How to Draw Perspective: The Basic Fundamentals

A little rusty on what 1, 2, or 3-point perspective is exactly? Have no fear, here is a short crash course on the three modes of perspective taken from Michael Solovyev’s new book The Lord of Illusions.

The first basic rule of drawing in perspective is that things that are closer look larger. Which is why drawing in perspective requires at least one Vanishing Point. The amount of vanishing points determines the perspective that is being used. Hence, 1 vanishing point=1-point perspective, etc. Since, we live in a 3-dimensional space the maximum amount of vanishing points we can use is…that’s right, 3!

The next important aspect of drawing in perspective is the Horizon Line. The horizon line is always situated at the level of your eyes and the first and second vanishing points always lie on the horizon line.

In 1-point perspective that means placing the vanishing point in the center since you are looking head on.


In 2-point perspective that means placing the vanishing points on opposing sides of the horizon line.


Finally, in 3-point perspective we get a ‘true to life’ cube. One that is able to reflect the spatial distortion of height on an object by placing a third vanishing point above or below the horizon line.


Michael Solovyev is an art director, illustrator, fine art painter and designer of architecture, theater sets and costumes. He has 12 years of professional experience, has won numerous awards and his fine artwork is featured in public and private collections in 10 different countries. For nearly a decade he’s been transmitting his classical European art education to up-and-coming artists through teaching engagements in Canada and in his native Russia.

To take a class with Michael like Urban Sketching in Perspective and others visit:

To buy a copy of Michael’s book The Lord of Illusions visit:

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