Monday, February 4, 2013

How to draw in perspective - one point

Hey people of the world!

In this drawing lesson, you will recieve a detailed explanation and will learn how to draw in one point perspective, and afterwards we will apply what we have learned and hopefully get some cool results.

Please be sure to download my eBook on drawing in perspective, which will give you a much more detailed explanation than this short lesson.

Get it here:

How to draw in one point perspective - let's get to it!

So what is one point perspective? what is perspective? This is not a stupid question at all. In order for any drawing to turn out great, in my opinion, there are two main important things:
1. An understanding of how what we are drawing looks, and why it looks that way.
2. A sense of creativity [=

Perspective is a part of understanding why what we are drawing looks the way it does. So what is perspective? To put it in the simplest words possible, perspective defines how something is going to look from a specific angle.

OPP (one point perspective) is one way of projecting the reality on your canvas. Does this mean that a OPP drawing has to be realistic? Not at all! Reality can be bended at our will, but we will perhaps get to that in a future lesson (=

Key Principles
The main principle for OPP (and perspective and drawing in general) is the fact that objects that are closer to us are relatively bigger, while objects that are far from us, are generally relatively smaller. And this applies to everything. Have you ever looked at a road that looks wider as it gets more near you? Or a railroad that literally disappears to the distance?

perspective concepts

Now lets talk business - how to draw it?
The first step for me, is deciding on where the horizon is going to be. A simple rule - the thing thats in line with the horizon is the same height that we are. So if a persons face is blocking the horizon, that means that our height is the same as that persons height. Consider these examples, in which I drew the horizon in red, just for you.

horizon line

On the left one, we are the height of the ant, and on the right one we are the height of the soaring seagull. But where should you put the horizon in your drawing? That depends on where "YOU" are! (you as in a concept of where the viewer of the drawing is) If you are out on the street and you want to draw it from your angle of height, then the horizon line is going to be... can you guess where? That's right... at the height of a person's head!
Consider these examples for drawings from a persons height, and pay close attention to the fact that the height of the horizon line is different for each one of them, but they are still drawn from the same height!

perspective height

Another important thing to understand - the horizon doesn't have to be completely horizontal, it can also be a bit diagonal, like in these examples...

diagonal horizon line

There's more to talk about the horizon, but this lesson is becoming of a monster's length so I'll leave it up to you to discover and learn more, and perhaps I will delve more into it in the future.

Vanishing point (VP)

After we set the horizon, it is time to place our point, for the OPP, which is called the "VANISHING POINT". The VP's location depends on where you want your far objects do "disappear". Also, the VP is the point from which all lines are going to "come out" of. Can you find the VP's in these examples? (Hint - connect the meeting point of the lines that are "coming towards us").

perspective quiz

So instead of blabbering on and on, let's pick a simple scene and try to draw it. One of the best ways to do this in my opinion, is the railroad example.

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A. First - lets define the horizon and the VP. I define both pretty much in the center / lower center.

perspective railroad horizon line

B. Now it's time to think and ask, what objects do we want to "come towards us"? Lets choose the railroad tracks! ( DUH  [=   ) Now lets draw them so they are all "coming out of" the VP. Also, all other lines that represent things that get closer to us, must follow this rule. Notice how I shaded the inner parts of the rails, to add them some depth and 3D-ness. The more outside lines are to make sure I get the next step right.

perspective railroad

C. Now lets add the details and the other lines that aren't coming towards us, like the horizontal lines. Notice how these lines, at their outer edges, also follow the rules of perspective by ending at the sides in congruence with the lines I drew on the previes step. Also pay attention to their "wooden" texture, and the fact that they get smaller, and more closer to each other the further they "disappear" into the VP. As long as you follow the basic lines from the previews steps, this WILL be a piece of cake for you!

perspective railroad lamps

D. As a fun experiment, we can add other objects just to get a feel for the distance. Remember the most important concept - objects that are closer to us are relatively bigger, while objects that are far from us, are generally relatively smaller.
Add as much details as you like, such as trees, signs, even cows/other field animals, (preferably not ON the railroad tracks...).

perspective railroad finished

F. Voila! You have a drawing in ONE POINT PERSPECTIVE!

That's mostly it for the "I teach you" part. Now comes the most important (and fun) part. YOU have to walk outside, and start looking at things and understand why they look the way they do. By doing so, you will start to get a good understanding of the concepts. Then practice a lot on drawing it, and you should be doing just fine.

Drawing complicated stuff is easy and fun once you understand what you are doing, so truly embrace that concept of thinking, learning and observing things on your own.

On the next post, I'm going to show you the finished version of the Ferrari from the previous lesson, as well as a drawing of a special street in Jerusalem, in one point perspective, so fun things to expect.

Also, check out my new website and subscribe for a FREE eBook! (=

And as always, let me know if this drawing lesson helped you in learning how to draw in one point perspective, and what you think can be improved.

Will talk to you soon,



  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! feel free to ask questions, if you have any (=

  2. It is a perfect picture for my art project but we need to have the pictures otherwise we are not allowed to draw it :(