Drawing in Perspective: The Fundamentals

perspective drawing in art and design

The fundamentals of drawing in perspective

Perspective – in the art realm – is a visual representation of a three dimensional object on a flat surface. It provides the illusion of the third dimension by visually representing the apparent diminishing of an object’s scale as the distance from the viewer increases. There are several ways of creating perspective to which there are a few elements we must remember.

The view point is the position of the subject to the viewer. It’s generally in the foreground and contains the view that you would see if you were directly in front of the object. When creating perspective, we begin with the viewpoint but it will not yet have any depth at this stage.

The vanishing point is a place in the picture where all the projection lines will meet. Imagine drawing a square on your paper (we can call this area the view point). Then somewhere in the distance above the square, create a dot. This dot is the vanishing point. We can use more than one vanishing point depending on the type of depth we are wishing to create.


Projection lines are created between the viewpoint and the vanishing point. It is the final element in creating perspective. It is simply a matter of connecting the individual points in the viewpoint towards the vanishing point. This method is called projection as you are projecting the lines from the 2D object to the vanishing point in order to create depth.

Hence if we understand how to utilize these three elements, we will then be able to create perspective within our drawings effectively with simply using a ruler. The only creativity needed is to perhaps be able to figure out what the viewpoint will look like so that you can create perspective in your illustrations.