We live in a 3D world. Everything around us has the breadth and depth of three-dimensional objects. Our artwork? Not so much. Drawings and paintings are done on a two-dimensional surface, but in order to make them realistic, we must make them appear as three-dimensional. Thankfully, there is one way we can accomplish this: linear perspective.
Linear perspective is a drawing technique that gives the illusion of depth. In other words, it tricks the eye into believing that the picture in front of it is actually 3D, not 2D. Objects that are farther away from us appear smaller, so we draw them smaller to create that illusion of space and distance. As those objects meet the horizon line, they disappear into one (or more) points called the vanishing point.
Types of linear perspective
There is more than one way to create depth with linear perspective. In fact, there are three ways: one-point perspective, two-point perspective, and three-point perspective.
One-point perspective has only one vanishing point along the horizon line. Imagine a picture of a road stretching straight out into the distance. This is one-point perspective.
Also known as three-quarter perspective or angular perspective, two-point perspective has two vanishing points along the horizon line. The vanishing points are typically on either side of a canvas, and they’re used to convey such things as two corners of a building on a street.
Three-point perspective, or multi-point perspective, has three vanishing points along the horizon line. This type of perspective is good if you want it to appear like you’re staring up at an object. To accomplish this, you would place two vanishing points on each far end of the horizon line and then a third point above them.
Linear perspective is the building block of artwork, but it can be confusing for someone who has never been introduced to the concept before. At Creative Ventures Gallery, our beginner drawing classes can teach you the basics of linear perspective and more so that you can reach new creative heights. Give us a call today at 603-672-2500 to learn more.