Perspective drawing is an essential skill in the art world. It gives your art a realistic and lively look. However, it can give you a hard time, whether you are a newbie or an accomplished artist. But don’t worry, as we will cover everything you need to know in this article.
So, let’s talk about the perspective drawing technique for beginners. With the proper instruction and hard work, it is possible to learn perspective drawing in no time.
First, you need to do some research and get a clear idea about linear perspective terms. For example, what is a horizon, the vanishing point, what does a vanishing line mean, and so on.
These are the three most essential tools for perspective drawing. You’ll also need to know the basics of one-point, two-point, and multi-point perspectives.
Now don’t get puzzled hearing all these complex terms because I’m here to introduce you to them. Read the article carefully, and you’ll get the hang of it quickly.
What is Perspective Drawing?
Perspective drawing is a technique that adds depth to any drawing. The illusion it creates within the drawing adds a more realistic and 3d look. With the help of angled lines and spatial depth, the painting pops up in the viewer’s eyes.
Now you may ask why this perspective drawing I’m talking about is so important. Perspective is all about relativity. It helps you visualize how things start appearing smaller as they progress. Similarly, the closer the object is, the bigger it seems.
This technique is about painting how you, as an audience, see the world from your perspective. It adds a dramatic effect to any still-life painting and makes it ten times better. To improve your artwork, there is no alternative to developing this skill.
How to Draw in Perspective for Beginners?
Perspective Drawing Basics
Now, I’m going to talk about the basics of perspective drawing. Before starting to draw, let’s familiarize you with all the essential terms like vanishing point, vanishing line, horizon, ground plane, one-point perspective, two-point perspective, and three-point perspective.
Vanishing points: These are where the parallel perspective lines of your drawing objects seem to meet. Vanishing points are often used as a point where something gradually disappears. It creates an effect as if the lines are emitting from that point.
Vanishing line: In the 3D drawing, a single line where a set of parallel perspective lines intersect is known as the vanishing line. The concept of the vanishing line is similar to the vanishing point. Both create a sense of distance and make the art more dynamic and dramatic.
Horizon: Horizon is a line used to indicate where the sky meets land or the sea. It is essential to place the horizon in the correct position, as it would affect the placement of the vanishing points. The horizon line’s height also determines the drawing scenery’s eye level.
Ground plane: Ground plane is a horizontal plane just below the horizon. It is the surface on which the shapes of the drawing appear to be standing. The ground plane can be extended further back to the horizon line.
The basic concept of these perspectives is that there is only one vanishing point in a one-point perspective art. While two-point and three-point are, two and three vanishing points are used, respectively.
One-Point Perspective in Real Life
Now, let’s start by drawing something simple, like a box. To understand how it works, first, look at an actual box from a one-point perspective. Observe and understand its orientation and how it looks from your perspective.
Drawing Boxes in a One-Point Perspective
Take a piece of drawing paper next and start drawing a horizon line using a 2B pencil. Add a single point as the vanishing point. You can add multiple but for now, let’s go with a one-point perspective drawing to keep it simple.
Next, draw perspective lines and extend them from the point. These are the vanishing lines of this drawing.
Now, draw a simple square between any two perspective lines. This will be the front surface of the box. The horizontal and vertical lines of the square should be drawn parallel and perpendicular to the horizon line, respectively.
Use a scale to draw straight lines. Don’t make any wobbly lines if you want a perfect perspective drawing. Remember to use light strokes while drawing to keep it neat. It will also be easier to remove if you want to make any changes in the future.
Now that you are drawing the front surface let’s draw the back part. This is where it starts to get a bit tricky. Draw another square like the one mentioned earlier using the same perspective lines. It should be placed further back and slightly right to the first square.
Also, make it smaller in size. This will be the back side of our box. Remember that the horizontal and vertical lines of the square should be parallel and perpendicular to the horizon line, respectively.
To draw the edges of the box, use the perspective lines coming from the vanishing point. Join the corners of the two squares along the reference lines to create the edge lines. If we follow these lines, they should intersect at the same vanishing point. These are known as orthogonal lines.
Visualizing the Object Behind the Object
To visualize the object behind the object, you can make the front plane see-through. This way, the bottom left edge of the box should be visible. Dotted lines are used to show any line behind an object.
