Class 5

Perspective Terms


Parallel Perspective is used when the side facing you is parallel to the Picture Plane. 

One-Point Perspective is constructed with the three types of lines: vertical lines (parallel to the vertical edge of the Picture Plane), horizontal lines (parallel to the Horizon and to the horizontal edge of the Picture Plane), and radiating lines (radiating from the Vanishing Point). 

In a One-Point Perspective drawing, the surfaces facing you (that are parallel to the Picture Plane) should remain undistorted.

All the vertical lines of buildings, windows, doors, columns, trees, etc., should remain perfectly vertical in your drawing. 

PICTURE PLANE – the vertical two-dimensional imaginary surface that represents your potential drawing, painting, or photograph. Think of it as a window, through which you are seeing the view. Picture Plane is perpendicular to the Line of Sight.

THE LINE OF SIGHT (the Line of Vision, the Direction of Gaze, etc.) – points directly to the Vanishing Point. On a two-dimensional image, the Line of Sight appears vertical (in drawings or photographs), but in the three-dimensional reality it is a horizontal line that starts at your feet and ends at the Horizon.

THE HORIZON – your eye level. In a photograph or drawing, it is the camera’s or the artist’s eye level. The Horizon looks like a straight line only because we see a small part of it. The Horizon is a complete horizontal circle at your eye level. 

VANISHING POINT – a point on the Horizon where all the lines, parallel to the Line of Sight, are convenging. Vanishing Point is directly in front of your eyes, therefore it is also called the center of vision. 

RADIATING LINES – express the parallel edges of the street and all the lines that go along the street into the distance. These are the horizontal levels on the facades (the side facing the street) of the buildings. If extended, these lines converge into the Vanishing Point. In reality (if we look at this street view from above), ALL these lines are parallel to each other and parallel to the Line of Sight. 

Class 4

Class 4 Home Assignment – Exterior

Continue constructing the street. Populate it with crowds of people. Put windows on all the buildings (consider the windows on the facade facing the street will be extremely foreshortened AKA just a vertical line). Most importantly, when you’re out and about, OBSERVE!

Do not do this exercise freehand – always use a ruler.


  • There are only 3 types of lines: vertical, horizontal, and radiating from the vanishing point.

Class 3

Class 3 Home Assignment

Continue recreating the reflection in the mirror on the right side of the room. To find the reflection, start at the base of the object where it is touching the floor, ceiling, or wall. Then measure the distance between the footprint of the object to the mirror. Use the same measurement in the mirror to find the objects’ reflected distance. Next, measure the undistorted facade of the object (the surface facing us) in the room and use the same measurements to recreate the undistorted facade in the reflection. To find the distorted sides of the objects, connect the corners of the objects to the vanishing point.

Do not do this exercise freehand – always use a ruler.


  • There are only 3 types of lines: vertical, horizontal, and radiating from the vanishing point.
  • Construct the box of the room in the reflection before adding the furniture.
  • The room and the reflection share the same vanishing point.
  • It may help to distinguish the outline of the mirror, as you will create a lot of lines and it may get confusing.
    • It will also help to add light shading to help yourself see the dimension.
  • Always start measuring at the base of the object, where it is touching the floor, ceiling, or walls.
    • For example, if you’re drawing the reflection of the table, start with the base of the legs and then construct it up from there. Do not start with the surface of the table.
  • If you want to reflect the entire room, you will need to glue another horizontal piece of paper on the right side of your drawing. Extend the borders of the room and continue adding the reflections in the mirror. This will allow you to add the paintings on the wall and add the bookcase in its entirety.

If you want feedback on your drawing from Class 2 (when you reconstructed the room from the photo), send a photo of your completed drawing to hello@primamateriainstitute.com. Your name must be printed clearly on your drawing.

Click on the photo for it to open in a new tab.

What to bring:

  • Same supplies as the past two weeks: pencil, ruler, eraser, drawing pad, sharpener
  • Handheld mirror
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Paper that is not white. Could even be sticky notes.

Class 2

Class 2 Home Assignment

Choose one photo from below and construct the interior using one-point perspective with a ruler. If perspective is new to you, do the simple room. If you’ve done perspective before and you’re ready to advance, do the red room. The red room is more challenging because the construction is more hidden. If you want to understand perspective very well, draw both rooms. Do not do this exercise freehand – always use a ruler.


  • There are only 3 types of lines: vertical, horizontal, and radiating from the vanishing point.
  • Start by finding the horizon line in the photo with two rulers by lining the rulers up with the edges of the room. Wherever the rulers cross is where the vanishing point is. The vanishing point is always on the horizon! Ta-da, you’ve found the horizon.
  • Construct the box of the room before adding the furniture.
  • Once you’re ready for furniture, start with simplified, boxy versions of the furniture and then embellish.
  • Add tonal values when you’re done adding furniture.
  • Sign it!

Click on the photo for it to open in a new tab.

Email hello@primamateriainstitute.com with any questions.

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