Perspective Drawing Basics for Beginners

by Zamali
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To improve your Perspective drawing, The best tip I have for you is this; practice drawing perspective lines on a photo (like the one below) I’m sure at some point in life you looked at railways or at some street view. You may have noticed how rows of houses, walls, and rail tracks that you know are constructed in parallel lines, seem to converge in the distance and come together in a away. That point where all lines seem to converge is usually at your eye level that is One point perspective and is the most basic and best demonstration of perspective. 

one-point perspective demo
One-point perspective practice (vanishing point)

What is Perspective Drawing?

In short, perspective is your relative point of view; but when we talk about perspective drawing, it’s more about the spatial aspect. When you start to draw perspective as a novice, you instantly recognize how important it is. It all comes down to the way the human eye views the world. Perspective drawing adds a sense of three-dimensionality to things on a two-dimensional surface.

The method of perspective drawing is used to generate an illusion of depth. Objects appear to shrink in size at a consistent pace as they move away from the viewer. Because of the use of perspective, the box in the sketch below appears solid and three-dimensional.

1 and 2 point perspective drawing
One-point perspective and two-point perspective drawing by @asrionpractices

Terminologies used in Perspective Drawing

Linear perspective, as well as the use of colour, is used to enhance visual depth. Depth is created using lines as well as the scale and orientation of shapes. While compositions can vary in degree, the key terminology and definitions discussed below are fundamental to linear perspective drawings.

  • Vanishing Point

The apparent intersection of parallel lines in the distance on the horizon line.

  • Horizon Line

The line that connects the sky to the ground or sea below. The vanishing point(s) and the eye level of the picture are both affected by the height of the horizon.

The eye level of the observer is always at the horizon line. However, as viewers are likely to be of varying heights, the height of the horizon line changes accordingly. As a result, three separate views are distinguished: the bird’s-eye view, the typical perspective (based on ourselves), and the worm’s-eye view.

  • Ground Plane

The horizontal surface below the horizon is known as the ground plane. It could be either land or water.

  • Orthogonal Lines

Lines that are oriented to a vanishing point, such as train tracks, are examples of orthogonal lines or parallel lines. The term “orthogonal” really refers to a right angle. It indicates the right angles produced by converging lines, such as the perspective corner of a cube.

  • Vantage Point

The vantage point, not to be confused with the vanishing point, is the location from which a scene is observed. The location of the horizon and vanishing points influences the vantage point.

What are the 3 common types of perspective drawing?

One-Point Perspective

Consider looking at a straight road as one of the finest examples of a one-point perspective. The road will appear to converge at a single point on the horizon line, as will all of the sections within a one-point perspective composition.

All vanishing lines meet at a single point, while the horizontal and vertical lines remain parallel.

one point perspective drawing
One-Point Perspective drawing by @artistsoflabms

Two-Point Perspective

A two-point perspective, similar to a one-point perspective, introduces a second vanishing point. These two points are often placed on opposing sides of the composition, such as on the far left and far right.

two point perspective drawing
Two-Point Perspective drawing by @joshuuu_0w0

Three-Point Perspective

A three-point perspective, often known as a multi-point perspective, is a type of perspective employing more than two vanishing points. This is often used when the subject becomes more complicated.

The three-point perspective is similar to a two-point perspective in that it has vanishing points on the horizon to the left and right. There is then an additional vanishing point that is either below or above the horizon.

This gives a bird’s eye view of the subject. If the third point were to be placed above the two vanishing points, it would produce an extreme upwards view.

three point perspective drawing
Three-point Perspective drawing by @reenaganesh14

Perspective Drawing in Portraits and Human Form

Althought less visible in portraits and figure but the rules of perspective in your drawings should still apply. I recommend you study this fine example by Leonardo Davinci this is a sketch of Head of a Young Woman (Study for the Angel inThe Virgin of the Rocks), 1483-1485 LEONARDO DA VINCI. Notice the perspective lines highlighted in the photo for you.

483-1485 leonardo da vinci

Drawing Characters in Perspective

In character design and comics artists often exaggerate the perspectives to add dramas to scenes

Are you interested in more drawing tips and tutorials? Check our other posts.

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