Drawing in Perspective
Introduction to Perspective
In fifth grade, we will be learning about how to use perspective in our drawings. So, what exactly is perspective you ask? 
Perspective is a technique used to represent the 3-diminsional world on a 2-diminsional (flat) surface. In other words, it means drawing things realistically as they are further away or closer to us. To get more of an introduction, view this power point.  It explains the 5 ways of creating distance in a 2D (flat) artwork.
History of Perspective in Art
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 1450-1600) 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.
Raphael, School of Athens, 1510
How to Create Linear Perspective in Drawings
Mastering the art of one-point, 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
Other Types of Perspective
 Once you have begun to master the technique of one-point perspective, you can move on to two-point 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 three-point 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 One-Point Perspective
 To become a little more familiar with how perspective works, and to see it in action, go to http://www.olejarz.com/arted/perspective/index.html and follow the directions to get you through the lesson. To see an interesting twist on perspective, view the show at http://www.duracel.de/zoom/zoom.htm

Student Examples:

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

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