The Secrets to Drawing – Three Point Perspective

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Three Point Perspective

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"The Secrets to Drawing" is the most complete online drawing video course available for learning how to draw.  Drawing is a skill that is learned and developed and this video course is designed to give you the knowledge that you need to draw better almost immediately! The course includes 28 modules and 26 ebooks.

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Description: A look at creating the illusion of space through three point perspective. Concepts covered include vanishing points, horizon line, steps to three point perspective.

Suggested Materials: White drawing paper, graphite pencil, eraser, ruler

Next Video: The Secrets to Drawing - Basic Drawing Techniques

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Comments

The Secrets to Drawing – Three Point Perspective — 41 Comments

  1. I think it would’ve been better to demonstrate a birds-eye view of a cityscape for 3-point perspective. This one I probably still would’ve done in 2-point. It looks too distorted in this example.

    • Hi Polina,

      Each line should go to one of the vanishing points. “Vertical” edges will go to the top or bottom vanishing point while “top” or “bottom” edges will go to either the left or right vanishing point, depending on what side of the corner they are on.

  2. This was a difficult lesson because you ruler kept blocking out previous lines you made. Therefore I got a bit lost as I couldn’t follow your example. However I think I done ok with my first attempt.

  3. I agree with Jason’s point. This one obviously needs a bit of thinking out and I don’t know that I’m likely to use it. But it definitely helps towards a complete understanding of the theory of perspective. I’ll also have to check out the Live Lesson!

  4. Hi Matt – my lines to the horizon vanishing points were not equal in width so when I drew the line from the third vanishing point it went through only one intersection, not two. Is it essential then for this to work for the two “roads” to be of equal width?

  5. Usually your demos make my refresh lessons so clear but this one…? Maybe – Stop to point out what line to what points were just applied? Different colors per plane? Now to my question – To apply three point to more “organic” shapes. e.g. cat curled up on garden bench. So do I cube out approx. space occupied per subject or ???

    • Hi L,
      Three point perspective is typically only used for extreme angles. For example – looking down from the top of a building (bird’s eye view) or looking up (worm’s eye view). For an organic shape, like a cat, I would stick to two point perspective.

  6. I have watched this5x, and still have no clear idea of what I am doing or why. Not one of my drawings looks like the square that you are showing. Please slow down and explain which lines are connecting to what.

  7. Hi Matt ….. I am almost afraid to show my ignorance on this one, however, I have watched this video several times, and each time its almost as if I get lost in the maze of lines I have drawn. I must admit I have to continue to draw lines to the vanishing points looking for a realistic form to appear. I think I am getting the point and I find the forms that I have drawn to be interesting. Thanks for the video!! As usual you do a great job.

  8. Hi Matt,

    Quick question……If I am doing an architectural drawing of someones home, how do you determine whether to use a 1 or 2 point perspective? Or if it is just one building, it would always be 1 point???

    Thanks,

    Dave

    • Hi David,

      Typically, I stick with two point perspective. One point perspective can make the building appear flat, while three point perspective is really impractical when creating a house portrait.

  9. I was walking up and down hills in San Francisco yesterday and it occurred to me that I didn’t understand
    how to apply Perspective to what I was seeing: As a steep hill goes up, the buildings, of course, are aligned
    upwards, along with it, in a step-wise fashion. So how many vanishing points are necessary? The same question applies to looking down a hill… An added complication is to be on the top of a hill looking down a long street
    bordered on either side by buildings and houses, and then in the distance the road curves to one side very
    gradually. Any idea how I can determine how to apply Perspective to these very real scenarios?

    • Hi Stephen,

      The hills do not affect where the horizon line should be placed. The horizon line is always a straight, horizontal line. The hills actually overlap it and some hills may extend above it or below it depending on your vantage point.

  10. Yeks, just like many of the people above I had trouble finding the line that you were drawing and where it ended up. This one could have been a bit slower with a chance to see where each line went both from and to.

  11. My previous art instructor told us three point perspective is very hard to comprehend and that you will not grasp it the first time you try. I have been using many different sources trying to increase my understanding. Your lessons are very helpful. I do find the videos hard to keep up with a new subject. I read the power points on the ebooks before viewing the video. Then I go along with the PowerPoint at my own speed actually practicing. Then I watch the video to reinforce what I have read. I call it “3 point learning”. Thank you, I am enjoying the lessons.

  12. HI Matt, I always struggled with perspective but I am now confident that I understand the principles. However I found three point confusing and would need to have a set of your notes which I will annotate or go over with coloured lines beside me before I would tackle this again. What I need to understand is how to apply which point perspective to my pictures. I understand three is for an exaggerated view point either looking down or looking up, two is best for buildings and one is best for what scenario please ??

    • Hi Christine,
      You may want to reserve three point perspective only when you are dealing with an extreme angle. For example, if you are viewing the subject from a “worm’s eye view” or from a vantage point high above the subject – “bird’s eye view”. In most situations, two point perspective is often the best solution.

      • Thank you Matt, when would I use one point perspective then?

        I would just like to say that I have tried various art courses and workshops but some of the art courses in particular have been very one dimensional, just paper based with no feedback, no assistance and no visual aids. What I love about your courses is that they are a holistic approach to art making it much more three dimensional and meaningful. That, plus the fact that you have to be one of the best tutors I have ever come across, you make everything so simple to understand and I have already learnt lots. So thank you so much

  13. whew, I am definitely a beginner. Doing well & enjoying the lessons, but 3 point perspective was intense. I managed to get the first cube but could not tell where any lines were going on the subsequent buildings. Think I’ll come back to this one later.

  14. This is without a doubt a great course. I find it easy to follow and understand. I love that accent Matt. Three point perspective finally makes more sense to me.

  15. Interesting how watching this brought back a familiar struggle with structure in acrylic painting. I look forward now to begin it again and welcome the struggle to get it sorted out. So, I think its good you have not made it too easy. 🙂

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