They are also known as hidden lines, as they refer to something usually hidden behind the main object. Once you are done, gently erase all the vanishing lines, and your drawing is ready.
Drawing Objects from a Two-Point Perspective
Sketching with a two-point perspective can seem complicated at first glance, but it’s really not that hard once you go through it step-by-step. All you have to do is draw the horizon line just like before and identify two vanishing points on the edges of your paper.
In a two-point perspective drawing, the viewers’ eyes can see two sides of the object at the same time. These two will be our perspective points for now. Draw a short line perpendicular to the horizon. Leave some space between the line and the horizon.
Now, using straight lines, connect each end of the short line with both vanishing points. The short line will be the front corner edge of the box. Draw one additional short line at both sides of the initial line between the two perspective lines. These lines are the visible sides of the box.
Once you are done with this, let’s head to the tricky part. Drawing the back part in a two-point perspective is the most complicated thing.
You will need to draw a bunch more perspective lines now. To make things simple, let’s make the right-hand vanishing lines yellow and the left-hand ones green.
At the point where the lower two vanishing lines intersect, draw a vertical line. Be careful while doing this, as drawing the line in the wrong place would turn the box disproportionate. Now that you have all of the sides join the edges and corners to complete the drawing.
Use dotted lines for edges on the object’s back side. Once everything is done, erase the vanishing lines, and there you have it. Your two-point perspective drawing is done.
To understand the perspective drawing tutorial even better, you can also watch these videos:
The three-point perspective drawing is very similar to the two-point one. The main difference is that there are three vanishing points in this case. However, the detailed process is much more complicated than any other method.
For this reason, the three-point perspective method is not that commonly used. Especially for beginners, it’s not a great idea to use it at all. This method is used in case you want to add depth to your art while drawing large objects.
How Long Does it Take to Learn Perspective Drawing?
When learning perspective drawing, there is no shortcut or cheat code. You need to practice repeatedly until you thoroughly master the concept. For each perspective type, at least 20 hours of practice are needed.
If you have trouble in a specific area, give it more time and work on it. Don’t get discouraged if it’s taking you longer than usual. Perspective drawing is one of the most complex skills to exist. No matter how good someone is, everyone has a hard time with it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What are the Three Rules of Perspective Drawing?
There are many concepts and rules of perspective drawing. These are genuinely endless. But the major three rules that you need to remember are:
- The further an object is from the drawing plane, the smaller it will appear in the artwork.
- Mutually parallel lines not parallel to the drawing plane are considered intersecting lines that would meet at the vanishing points.
- If three or more parallel lines are parallel to a fixed plane that is not parallel to the drawing plane, and if these parallel lines determine three or more vanishing points, all of these vanishing points are on a single line.
Q: What are the Four Types of Perspective Drawing?
There are four basic types of perspective drawing. They are- One-point, two-point, three-point, and multi-point perspectives.
From a one-point perspective, there is only one vanishing point. Similarly, in the two-point and three-point perspectives, there are two and three vanishing points, respectively.
However, the multi-point perspective is different from these methods. There are five different vanishing points used. Although it seems complicated, it’s the most common perspective method.
It is used while drawing non-orthogonal, curved objects that don’t lie in the same orthogonal grid.
Q: How Many Vanishing Points Should I Use?
There is no limit to the number of vanishing points you can use. If you are a beginner, it’s better not to overcomplicate things. Use a one-point or two-point perspective to make things easier.
The one-point method is the simplest and easiest method. But if you want to challenge and improve your skill, go for the two-point method.
Though the three-point perspective method is more advanced and makes your drawing more dynamic, It is not that commonly used.
Q: What is a 5-Point Perspective?
A 5-point perspective gives you an overall view of your surrounding. Think of it as if you were drawing a scene inside a globe shape. The light coming from the globe alters the ordinary perception and distorts the image.
This results in creating a fish-eye effect. You can create many exciting and fun artworks using this method. Once you get the hang of it, it’s addicting. [source]
As you have gone through the whole article, most of your concerns and queries should be gone now. So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring this new skill that you learned. Keep in mind that to be a successful artist, you must get this technique under your control.
But it’s not going to happen overnight. Be determined and keep regularly practicing to achieve it. Start with something simple, like the one-point perspective, and advance. Go through the process step-by-step.
After a while, if you want to challenge yourself, start practicing the two-point method.