What is a perspective drawing

Perspective drawing is an old technique used to show three-dimensional shapes on two-dimensional surfaces. Perspective drawing requires the artist to consider the size of objects as they appear smaller as they get closer to the horizon. 

Types of Perspective Drawing

There are two primary types of perspective drawing: linear perspective and aerial perspective.

Linear Perspective 

Linear perspective, which is the organization of a shape seen in space, has been an essential tool in art since the 14th century. The linear perspective technique was invented in Italy by architect Filippo Brunelleschi when he created a visual representation of how an object appears to us in real life.

This technique was long before the invention of photography and computers because it could depict three-dimensional images on a two-dimensional plane.

What are the elements of perspective drawing?

The elements of perspective drawing are:

  • Point of view
  • Aspect ratio
  • Distance
  • Depth
  • Perspective

Point of view

The point of view in a perspective drawing is the artist’s position on what to draw. By choosing a particular point of view, the artist can use the information gained from that point of view to help determine the elements of the drawing. The point of view can be at the center of the composition or off to the side.

Aspect ratio

Aspect ratio refers to the picture plane’s relationship to the objects drawn on paper. An object drawn on the square aspect ratio of a picture plane will appear square, and a thing drawn on the rectangular aspect ratio will appear rectangular.


Distance refers to the distance of the object from the artist’s viewpoint. The farther the object is from the artist, the smaller the object will appear. Things that are closer to the artist appear larger in the drawing.


Depth refers to whether the object is farther or closer to the artist. If an object on the scene is further away from the artist, it will appear more significant in the drawing. If an object is closer to the artist, it will appear smaller in the drawing.


Perspective is the drawing of objects in three dimensions. To make the illusion of depth appear, the artist draws the object so that it seems to be in space. # Perspective

What is the vanishing point?

It is the point in a picture where all the straight lines in the room appear to come together. The vanishing point gives depth to pictures and drawings. For example, if you draw a picture of a house, everything will be drawn on the same level, but the vanishing point will make it look like two levels. 

What is the Horizon line in art?

The horizon line is the line in the art that separates the sky and the land. Usually, when people draw, they start at their head and keep drawing until they reach the horizon line.

It is also known as “eye level.” In art, a horizon line typically takes on a more specific meaning as it refers to a horizontal line that divides two or more planes in space. This type of horizon line establishes perspective and understanding of depth.

What are parallel lines in art?

An art line is an artist’s representation of a straight line. Most often, artists draw parallel lines to suggest perspective. When done well, parallel lines can be used to trick the viewer into seeing depth where there is none.

One Point Perspective 

One point perspective is when the artist only needs one vanishing point to draw.

An essential perspective is that parallel lines recede to a single vanishing point into the picture plane. One point perspective is a drawing style using an oblique perspective. The horizon line or centerline is parallel to the picture plane. 

Two Point Perspective 

Parallel lines converge to two different vanishing points at the end of a horizon line or centerline, which bisects the picture plane. Two-point perspective is the most common type of perspective used in art and design. The most famous two-point perspective is the “golden section,” which divides the picture plane into three equal parts.

Three-Point Perspective 

A three-point perspective is a linear perspective that allows the artist to depict depth better when describing a scene. The three points of perspective on drawing will be typically set from the observer’s eye. You will have an object in the foreground and an object in the background. Angles to each other are fixed at ninety digress.

Multi-Point Perspective

Multi-point perspective can be explained as more than two primary vanishing points. It’s like looking at a busy intersection from across the street and seeing all of the cars parked in rows on either side.

Aerial Perspective

Aerial perspective is how things change as they become more distant from the viewer. As you go higher, or as objects get farther away from you, they shrink and become hazier, so they appear smaller and less distinct to the viewer. That’s because the atmosphere creates a haze that softens the colors of what you are looking at. That is why it is crucial to use an aerial perspective when painting something far away.

Why is a perspective drawing necessary to artists?

Perspective drawing is vital to artists because it helps them know how to be accurate in their drawings of people, objects, and various other things. It also makes their graphics look more realistic, which many people want.

Perspective drawing gives the illusion of depth and 3D space on a two-dimensional surface. Without it, paintings would be flat and uninteresting.


Is oblique a perspective drawing?

Oblique drawing is a perspective drawing but not in perspective style.

Oblique means slanted. 

It’s a drawing with one side farther away. For example, if you are looking at a street with the buildings on the left and right, then the side of the building farthest from you is on the right. 

The artist could have chosen a different point of view, such as one where the person appears more toward us or more toward the side.

The artist was also able to make the image appear to be capturing what the person was looking at. That helps with the illusion of depth.

How do I get better at perspective?

Practice! Perspective drawing is a skill that takes a lot of practice to perfect. If you struggle with perspective, go to local art or university classes. If you are an adult artist, try to draw pictures from your child’s perspective.

How do you practice perspective?

Take some time to observe buildings and objects in your area. Notice how the objects far away from you become smaller and smaller. Does it seem like the object closer to you is bigger or smaller? If not, how can you make the objects seem closer? Try to draw pictures from the perspective of other people. Write down what you notice as you look at the objects in the picture.

How can art change your perspective?

Aesthetic experience is the capacity to derive meaning from an object of art. When an observer has an aesthetic experience, they can transcend their own beliefs and experiences and engage with the artwork or artifact in a novel way.

How do you teach kids to draw perspective?

Draw a horizon line and place a card in its center. Draw a second horizon line that is parallel to the first. Find a third horizon line that is parallel to the second. Now place a card in the center of the third horizon line. 

Draw the card a little closer to the first horizon line. That process you should repeat for the second and third horizon lines. Finally, place a card in the center of the third horizon line, just a little closer to the first horizon line.

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