Drawing in Perspective  


Many artists have used different ways of showing “depth” or using perspective in their artwork for hundreds of years. It was not until the Renaissance (from about 14501600) that artists really developed a mathematical system for using linear perspective consistently. Below is an example of a famous Renaissance painting that provides an excellent example of how perspective drawing works. This is Raphael’s School of Athens. You can notice how the arches appear to go back in the distance and become smaller. This type of linear perspective makes objects, which are closer to our eye, appear larger and those, which are further, away, look smaller. This is how our eye sees the world. 



Mastering the art of onepoint, linear perspective takes practice, time, and patience, but you can get the basic ideas in a few simple steps. First, draw a horizontal line across your paper, somewhere near the center (see the red line in the image below). This is the horizon line – the place where the sky meets the earth. Next, add a point to that line (pink dot). This is your vanishing point. Front planes of shapes (buildings, etc.) will be normal, and have right angles, but the side planes will all have lines that move backwards in a diagonal line towards the vanishing point (blue lines). These lines are called orthogonal lines. Grid is the copyright of: Harold Olejarz located at http://www.olejarz.com/arted/perspective/index.html 

Once you have begun to master the technique of onepoint perspective, you can move on to twopoint perspective. As the name suggests, instead of having one vanishing point, this technique adds a second one. Instead of having the front planes be flat, only corners and edges appear to be in the front, with two side planes going back, one toward each vanishing point. There is also threepoint perspective, which throws in the added dimension of looking down from above or up from below. Finally, there is a technique called aerial perspective, which involves looking straight down on something, as if you were flying in an airplane. More
Help on Understanding OnePoint Perspective


Copyright [2009], [Shea Cunningham]. All rights reserved. 