How to draw in 1-point perspective: ANYONE can do it!

April 7, 2017

Drawing with 1-point perspective is an important skill to understand in order to make 3D objects look realistic. So what are we waiting for?

Step 1: Horizon line and Vanishing Point

A line and a dot. You can do it.

The horizon is obviously where the sky and land appear to meet.

A specific spot on it is the vanishing point. As objects you are looking at get further and further away from you, and closer to the horizon, they seem to bend towards this point and once they reach it they vanish. That’s why it is called the “vanishing point”, or vp.

You can hopefully guess why this method is called 1-point perspective.

There are more complicated ways to do this where you add more vps, I’ll add tutorials on them soon…

Step 2: Front of Object and Guidelines

 Draw the front of your object (houses are easy!) flat.

This means that rectangles and triangles will have all their normal angles.

Then draw a line from every corner connecting it to the vp.

If the line passes directly through the object you can just erase it.

Step 3: Chop Off the End

Now cut off the end of your object with a line that is parallel  to the side it is coming from.

This means that the far edge of the building is vertical like the front edge and the far edge of the roof is at the same angle as the closer edge.

Of course, if your object is so long that it reaches all the way to the vp (maybe a train?) you can skip this step and call it a day! Of course, this would be taking the lazy way out and I would judge you forever. Your choice.

Step 4:Add Some Details!  Wow! It looks like a building already! Just add some basic shapes to really sell it.

Shapes on the front of the building, or object, will be flat. My circular window is a circle. My front window is a regular rectangle. Easy peasy.

The side of the building is where you’ll need the vp again. Keep the sides parallel to the front edge-like the vertical sides of my door.

The top and bottom edges will angle off towards the vp. I drew the verticle side of my door, and then connected the top corner to the vp in order to see what angle it shoudl go at. I then drew another vertical line for the other side.

I did the same thing for the window, but had to connect the bottom edge to the vp as well.

Using those basic rules you can keep adding windows to your hearts delight!

Step 5: Add Any Other Objects

You can repeat the same steps to add more houses, window boxes, etc.

I decided to add a little step. I made the side facing me a normal rectangle.

Then I connected each corner to the vp and cut them off.

I also added a road that goes off to the vp, and connected the step to it with horizontal lines.

Step 6: Clean It Up and Finish Up!!
Erase all the extra lines and add whatever you want!

I hope you have been using a pencil and drawing lightly!

Otherwise this step might be a struggle.

Once you have the basic, 3D structure done you can add whatever detail, texture, shading, color, etc. you want. I kept it simple and just added some curtains and a tree as an example, but this is where you can really let your imagination wild and not worry so much about all the math and angles. 🙂

And…you’re done!! Nice!

You’ve just used an important art skill, 1-point perspective, to make a 3D drawing!

Now what?

  1. Show me how you did! I’d love to see your picture so post it below in a comment. Go ahead and leave me any questions you have too-or requests for future tutorials. 🙂

  2. Keep practicing with it-try more buildings, boxes, couches, random shapes, you can even make letters 3D!

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