2 Point Perspective: Just One More Vanishing Point...

Once you know how to draw one point perspective then the next step is to learn 2 point perspective. You'll find yourself using both these techniques all the time.

For example, whenever you draw a building, you'll either be using one or the other.
If the building is facing you head on, you'll use one point perspective

If you are at an angle to it, you'll use two point perspective, which is also called “angular perspective” for this reason.

If you want to learn how to draw 2 point perspective, follow along as I walk you through the process using a shoe box.

  1. Set a shoe box in front of you, with one corner facing you at any angle. Make sure the box is below your eye level.

    2 point perspective drawing a box

  2. Draw a horizon line across the middle of the drawing paper. This line corresponds to your eye level. It doesn't have to be exactly in the middle of the paper, just don't make it too low, or you won't have room to draw the box.

  3. Draw the corner of the box with a vertical line. It is important that the line is vertical, because if you draw it slanted, the box will eventually end up looking lopsided.

    2 point perspective drawing a box

  4. Next draw the lines at the bottom of the two visible sides of the box. Measure both the apparent length and angle (from your station point). Be sure you don't move your head around, or your perspective will be off. Typically, one line will be longer than the other.

    2 point perspective drawing a box

  5. Now extend the two lines you just drew to where they intersect the eye level line and mark the points where they meet. These are the two vanishing points!
  6. Bravo! Once you find the vanishing points, it is easy to draw the rest of the box. Draw lines from the top of the corner toward the vanishing points.

  7. Connect the lines that mark the lower and upper edges of the box with vertical lines to form two more corners. Again, make sure the lines are vertical—not slanted—or your box will be distorted.

    2 point perspective drawing a box

  8. Draw a line from the left hand corner of the box to the right hand vanishing point. Draw another line from the right hand corner of the box to the left hand vanishing point. These two lines will cross at the back corner of the box.

  9. If you have a lid on the box, draw a vertical line corresponding to the corner of the lid that's facing you. Just like before, draw lines from the top and bottom of the lid corner toward the vanishing points on either side.

2 point perspective drawing a box

You can draw the box placed above the eye level, too. If you do, you will not see the top of the box. Instead, the bottom of the box will be visible.

If you place the box at eye level, you will only see the two sides of the box on either side of the corner that's facing you. You won't see the top or bottom of the box.

Again, your drawings will be off if you shift your position, so make sure that you hold your eyes and head steady to 'keep everything in perspective'!

Lastly, do you know how to apply 2 point perspective to drawing interiors? Click here and learn more.

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