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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Drawing Steps for One Point Perspective

I have had several emails about how to do the One point perspective paintings from this post,
so I have written the steps for this drawing.
I would suggest, the bigger paper, the better.
 Before you begin, be sure to show students many images to get them excited and print a variety of photos to inspire creativity!
1. Begin with the horizon line in the middle (please excuse my very crooked lines!!! pencil did not photograph well, so I had to redraw some lines with my computer mouse)
2. Draw a dot in the middle (vanishing point) and make an “X” from corner to corner (or close enough) passing through the dot
3.draw the sidewalks first from the vanishing point
4. Draw the trees starting on the bottom on the “X” all the way to the vanishing point, descending towards the middle. Tell them to draw organic shaped trees, not round Que-tip lollypop trees! Make sure the trees are straight and parallel to the side of the paper. Watch students for this before they spend 20 minutes drawing 8 beautiful but very leaning trees and have to erase all of them!
5. This is the lingo I use to teach the buildings, We all say, “One, straight out, two diagonal down, three, straight down to the ground, four straight down again, and five, bring it in along the side!”
6. When I show them the windows we start with the side with the door facing the street.
The lines on the tops and bottoms of the windows ABOVE the horizon line are parallel to the top part of the “X”…….below that, when you PASS the Horizon line, the lines on the tops and bottoms of the windows are parallel to the BOTTOM part of the “X” which is now the sidewalk. The top of the door is also parallel to the sidewalk.
below: RED parallel to RED and BLUE parallel to BLUE
The windows on the OTHER side of the house are normal right angle squares or rectangles.
7. Now erase the “X” and the parts of the horizon line that overlap the trees and buildings
8. finish windows and add details. Some students made it into a river instead of a road. Now that the basic foundation is drawn, the possibilities for creativity are ENDLESS!!
Cars, trucks, planes, restaurants, people, bridges, parades, parks, pedestrians, lights, etc, etc



  1. Oh, thank you SO much. Perspective is my weakness but I feel confident to try it again.
    Thanks, are the best!!!!!

  2. This project looks so great--I've been struggling to find a perspective project that would engage all my students (beyond doing block letters). What age range does it seem to work best with? I know my younger students would struggle, but 3rd-6th would probably be OK. What have you found?

  3. AWESOME! Thank you for posting this. It's such a great way to show students how to do 1pt perspective. I just did a lesson similar with my 5th graders but many struggled and it took longer than it should have. Next time I will be following your lead on it!
    Great job!

  4. This was SO helpful in teaching my 7 year olds perspective. Thanks for a great post!

  5. This is awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  6. What age group did these paintings? I am fairly new and I don't want to overwhelm. They are great!

  7. I'm digging this, I never thought about doing a perspective unit without using rulers! I am going to adapt this to a project I do with 4th graders every year, thanks!

  8. i want someone to teach me how to shade a one point perspective

  9. Why aren't you introducing the ruler with the pencil to get students to make more crisp lines? You can introduce 360 degrees and add math to this lesson.

  10. I just taught my sixth graders how to draw 1 point perspective using this. They were skeptical at first but now they love it and we're now working on our own 'world' images. I'm not very talented in the art realm so this was great because I could teach them a harder concept in a very simple way!
    I'm going to follow your blog so I can stay on top of all 'tutorial' posts you do!

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. Hi,
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  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. it helped in my project, i was so nervous how to draw thankyou

  15. This is such a great post! My girls and I just did this lesson today :) Here's a link to how theirs turned out:

  16. I had such a lot of fun today teaching this lesson as you suggest, with a group of year 4/5 children. They were thrilled with the results, as was I. Thank you very much for posting this!

  17. Great explanation. But, I prefer videos, found this video tutorial - learn to use one point perspective to add realistic three dimensionality to drawings -

  18. I did that in school with my great friends and we all did a terrific job THANK YOU for the idea

  19. Perspective specially matters when drawing 3D arts. Just like the street that is shown in this drawings the view port should be in the middle showing the different elevations of the art.

    shalin@ creately

  20. This is such a great post! You have simplified a potentially overwhelming concept for our young artists! I am working with 4th grade with this one point perspective, ironically, I wanted to create a Venetian scene! At first, the kids' struggle frightened me so I turned to the art blog world for help. So when I came across your post it not only helped, but the fact that your kiddos also did Italy- really confirmed this is the "now" lesson for us :) Thank you for all you do- your work is appreciated!!!

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  23. Could you please change the color fonts from yellow - I cannot read the words. Thank you.

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  25. Beautiful post its tell us how to make a designee on paper with color full pen and how fill paper with easy way such a great idea because little kids are really like to do this in school class thanks for share it summarizing and paraphrasing worksheets .

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  27. Thank you for this!!!

    I will try this out with my 10 year olds in our school in Paris

  28. Are these images from Deep Space Sparkle?

    1. no. She used my lesson idea with permission and linked to my website.


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