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How to Draw Anything From Scratch—Part 1: Perspectives

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A creature that loves drawing who is here to share the adventure of art.

Done in "procreate" app.

Done in "procreate" app.

The Basics of Drawing

The basics of learning to draw include the following:

  1. Perspectives
  2. How to split an object into a composition of different shapes
  3. Imagination

In this part, I'll be talking about different perspectives, which is your starting step in getting your first basic sketch of any real-life object.

Understanding and using the concept of perspective is a way for an artist to achieve depth in their artworks. I'll show you an example. Instead of drawing a house that we used to draw as a kid, let's use the concept of perspective to create more depth in the drawing.


I'm no professional, but I've been drawing since I was a kid and have discovered a lot through my art journey. I want you to know about them so that it helps you understand how to draw with a wider perspective.

You won't find any theoretical stuff here. Just remember that in perspective drawing, the crucial part is vanishing points. In simple words, vanishing points are the ending point of the reference lines that you are drawing.

Now, since you already have an idea of what perspective is, let's look at the different types of perspectives.

Done in "procreate" app.

Done in "procreate" app.

1. One-Point Perspective

In a one-point perspective drawing, there's only one vanishing point.

Examples of one-point perspective include the scenes you see while going through a hallway, or looking at tall buildings (including the house sketch above).

2. Two-Point Perspective

In two-point perspective, there are two vanishing points. These two vanishing points can be placed either horizontally or vertically, depending on the subject you are drawing.

Edited in "procreate" app.

Edited in "procreate" app.

3. Three-Point Perspective

A three-point perspective drawing shows the view of looking at tall buildings while standing at a crossroad.

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Read More From Feltmagnet

Done in "procreate" app.

Done in "procreate" app.

4. Curvilinear Perspective

This perspective is usually seen in metal spheres or through a fish eye lens on a camera, or the peephole through a door.

Curvilinear perspective

Curvilinear perspective

5. Multi-Point Perspective

Here, all the perspectives listed so far are put to use to draw real-life objects and environments.

Multi-point perspective

Multi-point perspective

Note that there are no hard and fast rules while drawing. But knowing some basics will help you in the long run when creating your art style or manipulating any real-life object into something more fantastical.

Practice Drawing Perspectives (Digitally)

Notice how each of these sketches keeps getting more complicated than the earlier one. Drawing reference lines and vanishing points each time you want to sketch something is tedious because it takes time to make them, and later you'll have to erase them, which makes you get bored of sketching. So it is best to put it into practice starting now so that eventually you can sketch anything without having to draw the reference lines on the paper. You do this by having a vision of these lines inside your head.

It is easier to practice perspectives digitally than on paper because, as I said earlier, it's a tedious task to draw the reference lines and then erase them without ruining your artwork on paper. I usually use an app called Procreate, an iOS and iPadOS paid app, and a free app called Autodesk Sketchbook. When sketching digitally, you can use perspective guidelines to draw your artwork, and once your sketch is complete, turn them off.

While on paper, you don't have the option to turn it off! That's why practicing sketching digitally can help you do great traditional artwork in the long run. But if you don't have access to digital devices (like a tab or a stylus pen), it's hard to draw digital artworks because your phone screen is tiny and hence hard to draw (I have been there TT TT), and hard to draw on the screen using your fingers (I have been there as well TT TT).

Perspectives Without Guidelines

So then, what are the ways to practice perspectives on paper without drawing guidelines?

  • Use a push pin and thread. Place the push pin at the vanishing point and tie a string onto it. Be sure not to use a thin thread, or it will break due to pressure. Now, you can move this string and use them as reference lines. No messy reference lines to erase!

I recommend you use a push pin on your artwork only during your practice session because the push pin will create a hole in your artwork, and if you like perfection in everything that you do, then this will bother you a lot.

As time progresses, you'll start to notice that with all the practice and effort you have put in, you can sketch freehand any real-life object without any tools.

In the next part, I'll talk about drawing things by breaking them down into different simple shapes. Stay tuned!

You can read about some tips that I share for color pencil here.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Sreya