Using Two Point Perspective

Showing two sides of a building in your drawing not only gives a better understanding of the building,  it provides a sense of depth and volume to the structure.  Understanding even the basic premise of two point perspective will enhance your drawings.  This week I’m going to do a basic demonstration of a simple building.

The best way to get a good view of the two sides you can see is to position yourself at an angle to the building.  Like this:


Here’s a photo of the barn I’m going to draw.

barn 2pt pers

You can see that I’m standing off to the side, looking at the barn from an angle.  Watch the video to see how I lay out the basic perspective of the structure before beginning my drawing.

Starting with a pencil before  picking up my pen,  I draw the horizon line.   Here’s a guide for finding the horizon line on a building with horizontal siding: wherever the siding makes a straight line across both sides is your horizon line.  Can you see that it is just above the  window and door line?   If the siding is slanted down, it’s above your eye level and if it’s slanted up, it’s below your eye level.

The next line I draw is the corner that is closest to me.  I then approximate where the far edge of the building will go and where the end of the roof  comes down.  I hold my pencil up along the base of the building to determine the basic line that goes to the vanishing point for that side.  Using just that one angle I can find the vanishing point for all parallel lines on that side of the building.

Here’s another tip:  To find the center point of that side, draw diagonal lines from each roof edge to the ground on the opposite side.  Where those diagonal lines cross is the center of that side in perspective.  Then, simply draw a line going upward, parallel to the vertical edges of the building.

Look carefully to determine the height of the roof and the angles of the roof.  The top of the roof is parallel with the long side of the barn.  You’ll notice that the angles on this side are gentler.  Because we see more of this side, the vanishing point will be far off the page.  Yes, that makes it a bit tricky, but with practice one learns to guesstimate.  As always, the most important thing is to observe carefully.   Draw what you see.

I know this is a lot to take  in for a simple blog post.   I’ll come back to perspective in future posts.   Would you like to see the finish drawing?









  1. Well I THINK I have it. But I’m sure if I try it, I’ll find I DON’T have it! Thanks! And I love the drawing!

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