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Perspective in drawing

Updated: May 20, 2022

An understanding of perspective is important to create credible drawings. Many subjects involve perspective drawing, especially buildings and street scenes. There are many types of perspectives with 1-point and 2-points perspective being the most common. Perspective drawings involve concepts such as horizon line which usually coincides with the eye level and vanishing points located along the horizon line. 1-point perspective is a type of linear perspective that uses a single vanishing point to create the illusion of depth in a work of art while 2-point perspectives involve 2 vanishing points and are used when viewing a building / object from an angle.

There are lots of resources and videos on perspective drawings on the Internet. However, most are very technical in nature. When I was a beginner, I relied on what I see on-location or from photos to create the scene and ended up with buildings that look odd. With an understanding of perspectives now, I am able to apply the knowledge and visual clues from the actual scene or photos to create credible looking drawings.

I also discovered some principles of perspective drawings for uphill and downhill scenes. For an uphill scene, the vanishing point of the road is higher than that of the buildings. The opposite is true for a downhill scene where the vanishing point of the road is lower than the buildings around.

Uphill road perspective:

Downhill road perspective:

For people on the road, perspective matters too in their placement on the drawing. Check out for details.

Perspective drawing may seem complicated but once we understand it, we can apply the knowledge to so many types of drawings and paintings. It is one of the key concept besides composition, colour and tonal values.

I am very happy to share the knowledge and to guide you step-by-step. Following is what I did to guide my student to draw her house and to paint it, in both day and night setting:

Thanks for reading this! If you like this blog post, do like and share it. Feel free to leave a comment too. Feel free to browse around my website to see my paintings and to purchase them, if you like them. Do contact me if you are interested in watercolour lessons with me.


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