Painting A Street Scene With One-Point Perspective

This lesson shows how to use one-point perspective for a great effect on a street scene. We’ll also work to create the look of early morning with a composition of simple value shapes.

Linear Perspective

Linear Perspective is a system that helps create the look of three dimensions on a piece of 2D paper. The farther an object is from you, the smaller it will appear. Linear perspective re-creates the apparent change in size with a system of converging lines.

Many scenes are best re-created with two-point perspective.  Certain scenes actually lend themselves well to ond-point perspective.

A Simple Street Scene in Morning Light.

In this lesson, we’ll be creating a painting of a simple street scene. It has a short street with buildings on either side. The edges of the street, the sidewalks and the fronts of the buildings are all parallel to each other. From our station point, looking more or less down one lane of the street means that all of these elements will work nicely in one-point perspective.

Practical Perspective

You may have drawn formal, mechanical one-oint perspective layouts. Probably you used a straight-edge and precisely plotted perspective lines that resulted in a very precise and correct object in perspective.

As a practical matter, you almost certainly won’t be doing a formal layout for your painting.  Rather, you’ll want to apply the principles you learned with formal perspective layouts to an informally drawn composition.  That’s the approach we’ll take in this lesson.

Simple Value Composition Too

We’ll be trying to make this into an eye-catching painting as well. We’ll do that by using a basic and simple value sketch to guide our painting.  The value sketch was created in another lesson. You can find a link to that lesson a bit further down this page.

It is a simple arrangement of large value shapes that effectively captures the look of early morning light on our downtown scene.


What you’ll need


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One-Point Linear Perspective

The underlying drawing for the value sketch uses the ideas of One-Point Linear Perspectve.

Go to this lesson to see the basics of one-point perspective.  The ideas of linear perspective are easy to understand and apply.

Using them will make a big difference in your paintings.

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