Perspective is a Latin word that means to look through.
One point perspective drawing made easy
Perspective drawing can be hard to understand at first. But, this lesson will breakdown the process so that the beginner can learn to apply perspective in their drawings.
One-point Perspective drawing uses one vanishing point. Hence the name: one point.
The vanishing point is where all the parallel lines converge if they were drawn out in the distance. Don’t worry about understanding it completely, the lesson will demonstrate the concept.
All types of perspective drawing can get pretty technical if we were studying architecture or engineering. Luckily we are not designing buildings or machine parts. We only have to understand the basics to make some cool drawings. Leonardo DaVinci’s beautiful fresco “The Last Supper” was done in a one-point perspective.
After this lesson, you’ll be able to appreciate what architects go through when designing a house, building, or a whole city. You should be able to draw simple one-point perspective drawings
Lesson: One point perspective
Alright let’s rock this lesson out of the park!
- Sketchbook or paper,
- mechanical pencil or a sharpened pencil
- blending stomp for shading
- Ruler or straight edge
Draw about a 2.5 – 3 inch square in the middle of your paper. It doesn’t have to be exact.
Be sure to line up the vertical and horizontal lines with the edges of the paper when drawing out the square. VERY IMPORTANT. If the lines are misaligned your drawing will fall apart visually. Go ahead and use a ruler to keep the lines straight. Also, use a mechanical pencil with a fine point or a well-sharpened pencil to keep the lines clean and precise.
Next, Draw an X in through the square.
Where the lines intersect is the vanishing point. Erase the lines inside the square. This is the back wall of the room. The lines above and below going out towards the corners of the paper represent the ceiling and the walls of the room.
Next, let’s draw a door. Draw the far line shorter than the near line. Remember from the “placement concept” objects that are closer appear larger. That’s why the closer line has to be longer.
Line up the top of the door to the VP and then draw in a line.
Now, let’s draw in the thickness of the doorway. Line up the corner on the top of the doorway and draw a line straight back. Do the same on the bottom except don’t draw the line all the way back. We are going to put a staircase there.
Let’s draw a window on the other side of the room. Draw the vertical lines just like we did with the door. Then draw in the top and bottom of the window by lining it up with the VP. Draw in the thickness of the window.
The Thickness Rule.
If the opening is on the left then the thickness is on the left. If the opening is on the right then the thickness is on the right.
If the opening is on the top then the thickness is on the top. What if the opening is on the bottom where’s the thickness? Check out the window drawing below.
Do a zig-zag pattern for the staircase on the far wall of the doorway
Next, let’s draw in the thickness of the window by adding two lines like in the above drawing. Line up the top corner of the window and draw a straight line back (not all the way) just like we did for the doorway.
We will do the same for the window sill.
You could draw another window next to the other window if you want. Or another doorway if you feel inspired to add more details.
Now let’s draw the wood flooring. Take your ruler and line it up with the VP and draw some lines. Fan out the lines for the rest of the floor like this.
Finally, let’s add the stairs. Line up the risers to the VP and draw in the lines. Viola! You now have stairs going up to the second floor. Basically, you are lining up each corner to the VP and drawing the line.
In all perspective drawing, the lines parallel in the drawing go to the VP and they have to be lined up precisely to achieve the right perspective. Please do this lesson a few times until you understand perspective drawing. This exercise will help with more intricate drawings of buildings or other structures.
This is a great demonstration that art and drawing is nothing more than adding lines on paper.
Get Inspired to draw more one-perspective drawings.
For a lot of beginners, learning this concept can be difficult to understand. That’s why it’s important to do this lesson a few times. Common mistakes include not lining up the parallel lines to the VP at the proper angle.
It’s not uncommon for beginner drawings to be out of perspective and will be hard to notice at first. That’s why It’s important to line up the lines to the Vanishing point using a ruler. A more experienced artist can eyeball the line from the VP without a ruler. Pay attention to how the ruler is positioned in the above drawing and notice the angle it’s on.
This lesson really breaks down one point perspective but once you understand perspective the door to becoming an artist opens up.
Go ahead and add some more details to the room as I did. You could draw in a table and some chairs or you could make the room messy. There are plenty of examples on YouTube and Instagram. Try to look for more one-point perspective drawings on the internet.
Please leave comments below and let me know how this lesson went for you.
I’ll add some more lessons on one-point perspective drawing.
I’ve added more details to the drawing. Check out the room within the room. I encourage you to do the same with your drawings and see what you come up with.
Drills: Here are some exercises to help with One-Point perspective drawing.
- Draw a horizon line across the middle of the paper with a vanishing point in the middle.
2. Next draw some rectangles above, below, and at the horizon line. (If you are looking for a challenge draw some squares or triangles.)
3. Line up each corner of the rectangle to the vanishing point and draw a line to the vanishing point.
As you can see, depending on where on the horizon line the object sits, there are certain planes of the rectangle visualized. Practice this drill a few times and play around with the placement of the rectangles and see what happens to the form.
See how some of the objects are overlapping the others?
Here are some more objects to draw using one point perspective. Notice how I drew the VP to the left of the paper and HL a little higher up. Try drawing the VP to the right and see what happens to the objects.
I’ll provide more beginner one-point perspective drawings in later lessons
On to the 2 point perspective lesson