Perspective Drawing

Perspective Drawing: The discovery of the rules of perspective made it possible to create realistic looking space on 2D surfaces. Now you too can learn to create the illusion of 3d space using these perspective rules!

Types of Perspective:

  • Atmospheric Perspective

  • Linear Perspective -
    (One and Two Point Perspective)

Videos and Instructions:

View the 1-point perspective Video and Instructions

View the 2-point perspective Video and Instructions

Note: Make sure to scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page where you will find additional important information.

one point perspective

One-point perspective relies on the premise that all parallel receding lines converge at one point along a horizon line. Lines that do not recede will be drawn as either horizontal or vertical lines.

Your horizon line is always at eye-level. For example: if you are 6'4" tall, your horizon line (eye-level) will probably be 6 feet off the ground (assuming a measurement of 4" from the top of your head down to your eyes).

To find your horizon line in any room walk right up to the wall you want to draw - your horizon line will be on the same level as your eyes. You can even put a piece of tape at eye-level to remind you as you draw.

Vanishing Point:
The vanishing point must be on the horizon line. If you are looking down a hallway, your vanishing point will be directly in front of you, at a point right between your eyes.

Two-point perspective relies on the premise that all receding lines converge at one of two points along the horizon line. Lines that do not recede will be drawn only as vertical lines.

Horizon Line:
In both one and two point perspective, your horizon line will always be the same as your eye level. For example, if you are resting your chin on the floor your eye level will be about 4" inches off the ground (assuming a measurement of 4 inches from chin to eyes).

Vanishing Points:
Both vanishing points must lie on the horizon line. Receding lines from the wall to your right will converge at a vanishing point to the left while the receding lines from the wall to your left will converge at a point to the right. The location of each vanishing point (how far left or right) will depend on your viewpoint (the angle at which you view the corner of a room or object).

Perspective Videos and Step-by-Step Instructions:

Go to the the 1-point Perspective Drawing Instructions and Video.

Go to the 2-point Perspective Instructions and Video

Confused about Perspective?

Do the rules of perspective make your head spin? Ask your question below.

Perspective Made Clear - Q&A

Browse the perspective Q&A sessions to see if your question has already been answered. You can also give advice by adding helpful comments!

How to draw Arches in Perspective - Space in Between 
Q: Hi, I'm trying to draw a series of arches in one point perspective. I already know how to do the arches themselves, but I don't want them to touch. …

45 degree angle 1-point perspective 
Question : I am trying to draw a house. And one of the walls is at a 45 degree angle to another wall that is on the line of perspective. How do I make …

herringbone brick pattern  
How would you draw a herringbone brick pattern in two point perspective. Starting by making two new horizon points at 45 degree angles? Answer: Wow, …

Vanishing points; finding the location of the vanishing points on the horizon? 
Question: Vanishing points; how do you work out how far they are from the PP? My question is simple, yet not one single source of information on perspective …

Perspective and Vanishing Points 
(note: to find your line of sight, pretend there is a laser beam shooting straight out from a point between your eyes) Question 1 When looking at …

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Below I've posted a preview of Sketching in Perspective with Carl Dalio, a perspective drawing DVD available from our affiliate sponsors, Creative Catalyst Productions: