How to Draw a 2-Point-Perspective

Point Prespective - 2 Point

The two point perspective (2PP) is so called because it has only 2 vanishing points. One on being the left side of the line of vision, and the other on the right. Depending on the shape of the object and how it is rotated the vanishing points will be sited differently. The steep the rotation the nearer the vanishing point. A crucial aspect of the 2PP is that the horizon is always within the height of the object. Consequently, the vertical lines are drawn parallel to each other.

As you work through the slides below on how to draw a two point perspective you may come across a link to an associated footnote. You can either follow the links and return to the related slide, or read the footnotes at the bottom of the page after you have completed the demonstration.

Before we move on 'How to draw' each of the 1 point perspective, you will require a plan, elevation and in some cases a section of the 'Object' you wish to draw perspective of. All must be the same scale.

perspective-object-plan-elevation

Object - Plan - Elevation

In this example the elevations are comparatively simple so they may not be necessary. Providing you know the dimensions it may be easier just to use a scale. However, it is not recommended on more complex objects, but it is possible to do an accurate perspective without the elevation views.

To draw perspective you will require a larger worktop to position the plan, and elevations on. Once these have been setup they must to be taped down. Next you will need a longer straightedge, a scale to match and the trusty pencil. In more complex jobs it may be advisable to use a range of coloured pencils. Then for the axonometric projections a adjustable set-square would be useful.

Point by Point Demonstration

  • 1: Before you start drawing you will need to Setup the different components on your worktop. These are: A blank piece of paper referred to as the Working Drawing, plus a plan and elevation of the object you will be drawing. Both of which must be to scale and of the same scale. First position the elevation to the left of your working drawing.

  • 2: Next is to determine at what position and angle the object is to be viewed from. This is can vary depending on what the artist requires and what the object has to offer. Position the plan above the working drawing and rotate it to an angle that suits those requirements. Then from any one point or corner draw a Picture Plane line parallel to the working drawing & elevation.

  • 3: Next you have to determine at what distance is the 'eye' (Point of Vision) from the object. This is flexible and may depend on what the artist requires. For example, the closer the eye is to the object, the larger the object. Conversely, the further the eye is from the object, the smaller the object. However, the vanishing lines will in both cases be the same. A safe distance [a] is approximately 2 times the width of the plan. Finally, the height of the object [b] must be extended on to the working drawing.

  • 4: To setup a vertical line draw a Construction Line from the eye to a corner point 'O' on the plan. Thereafter, from where that line intersects the picture plane 'O' project a perpendicular Construction Line on to the working drawing. For some guideline on how to draw these lines see Do the same from the other corner.

  • 5: With those lines in place, you must now setup what are called 'Vanishing Points '. In a 2-point perspective there is one on the left (LVP) and on the right is the (RVP). Parallel to the left face of the object project a Construction Line from the eye to the Picture Plane. Then parallel to the right face of the object project another Construction Line from the eye the Picture Plane on the other side. The position of the 2 VP's are where these lines intersect the picture plane.

  • 6: Once you have determined the position of the left vanishing point (LVP) and the right hand vanishing point (RVP), they must be projected downwards on to your working drawing. The line between these two points is referred to as the Horizon Line. This line is always at eye level. With a 2-point perspective the height of the horizon above ground level is usually within the Height Range of the object. Once you have determined that height draw the horizon line and the two VP's. 'O'

  • 7: Once you have all your construction lines in place each relevant point and corner on the plan must be plotted and extended on to the working drawing. This is done by repeating the process as described in step 2. Where a Construction Line is drawn from the eye to the relevant point or corner.

  • 8: Thereafter, where each Construction Line intersects the Picture Plane a perpendicular Construction Line is extended on to the working drawing. In a 2-point perspective these vertical lines are drawn as parallel, whereas in a 3-point perspective these lines will have there own vanishing point. But more on that later. In the case of more complex perspectives see.

  • 9: With all the vertical lines in place you can now plot each face in turn. From the intersection of the Line on Vision and the 2 Height Lines draw a Construction Line to the 2 respective VP's. That is, those faces that face to the left go to the LVP, 'O' and those that to right go to the RVP. 'O' These construction lines are referred to as Vanishing Lines.

