the circle is set. so the line cc marks the perspective center of the ellipse. The line ee is the actual center (or major axis) of the drawn ellipse.
You need to use the perspective center as the center line of any concentric ellipses you construct. When you do this, they appear closer together as they get further away. In the illustration below, the width of the white ring at the bottom, at 4 is wider than its width at the top.
After spending several days studying my perspective book, I realized that it wasn’t necessary for me to master all of the rules! I understand enough to draw what I need to draw. However, it is nice to know that I can refer to my book if I need it.
The pattern on the silver bowl was also confusing to draw. All of the irregular swirls had to be shown in perspective and getting smaller and narrower as they recede into the distance.
It took a lot of staring and measuring! Sometimes when I’m drawing such a complex object with many repeating patterns like the swirling bowl designs, I put a small piece of tape on the object to give my eye a reference point. I mark this point on my drawing, too (the small ‘x’ on the bottom center design). When my eye flits back and forth between the set-up and my drawing, the tape gives my eye a ‘landing point’ so I can know which lobe I was studying. Otherwise, by the time I’ve looked at the drawing and back again to the set-up, I’ve lost track of which lobe I was drawing.
I decided to stop here, and look at the drawing again in a few days. Then, hopefully, all of my errors will be more apparent!