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Lesson 3b: Using and drawing perspective


The first and most important thing about perspective is understanding the vanishing point of a drawing. The vanishing point is the point on the horizon (eye-level) where everything disappears into. Here is an example of a vanishing point. The cubes, one on the horizon, one below the horizon and one above the horizon all point toward and fall in line with the vanishing point.


This usage of the vanishing point sets the object firmly in place and makes them three dimensional in a way that looks correct to the eye. You, as an artist will use this technique all the time. You should always look at your drawings and decide where the vanishing point is and draw light lines to it in order to guide you into drawing the objects with a correct looking perspective.

Multiple Vanishing Points - Not all drawings have one vanishing point. They can have two or even many more vanishing points. It depends on what you are drawing, how complex it is and where you are looking at things from. Here is an example of a simple drawing with two vanishing points.

This usage of two vanishing points sets this rectangle firmly on the ground. It looks very solid and it looks correct to the eye. Let's take a look at an actual drawing that uses two vanishing points. This is a sketch of a block in a medieval renaissance type of town.

See how everything fades off directly to the two vanishing points? This gives a proper sense of depth. You almost feel like you could walk along the buildings off into the distance.

EXERCISE: Time for you to do some drawing - Now spend at least an hour doing some perspective drawings with one, two or more vanishing points. Do some common objects in all shapes and sizes. Try small objects like a computer or a stapler then do some larger objects like cars and a refrigerator. Then finally draw some large objects and some scenes like the buildings in the medieval picture shown here.

Let's Move on to fantasy drawing lesson 4: Foreshortening in perspective

Drawing on the right side of the brain - Translated into more than seventeen languages, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is the world's most widely used instructional drawing book. Whether you are drawing as a professional artist, as an artist in training, or as a hobby, this book will give you greater confidence in your ability and deepen your artistic perception, as well as foster a new appreciation of the world around you.


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