Mini Demonstration

A circle drawn in perspective becomes an ellipse because it follows the same principles as other shapes drawn in linear perspective. An ellipse can be made by first sketching a square in perspective. The lines of the square will be used as the boundaries for the ellipse, because both a circle and a square are equally as wide as they are tall.

Must-Have Materials

4H graphite pencil Drawing board Drawing paper Kneaded eraser White vinyl eraser

Horizon line

Horizon line

Horizon line

Horizon line

Vanishing point

Vanishing point

Vanishing point

Sketch a Square in Perspective

Sketch the horizon line, then place the vanishing points on the horizon. Now sketch a square in perspective by using those vanishing points.

Connect the Opposite Corners

Sketch lines connecting the opposite ends of the square. Each line will define the widest and narrowest parts of the ellipse. The intersection of these two lines is the center point of the ellipse.

Horizon line

Horizon line

Flat Horizon
Vanishing point

Vanishing point

Ellipses Don't Have Points

Ellipses do not have points on the end. Their ends are round, even if the ellipse is rather flat.

Sketch In the Ellipse

Sketch in the shape of the ellipse. Notice that the ellipse is longest in relation to the longest center line.

Vanishing point

n Us

Ellipses can be drawn as vertical, horizontal and angled, but still use the same perspective principles. Remember the first step in drawing an ellipse is to sketch a square in linear perspective.

Sketches Using Cylinders

Sketch Cylinders Using Ellipses

The ends of cylinders drawn in perspective are ellipses. First establish the horizon and vanishing points, then sketch the boxes. The ends of the boxes will be the boundaries for the ellipses. Connect the ellipses to create the cylinders.

Horizontal And Vertical Ellipses

Ellipses Are All Around Us

Ellipses that stand vertically can be drawn in a similar manner. Notice how the center lines direct the shape of each ellipse.

Ellipses Are All Around Us

Ellipses that stand vertically can be drawn in a similar manner. Notice how the center lines direct the shape of each ellipse.

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