Perspective Drawing

Perspective Drawing

It is a technique or process using a grid and vanishing point or points to create the illusion of a three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface or "picture plane."

Perspective is defined as:

1. the appearance of the eye of objects concerning their relative distance and positions

2. the technique or process of representing the spatial relation of objects on a plane or curved surface as they might appear to the eye. Specifically, representation in a drawing or painting of parallel lines as converging to give the illusion of depth and distance

A Brief History

Perspective drawing using the grid method was invented during the 15th-century Renaissance artistic movement. It is sometimes credited to Brunelleschi, an artist and architect who created the Florence Cathedral dome.

It is a mathematical system for representing three-dimensional objects and space on a two-dimensional surface using intersecting lines drawn vertically and horizontally and radiating from one point on a horizon line.

An object's width and height in the front view are placed in the picture plane. A horizontal construction line represents the horizon. The location of this line depends on the viewing point and the viewer's viewing direction. The elevation is considered by raising or lowering the horizon line according to where the viewer stands.


Picture Plane - the surface of the pictorial. The edges of the paper represent the "window" through which you see the object or scene.

Horizon Line - An imaginary line that divides the sky and land when viewing a landscape or separates the sea from the sky on the ocean. It is always at the eye level of the viewer and will change based on elevation.

Vanishing Point - The point at which imaginary parallel lines converge as they recede into the distance. In one point perspective, there is only one vanishing point. In a two-point perspective, there are two vanishing points.

Viewing Point - The location of the eyes relative to a scene or object. Objects can be viewed from left to right, right to left, downward or upward. How an object appears with perspective changes depending on these parameters.

Types of Perspective

Include the following.

One-Point Perspective - Has only one vanishing point. It is defined as a mathematical system for representing three-dimensional objects and space on a two-dimensional surface by means of intersecting lines that are drawn vertically and horizontally and that radiate from one point on a horizon line.

Two-Point Perspective - Has two vanishing points.

Three-Point Perspective - Has three vanishing points.


  • Arty Factory is an interactive tutorial to teach you the angles of perspective drawing and how it works.
  • StudentArtGuide is a simple tutorial that will get you up an running in one point perspective drawing or download the free handout!

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