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Three-Point Perspective

There are some instances where three-point perspective can occur, such as when you are drawing cityscapes and you are on the street looking up at a tall building, or when you are inside a tall building looking down at the street. In the first example, both sides of the buildings are visible, as in two-point perspective; the third vanishing point occurs as the vertical lines of the building converge up in the sky. When looking down from a building, the vanishing point occurs below the ground level.

In a more common example, the same three-point perspective occurs when you are standing above a table and are looking down on the tabletop (pictured in the photo at the right). You will notice that when the legs are visible, they too converge toward a vanishing point somewhere below the floor. Also notice that the bottles and the vase are converging toward the same vanishing point.

Here are several examples of two-point perspective, any of which could be an excellent subject to base a work of art on. There are similar two-point perspective subjects all around you, with which you can apply the principles that you are learning here to create some beautiful drawings.

Two Point Perspective With Opened Door

This interior photo is entirely in one-point perspective, with the exception of the open door, which is neither parallel nor perpendicular to the viewer, but on an angle. This gives it its own vanishing point.

Perspective Draw City

This aerial view in New York City is also mostly in one-point perspective, with the exception of the one building that is on an angle and whose sides converge toward their own vanishing points on the same horizon line.

This photo of a coffee table is an example of two-point perspective, with the front and back of the table converging toward one vanishing point, and the two sides converging toward two different vanishing points. However, if you look carefully, you will notice that the books are slightly skewed, and if you were to draw them accurately, their sides would converge toward a separate vanishing point.

The cappuccino maker has its own two vanishing points, and the salt-and-pepper shakers have their own vanishing points (each of them is at a different angle to the cappuccino maker). However, as all of the elements in this photo are viewed from the same eye level, all of the vanishing points fall on the same horizon line.

In this exercise, we are going to draw a building in two-point perspective. There is a barn located near us, which we will use for this exercise. Find a building in your own vicinity, so you can follow the same steps to create your own drawing.

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