Back to Back Issues Page
[Drawing] In Perspective
April 21, 2010

When you decide to teach yourself to draw, you will come to understand that you never finish learning. I find that fact very appealing. I think "anticipation" is a good word to describe my feelings about learning to draw.

However, whenever perspective comes into play, I put off learning about it because it has always looked too complicated and too hard.

Have you seen those illustrations of how to understand and apply perspective to a drawing? What is your first thought when you see them? I know I have thought "Not right now, that looks way too hard." All I could see was a confusing maze of lines going in all sorts of directions.

I am very pleased I ignored it because I have recently discovered that it is now starting to make sense. (Gosh, how many years later is that?)

A good system to adopt is to do some drawings, then read a drawing book (it doesn't matter which one, you'll always learn something new) before going back to implement some of the ideas from that book. This is a very worthwhile approach because it stops you from becoming stale as you gradually learn.

If you continuously read up on the topic of drawing, the hows and whys of perspective will finally start to make sense as they slot into place in your brain.

If you currently have a problem understanding perspective, please don't agonize over it, simply draw subjects that don't involve too much perspective. Pick and choose what you want to draw and you can give yourself years of drawing pleasure without the trauma of learning everything there is to know all at once. Simply allow yourself the time to learn.

In the meantime, you can rely on your eyes to judge perspective in your drawings. You only need to remember that things appear smaller and more indistinct as they get further away from you.

I have been wanting to develop an easy method to understand perspective but once I started jotting down my notes, I realized I was only repeating those same intricate instructions that first confused me. The fact is, that information must have finally sunk in as I continued to draw, read and draw.

To gain a gradual understanding of perspective, learn one-point perspective first. Allow some time to practice that before moving on to two point perspective. The main thing is to follow your intuition, you will know when you are ready to take it on. As with everything in drawing, if you simplify the process you will eventually understand how it works.

When I decided to teach myself to draw step by step, I never dreamed that there would be years in between steps! That doesn't matter though, I'm only doing it to please me and now I can say I have a new perspective on drawing!

What's New at

Perspective Drawing
This is a basic guide to understanding perspective. It has been written with the beginner in mind, of course!

I think perspective is something that just comes to us as we mooch along with our drawing practice.

If you think you're ready to learn a bit more about perspective and what it actually means, then visit this page about perspective drawing.

Tip of the Month

A "Table Line" is used to indicate a supporting surface under objects to make them appear to rest on something solid instead of merely hanging in the air.

You simply draw a horizontal line in a logical place so it becomes the back edge of a table or other horizontal supporting surface.

This line is often called a table line. It can be placed anywhere on your paper, behind the object you have drawn and preferably not in the middle of your drawing. You can always add a second table line to represent the front edge.

The use of table lines depends on the subject you are drawing. Two lines would be good for still life but only one line would be used if you were drawing an animal.

Just experiment and play with the use of a table line, you will find it makes a nice difference to some of your drawings.

In case of confusion, note that the horizon line is a horizontal line that marks the level of the eye and it is commonly used in landscape drawings.

If you are teaching yourself to draw, there is a variety of digital books that might suit you. Check out this ready list of book reviews.

If you have any questions about drawing, don't forget about the frequently asked questions page.

If you'd like to become a friend at, please find the Friend Connect box that appears towards the bottom of the right column on the home page. It's so nice to see you joining up with me, thank you.

To find out what's new on the site, the Drawings Blog gives you access to the last 20 pages to be added.

, thank you for taking the time to read this issue.

You are always welcome to reply to this email if you have anything you'd like to share with me.

Until next time,

Have a creative day!


"The essence of drawing is the line exploring space." - Andy Goldsworthy.

Back to Back Issues Page