Learn The Basics of Three-Point Perspective

Draw A Simple Three-Point Perspective In This Lesson

Learn the easy way to paint weeds and tall grasses in this lesson. Both are common sights in rural scenes and are great additions to any landscape painting. This lesson shows you how to paint both weeds and tall grass without getting fussy! We use our easy, basic watercolor techiques to create a great look. 

It’s a ‘two-fer’ lesson – we paint weeds in a summer scene and in a late fall scene. Just for fun we add a little bit of sky, landscape and a foreground puddle!

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Linear Perspective

For many, ‘perspective’ is a mysterious subject – one that produces some nervousness and caution.  When we use the word ‘Perspective’ it usually means linear perspective.  Linear perspective is based on a very simple idea:  objects that are farther from you appear to be smaller.

The objective  world exists in three-dimensions: height, width and depth.  Our drawings and painting exist only in two dimensions: height and width.

 Perspective, or linear perspective, is a system for representing the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface.

The principles of Perspective are easy to learn and you should. It is really an essential piece of knowledge for a representational artist.

The main reason that learning perspective is essential is that it is difficult to draw or paint what we actually see.  Our eyes do see the objects as they appear, with the apparent distortions of shape and size created by distance (depth).  However, our brains want to compensate for the apparent distortions.

Learning ‘Perspective’ will help with the mechanical aspects of drawing an accurate Perspective.  More imporatantly, learning to draw an accurate Perspective shows us how objects should look in three dimensional space.  This knowledge will help us overcome those compensatory impulses our mind wants to impose on us.

 Three-Point Perspective

There are three basic kinds of linear perspective: one-point, two-point, and three-point. The description tells us how many vanishing points are needed to render a three-dimensional subject in two dimensions.  There is another lesson that covers the basic principles and terms for Linear Perspective – you can find it here.

This lesson is about three-point Perspective.  As its name implies, this type has three vanishing points – two on the horizon line and a third usually located way up in the sky above the subject or way down, underground below the subject. Three-point perspective creates the illusion of very unusual veiwpoint. If you’ve had the experience of looking up at a very tall building, you may have noticed that the far corners of the building may look as if they slant inward toward each other as the building goes higher and higher.  

Three-point perspective can be added to a subject for the simple impact of drama as well.

This lesson shows you how to plot a three-point perspective layout.

What you’ll need

  • A sharpened pencil or two
  • An eraser
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • Drawing paper – rather large. In the lesson I’m working with a sheet that is 11″ x 14″

Related Lessons

Lessons About Linear Perspective

Lessons About Aerial Perspective