  • 10. When doing the vanishing lines it is important to remember that the only true height (true to scale) is at that point where the object touches or intersects the Picture Plane. As seen on the plan this occurs at the setting out point 'O' and at 2 other arbitrary points. The setting out point 'O' or corner is shown in Red on the elevation. With the Vanishing Lines now in place draw in the first face of the object.

  • 11. To complete this face you need to add the opening. The true heights of the opening can only be plotted by extending the Upper & Lower Lines to the Line of Vision. For it is only at that point that the dimension of the opening are to scale. From one of those intersections draw a Construction Line to the LVP 'O', and do the same with the other.

  • 12. With the Vanishing Lines and vertical lines in place draw the outer skin of the opening. The inner skin will be added later.

  • 13. To complete the taller portion of the object draw the right facing face. However, part of this face will be obscured by the remaining structure. Yet it is important to the remaining setup in that it shows the position of the ground line, which is a common denominator through out.

  • 14. To complete the remaining faces you will need to plot the height of lower roofline. Firstly, extending the Roof-line from the elevation to the Line of Vision. From that intersection draw a Construction Line to the RVP. Where that line intersects the first Vertical Line draw another Construction Line from the LVP to the Corner Vertical Line. Next, add the ground line Construction Line from the LVP to the Corner Vertical Line. Finally, add the remaining 2 Construction Lines to the RVP.

  • 15. With those construction in place draw in the final 2 Faces. Lastly, the final 2 visible rooflines to must be added. The back face is plotted from the roofline of the last corner to the LVP, 'O' and the roofline adjoining the taller structure is plotted from the first corner to the RVP. 'O' At this scale they are not that obvious, but to a larger scale they will be seen..

  • 16. Finally you need to complete the visible reveal and sill to the opening on the first face. From the lower corner on the reveal side, plot a Construction Line to RVP. 'O This is the corner of the revealed face and sill. Thereafter, where that construction line the Vertical Line plot another Construction Line to LVP. 'O This is the inner face of the sill. Draw those few lines to complete you perspective.

  • 17. In this last example I have altered the plan to create splayed face to demonstrate how to plot its vanishing line. If it were parallel to the Picture Plane the horizontal lines would have no VP. However this is not the case, and it's true VP would probably be so far away to be effective. Alternately, plot the position of the 2 corners by drawing a Vertical Line from the eye at each of the respective corner. Thereafter, from the intersecting with the Picture Plane extend the Vertical Lines on to your working drawing.

  • 18. Thereafter, it is simply a matter of joining the roofline and ground line to the adjoining faces on both sides.

Footnotes

  1. Positioning the elevation In the above example on how to draw a 2 point perspective the elevation is shown next to the working drawing. However, practically it would be better to move it further to the left and beyond the construction lines. If you are using a straightedge it tends to scuff, if nor tear the paper benighted it. On the other hand if you are left-handed the elevation could be positioned on the right of the working drawing. On more complex 2 point perspective there may be a need to use 2 or more elevations to retrieve the relevant dimensions. If this is the cases all the elevations must be setup with related levels on the same line.
  2. Moving the picture plane In a 2 point perspective the picture plane is usually positioned relative to a particular feature. But this is not a rule of thumb. If you require a larger 2 point perspective the picture plane can be move closer to the eye. Conversely, if you require a smaller 2 point perspective the picture plane can be moved to position beyond the object. In both cases the vanishing lines will be the same.
  3. Construction lines In the demonstration above on how to draw a 2 point perspective the construction lines are shown as a complete line from point to point. Though this is necessary to illustrate the point, in reality the working drawing will get dirty from the straightedge been moved over the existing construction lines. To reduce that possibility, only draw that part of the line that is relevant. For example, only at the intersections. Another method that could be employed is to insert a mapping pin at the 2 vanishing points and at the 'eye' to support the straightedge at that point.
  4. Horizon above and below the object Generally the horizon on 2 point perspectives is positioned within the height of the object. Although this is a recommendation, there is no reason to prevent you from moving the horizon to a position above or below the object. As long as this does not exceed twice the height of the object the need for a vertical vanishing point could be avoided.
  5. More complex 2 point perspective On more complex 2 point perspective it maybe better to do only one face at a time in conjunction with step 10 & 11. Another option could be to do several working drawings each covering a particular aspect.


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