Technique Demonstration: Two-Point Perspective

  • 14 May 2009 05:26
  • 506

2 point perspective forms

It's easy to draw simple forms in two-point perspective. Here's how!
You will need:

  • scratch paper
  • Sanford Mirado pencil
  • Pink Pearl eraser
  • ruler
  • triangle (optional)
Hopper lighthouse
Linear perspective allows artists to trick the eye into seeing depth on a flat surface.

During the Renaissance, artists became very interested in making two-dimensional artworks look three-dimensional. They used mathematics and close observation to invent "linear perspective"—a technique that allows artists to trick the eye into seeing great distances or 3-D forms in a 2-D artwork.

Initial G (Medieval example)
Many earlier artists were interested in showing depth, but the results were not always accurate.


Two-point perspective is useful to show an angle rather than face-on.

2 point perspective forms
Most lines are vertical or orthogonals drawn to two different vanishing points.


1. Turn your paper horizontal ("landscape" orientation)

Turn your paper horizontal.

2. Line the end of your ruler up with the side of your page.

Be sure the ruler is straight and flush with the edge of the page or everything will be crooked!

Crooked Ruler Illustration Flush Ruler Illustration

You may prefer using a triangle to draw horizontal and vertical lines. Just make sure it is correctly placed!
Crooked Triangle Flush Triangle


3. Draw a horizontal line one or two inches down from top of the page. This is your horizon line.

Draw a horizon line.

4. Draw two dots on your horizon line near the edges of the paper. These are your vanishing points.

Draw two vanishing points on the horizon line near the page edges.

5. Draw a vertical line that is the "front edge" of your form.

Draw a vertical line for the front edge of your form.

6. Connect the two ends of your "front edge" line to each vanishing point. These are called orthogonals.

Draw orthogonal lines from front edge to both vanishing points.
Draw lightly so you can erase!

Remember: In two-point perspective most lines are either vertical or orthongonals. There are rarely horizontal lines in two-point perspective!

7. Draw two vertical lines between the orthogonals where you want the back edges of your form.

Draw two vertical lines for back edges.

8. Now join the back, top corners to the opposite vanishing point to complete the top of the form.

Connect top corners to opposite vanishing points.

9. Erase the extra orthogonals. Now you have a form drawn in two-point perspective!

Erase extra orthogonal lines.

10. Now add details and experiment!

Draw more forms! Add windows and doors!
Try stacking forms. Try a lower horizon line.


Now try drawing forms in one-point perspective!
One Point Perspective Forms


Don't forget to send us your artwork!


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Sherry Peterson By, Sherry Peterson
Sherry Peterson is an editor for Sanford. She has a passion for home gadgets and beautiful design and loves to share her finds with others. Sherry has been working in the publishing industry for over 10 years and is excited to bring her expertise to Sanford's readers.
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