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Art How to paint and draw - perspective.

Updated on January 16, 2016

© frangipanni 2013. All rights reserved.

When creating a picture whether it be a painting or drawing, perspective can be hard thing to master but is a necessity to produce a good piece of work. Read on for some tips and pointers to remember when dealing with perspective while you create your piece of artwork.


Perspective simply allows us to get a 3D effect onto a 2D piece of paper.

The idea is to consciously construct what we actually see making for a far more realistic artwork.

Vanishing Point - At sea or on flat land the vanishing point corresponds exactly to the horizon. In mountainous areas you will have to estimate a horizon or eye level line.

Perspective using one vanishing point addresses lines that are parallel

Perspective using one vanishing point addresses lines that are parallel
Perspective using one vanishing point addresses lines that are parallel | Source

Perspective using two vanishing points enables us to make solid objects like boxes, houses etc.

Perspective using two vanishing points enables us to make solid objects like boxes, houses etc.
Perspective using two vanishing points enables us to make solid objects like boxes, houses etc. | Source

Aerial perspective

Aerial perspective creates a sense of distance by using:

  • Lighter colors
  • Bluer color
  • Smaller elements (eg houses, trees)
  • Less detail
  • Less clarity (out of focus)




We see objects because light falls on them and the surface of the object reflects back.

We work out shape and volume and also temperature by the way shadow is cast.

Consistency is key.

Its important to :

  • Determine where the light source is coming from and this must remain consistent in your painting or drawing. What we mean by this is the shadow must be on the same side for everything in your picture and the light must also fall the same way for everything in your picture.
  • Remember also that the angle of shadows must remain consistent throughout the painting or drawing.

A THUMBNAIL SKETCH– is where you compose the picture, where you place the elements and where you decide what to put in and what to leave out.


A NOTAN SKETCH is where you work out the darks, mid tones and lights for your picture. This is particularly important with watercolor painting because of its transparency.


The shape of the thumbnail and notan sketches should be the same shape as the paper you will paint or draw on.

A ruled grid can also be useful.


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    • Frangipanni profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thankyou kashmir56 . Glad you enjoyed it. Great that you stopped by.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Very interesting information that was explained so well, will help anyone who draw or paints . Well done !

    • Frangipanni profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Good Morning kidscrafts . Thankyou. Glad you like it.

    • kidscrafts profile image


      5 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      You explain always very clearly! Thank you!

      It's nice that you always place picture to complement your explanations!

      Voted up and awsome :-)


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