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How to draw one point perspective

Updated on September 3, 2012

Why draw?

Learning how to draw can be a very exciting activity. It’s one of the oldest forms of communication and allows us to easily share and understand ideas.

Imagine trying to explain your ideal chair to your friend by words and you will see why drawing is important.

In this tutorial, you will learn one of the simplest forms of perspective drawing – one point perspective. This will help you draw simple shapes that look realistic.

The horizon line representes the viewer's eye level
The horizon line representes the viewer's eye level

One point perspective

One point perspective is a type of linear perspective where all perpendicular lines meet at only one point.

To draw one point perspective, start by making a horizontal line. This will represent the viewer’s eye level. Then, mark the vanishing point, where all the imaginary lines converge.
If the object you are drawing is below the viewer’s eye level, then you’ll have to start drawing it below the horizon line. If the object is over the viewer’s eye level, start by drawing over the line.

Orthogonal lines are essencial to perspective drawing
Orthogonal lines are essencial to perspective drawing

Ok, let’s try a simple shape. Draw a square a little down below the horizon line and from each corner of the square draw a line reaching the vanishing point. Let’s call these the orthogonal lines, because that’s their names.

Using the orthogonal lines as a reference, draw the back face of your box. Make sure your horizontal and vertical lines are straight.

Everything looks better without the imaginary lines
Everything looks better without the imaginary lines

Now, draw along the orthogonal lines to close your box.To finish it, erase the vanishing lines and the back lines of the object.

These are simple geometric figures in one point perspective, but they lack details. Add details by creating more vanishing lines to help you on the process.

One point perspective is a very effective way to draw regular shapes
One point perspective is a very effective way to draw regular shapes

Now try making a more complex figure. Add extra orthogonal lines to create more details.
Just don't forget to create the vertical and horizontal lines straight.

Practice many different shapes and learn how perspective works
Practice many different shapes and learn how perspective works

To make irregular shapes, add as much orthogonal lines as you wish. They will help you draw perfect curves.

To find the center of an object face, draw an X on the inside connecting the box corners.

Some tips

  • Use a ruler if you can’t draw straight lines very well. With practice, you’ll start to use it fewer times.
  • If you are using pencils, use the harder ones (H) to make the imaginary lines, and the softer pencils (HB/B) for the object outlines.
  • Practice makes it better. Start from simple shapes and give them details. Try drawing your cellphone or your TV. This will give you motivation to start complex figures.
  • Further objects look smaller than the closer ones.


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    • nakmeister profile image


      6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Wow, I've read various drawing tutorials, but this is written so simply and cleanly, and the diagrams really helpful. Thank you so much!

    • RTalloni profile image


      6 years ago from the short journey

      A super how-to-draw hub here that will be helpful to a wide variety of ages. Well-done!


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