In this lesson we will start with the basics of perspective with the 1 point method.

Firstly lets define what 1 point perspective is and how it works. Basically it is a simply version of creating depth using one vanishing point located on the horizon. This vanishing point can be on or off the page but the main factor is all the points converge on it. Within this method all vertical lines stay perfectly vertical. So say you were drawing a cube, the front plane would be a square same as the back plane (only smaller); the only lines converging would be the sides.

The vanishing point is where all the focus is drawn to if it is positioned on the page. Below shows the convergence lines of where the horizontal edges on the sides would follow.

This form of perspective whilst not common can be found in everyday life. However, more common is 3 point perspective in real life which will be covered in the advanced lesson. Real-life examples aren’t perfect though as they will always have 3 point perspective applied, however some features true to one point perspective can be seen as shown below.

Once you’ve set up you vanishing point and horizon you can start creating your own perspective drawings. Following these easy steps you can quickly add depth to a square to create a 3D cube.

  1. Draw your cube anywhere on the page.
  2. Connect with corners with faint lines to the vanishing point.
  3. Plot the correct depth and draw another (smaller) square making sure your corner points also meet the faint lines you drew in the last step.
  4. Connect the corners with more pronounced lines.
  5. Remove excess faint lines and anywhere where the front plane would obscure the back.
  6. You can then repeat this with other shapes in different positions to experiment.

Below is a video showing 1 point perspective in heavy use within Stanley Kubrick’s films.