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One-point perspective is a simple form of linear perspective with only one vanishing point. Remember to always draw the horizon line first, then determine the placement of the vanishing point on the horizon, which should not be far from the center of the scene. First draw the horizon line, then determine the placement of your two vanishing points on either side of the paper on the horizon line. As you work out the perspective of the elements in the scene, extend the parallel lines either up or down toward the vanishing point, depending on the vantange point you want to create for the viewer.

Let's Get Technical

Use a T-square or triangle with your drawing board. These tools will make technical and perspective drawings easier to do and more accurate.

Vanishing point

Parallel lines drawn so they meet at the vanishing point

Vanishing point

Parallel lines drawn so they meet at the vanishing point

These basic shapes could be the basis for a building or other structure

Dog's Eye Level, One-Point Perspective

Here the horizon line and vanishing point are both at the dog's eye level. Notice that all parallel lines below the dog's eye level angle up toward the vanishing point and all lines above the dog's eye level angle down.

Vanishing point

Draw these lines to the vanishing point, even if it doesn't feel right

Horizon

Horizon

Draw these lines to the vanishing point, even if it doesn't feel right

Man's Eye Level, One-Point Perspective

Here the horizon line is at the man's eye level, so this view shows a vantage point at the same height as his eye level. All parallel lines below the man's eye level angle up toward the vanishing point and those above it angle down.

Horizon

Vanishing point

Parallel lines are angled up towards the vanishing point

Overhead View, One-Point Perspective

In this view, the horizon is above both the man and the dog. The vantage point is somewhere above the man and the dog creating the feeling that the viewer is looking down on the scene. All parallel lines angle up to converge at the vanishing point.

Principles of Perspective

There are three important principles to keep in mind when you render linear perspective:

• Depth is expressed by size. Similar objects will appear bigger if they are positioned closer to the viewer than if they are placed farther away.

• Depth is expressed by obscurity. Objects closer to the viewer may hide from view, cover up or cancel out objects that are farther in the distance.

• Depth is expressed by convergence. Elements that are parallel to each other will appear to converge in the distance. The point of convergence is called the vanishing point. A scene with linear perspective may have an unlimited number of vanishing points, or none at all.

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