Perspective drawing is a technique which uses a set of rules designed to be able to represent three-dimensionality on a two-dimensional plane, reproducing the relative depths and position of objects. The first examples of perspective were found in cave paintings and Egyptian hieroglyphics, important objects were drawn larger but it was for symbolic purposes. Only with Hellenistic and Roman cultures first steps were taken to what we call today modern perspective. Even if it looks like an easy and logic methodology, it took humans around 40,000 years to master it completely. The most relevant steps has been developed only in the last 1,500 years.
Here we will explore only the very basics of perspective, to have an understanding of the general idea.
When lights and shades are applied correctly they turn a 2D object in a 3D object.
Vanishing points are the basis of perspective. This is the horizon line, which is always located at the level of the viewer's eyes. The specific point at the center of the line is the vanishing point , but it could be anywhere on the horizon.
Decreasing the size of one object relatively to another one creates a distance, as it is moving away from the viewer.
The two lines, apparently converging, starting from the vanishing points are parallel. And the grey area between the two is horizontal and parallel with the ground plane, underneath the height of the viewer's eyes.
Below is our base for creating a simple landscape with one vanishing point.
For example a road going towards the horizon, with trees of the same size at the sides.
Two point perspective takes advantage of two vanishing points giving us a closer view to the reality of the object. It allows for more flexibility as the front plane of the object does not have to face the viewer directly. All lines starting from the same point run parallel to one another.