Point Perspective

This Chapter focuses on Point Perspective & Axonometric Projections

For that purpose this website has been divided into two objective sections. Namely: Perspectives and Axonometric. Each of which is designed to read as a book. Allowing you to move from page to page and review all of it's content. Alternatively, you can select a particular topic from the listed heading.

The content under each heading is expandable and collapsible text. Thereby, making it easier for the reader to navigate and read.


1, 2 & 3 Point Perspectives •

Bird's eye & Multi Point Perspective •

Spirals, Ellipses and Cylinders •

Reverse Perspective •



• Axonometric Projections

• Graphic Illustrations

• Exploded Images

• Transparent Images

The knowledge of how to draw perspective has in many ways been overshadowed by the abilities of technology at the other end of a mouse.

But, for the artist that is creating a piece of art on canvas or sheet of paper a sound knowledge of perspective is important. However, it is not that essential.

But if you need to create, or change the perspective of the study you are working on here is how it is done.

There are a number of different methods use to draw perspective. Some are so designed for specific purposes in business and design. The so-called 1, 2 and 3-point methods of how to draw perspective are the nearest simulation of how we see things.

I say simulation because it excludes that fact that we have two eyes with lenses and a brain that computes what is seen by each eye and converts it into to a single 3D image.

Below is a list of the most commonly used 'Types of Perspective'.

  • 1 - Point Perspective
  • 2 - Point Perspective
  • 3 - Point Perspective
  • Multi - Point Perspective

Then there are a family of perspective 'look-a-likes' called projections:

  • Isometric
  • Axonometric
  • Stereo

Lastly a mix of either or.

  • Exploded Perspective / Projection
  • Transparent Perspective / Projection

Before we move on 'How to draw' each of the perspective types, 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.



How to Draw Perspectives

All perspectives are dependent on two factors. The first being the shape and dimensions of the 'subject' being viewed, and the second being the position from where it is been viewed.

To cover the wide range of possibilities of point perspective these factors will be reviewing and demonstrating the methods used to draw the different types of technical perspective, and how those methods can be applied to draw perspectives of different shapes, forms and sizes including forms by design and the human figure.

See a details goto: Draw Perspective.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.
Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

1-Point Perspective


A 1-Point perspective is primarily used for rendering an open area between or within solid objects. For example, an architectural presentation of the internal view of a new auditorium.

Another examples could be of a view looking down a street in Manhattan. This is in fact a 2-point perspective where 1 vanishing point is been viewed head-on. Consequently the second vanishing point is perpendicular to that and the regression is parallel.

Contrary to what is generally implied the 1-point perspective involves more than just drawing the regression to a central vanishing point. A typical example to highlight this could be of a viewer looking down a conventional railway line. Yes, the two tracks do get nearer and will eventually merge. But at the same time the sleepers below the track also get nearer.

It is how to map that diminishing depth of what crosses the regression that requires more than a just a single vanishing point. As with a 2 or 3-point perspective the 1-point perspective requires dimensions of the x, y and z-axis to be a true perspective of the object being drawn. In the demonstration of a street 1-point perspective that follows you will be shown how this is done.

See a detailed step-by-step demonstration of External 1 Point Perspective.

Or a detailed step-by-step demonstration of Internal 1 Point Perspective.

2-Point Perspective


The 2-Point perspective is so called because it has two vanishing points.

One on the left referred to and the LVP, and the other on the right is the RVP. Moreover, the horizon, or eye level is usually within the height range of the object.

The 2-Point perspective could be caller 'the mother of perspectives'. Master this and the others will fall into place.

See a detailed step-by-step demonstration of a 2 Point Perspective

3-Point Perspective


How to draw perspective with 3 vanishing points is a complex process. But, not that difficult if you know how the third point is determined.

The only difference with the 3-Point perspective is the addition of third vanishing point. If the object as seen from above; commonly known as a bird's eye view, the vanishing point to the vertical lines would be below the object. Conversely, if viewed from below, known as a worm's eye view the third vanishing point would be above the object.

However, there are 2 distinct different types of 3-point perspectives. The more commonly used type is the artistic perspective. Here the vanishing points of the perspective are set-up in such a way as to compliment or emphasize the shape or design of the object. As a result the artistic perspective can be manipulated to make the object or building look more visually pleasing.

Then there is the real 3-point perspective, where the vanishing points of the object are calculated and positioned according to the location of the viewpoint. (From where it is viewed from) Furthermore, if the object or building is viewed from a different viewpoint how will its perspective change or what will it look like?

The artistic perspective is drawn to made the object look pleasing. Whereas the real perspective asks the question, is it pleasing seen from a particular advantage point? Or, from what advantage point does it look pleasing.

See a detailed step-by-step demonstration of 3 Point Perspective.

Multi-Point Perspective

The dredged multi-point perspective is primarily use for multiple objects or objects that have a number of fascists, shapes or curves and bulges.

See a detailed step-by-step demonstration of Multi 2-Point Perspective.

Special Shapes

Although the 3 basic types of perspective applies throughout, Special shapes require different methods.

What is a Point Perspective

The drawn, or technical perspective is structured on a series of standard procedures.

Whereby the dimensions of the 'thing' or 'object' been viewed is shaped by its position relating to the number of prepared vanishing points. These are referred to as being 1, 2, 3 or multi point perspective. These are so designed to emulate the visual aspect of what is perspective, or what we see.

For a comprehensive run-down on how to draw a technical perspective see 'How to Draw Perspective'. Wherein you will be able to follow a number of step-by-step demonstrations on how to draw the following: An external 1-Point Perspective, a typical 2-Point Perspective, the intricate 3-Point Perspective, and finally the variations of a Multi Point Perspective. See What is Perspective.

Another form of technical drawing is the 'Axonometric Projection' where instead of use vanishing points and regression the x & y (side) faces are drawn at a set angle depending on the type of axonometric projection been used. It is an effective method used in some forms of industrial design and computer generated illustrations. See Axonometric Illustrations.

The world of technical perspectives and axonometric projections is vast with many unanswered questions. To clarify some of these a FAQ . page has been compiled.


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.

Furthermore, on more complex studies you work will tend to a little dirty. Use a dusting brush and avoid sliding the straightedge across your work.


Axonometric Projections

Axonometric projections are used mainly for commercial purposes. There are different versions, but in all they are constructed in much the same way.

The primary difference between these compared to the perspective is that the axonometric projections do not have vanishing points. All the 'lines' on a common axis are draw parallel.

See a detailed step-by-step demonstration of Axonometric Projections.

Graphic Illustrations

Axonometric projections are used mainly for commercial purposes. There are different versions, but in all they are constructed in much the same way.

See a detailed step-by-step demonstration of Axonometric Illustrations.

Exploded Illustrations

The exploded illustration can be either a perspective or an axonometric projection.

These illustrations are sometimes referred to as 'Purpose Designed Presentations', used of illustrating a modular assembly such as a component list or the like.

See a detailed step-by-step demonstration of Exploded 2-Point Perspective.

As said earlier to draw perspective in a study is important but not essential. In fact there are some fine example where poor perspective has enhanced the mood of a study. As long as you have the positioning and proportions correct, artistic license can do the rest. Be aware of perspective but don't let rule.

Besides the above basic types of perspectives, there are those odd & special shapes that you will need to do at sometime. For that purpose I am compiling a list demonstrating how to draw these. Shape such as Spirals, Arches and others.

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