Mini Demonstration

Circles are not the only curved objects you must draw in perspective. Arches are also quite common and need to follow the rules of perspective to look accurate. The peak of an arch is centered over the space between its supporting walls. The same is true of most roofs. To draw a roof in proper perspective, you will need to know how to find its the center point. Measuring with a ruler will not give you the correct center point as far as perspective is concerned, which is why knowing how to find the center point is important. Try this little exercise to learn how to find the center point for a roof.

r Must-Have M

4H graphite pencil


Drawing board Drawing paper Kneaded eraser White vinyl eraser

Sketch a Rectangle In Perspective

Establish the horizon line, then the vanishing points (which are far off to the left and right). Sketch a rectangle in perspective. This will become the walls that support the roof.

Connect Opposite Corners of the Rectangle

Sketch lines connecting the opposite corners of the sides of the rectangle, making two Xs. The intersection of these lines are the center points for the sides.

Add Vertical Lines

Sketch vertical lines up through the center of the Xs. These lines designate the center of the box's side walls.

Sketch the Top of the Roof

Sketch a line for the top of the roof. If completely drawn, this line would converge with the other lines on the right side of the box at the vanishing point far off to the right.

Connect the Points to Finish the Roof

Connect the lines from the top of the roof to the side points. These lines will make the roof ends.

Round out the top and sides to create an arch

Center point

Connect the Points to Finish the Roof

Connect the lines from the top of the roof to the side points. These lines will make the roof ends.

Round out the top and sides to create an arch

Center point

Drawing Arches

Drawing Arches

Drawing the arch of a doorway or the bottom curve of a suspension bridge is similar to drawing the roof of a building. For the doorway, find the center point of the rectangle by connecting the opposite corners of the rectangle. Make a vertical line straight up to establish the peak of the arch. The curve of a suspension bridge can be thought of as an arch with the curve at the bottom instead of at the top, so apply the same principles.

Reflections are an exciting element to draw because they double the beauty of a scene. The reflection shares the very same horizon and vanishing points as the images they are reflecting.

Reflections Are Perpendicular to Their Reflecting Surface

Reflected images are perpendicular to the reflecting surface. The vertical lines show how both the trees and their reflected images are perpendicular to the surface of the water. This is most noticeable when the reflecting surface is smooth.

Reflecting surface

Reflecting surface

Drawing Perspective Pond

Reflections Use the Same Perspective as the Objects They Reflect In this pond scene, the same horizon and vanishing points are used for both the bridge and its reflection. It is not a repeat or reverse of the bridge, but a continuation.

Vanishing point



Reflection on a Rough Surface

When the reflection surface is rough, such as when there are waves on the surface of the water, the reflected image is broken up. This occurs because some of the waves are not perpendicular to the image, causing distortion to the image's reflection.

Drawing Rough Waves

Distant Elements Can Be Reflected

The image reflected doesn't have to be near or directly over the reflecting surface. The mountains are far away from the water, yet their image is still reflected on its surface.

Reflections Can Be a Drawing's Focus In this example, the reflection on a car's wheel cover shows the sky, ground and trees. Even the person viewing it is visible in the center.


Values are the degrees of light and darkness in a drawing. They give additional form and depth to a basic structure. Observing the wide range of values that make up your subject will give you a better understanding of how light creates highlights and shadows on the form.

the highlights and how the shadows fall. Notice the wide range of values. You may need to paint the foam white to get an opaque surface that reflects light smoothly and accurately. Be sure to use latex paint, because spray enamel will melt Styrofoam.


Differing values create contrasts that can affect the mood and composition of a drawing. The more extreme the difference between values, the greater the contrast. One way to achieve higher contrast in your drawing is to place your darks and lights side by side.

It's All Relative

Value contrasts are relative. They appear differently according to their environment. The small square on the far left may appear darker than the small square on the near left, but both are the same value. The square on the left appears darker because it is placed directly against the pure white of the paper, providing more contrast.

Value Contrast Creates Impact

A drawing done without much contrast will not have much impact and will look flat and pale. The white smoke of the rocket on the right looks brighter against the dark background. The drawing on the right uses richer values, creating more contrast.

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Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

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