Wednesday, March 21, 2012

5th grade drawing: 2-point perspective

Fifth graders are building their knowledge of perspective drawing - they learned how to use a single vanishing point in 4th grade, and are now challenged to design a building using 2 vanishing points.  I have seen many nice cityscapes online that use the concentric circle technique for the sky, so I thought we'd give that a try this year - it was a nice addition to the very technical drawing.
We began with a simple horizon line and added vanishing points at each end.  Much erasing is done with this drawing, so it is recommended to start using very light pencil pressure.  We add a vertical line for the corner of the building, which is the closest spot to the viewer.  We connect the top and bottom of the vertical line to each vanishing point and add 2 more vertical lines to create the building form. From there on out, every shape is drawn to the vanishing points with one exception - vertical lines do not have to connect.

My demonstration drawing


  1. Gorgeous... Love the black and white drawing vs. color filled sky.

  2. Very Nice!! I am currently tackling one point perspective with my 5th grade. Love the skies!

  3. They came out great! Love the warm and cool skies! :)

  4. Great lesson on 2-point perspective.
    Your students did a great job.
    I love the colorful background.

  5. did they do the sky on another sheet and then collage their building drawings on top? They are so beautiful and precise. They remind me a little of Amze Emmons paintings. (Phillie artist- check him out) I can also imagine this layering technique going even further for a tunnel book... you always inspire me, Hope.

  6. Thanks Marie! Yes, we did the backgrounds on a seperate sheet and just cut away the negative space above the horizon line. I will definitely check out you recommendation : )

  7. We've done this sort of opposite.....we trimmed below the sidewalk line and glued to black sulphite paper. Then they chalked the sky in either warm or cool colors... IF the kids, (6th), took the time to use the ruler on everything and add some detail, they turned out nicely. If not, well.....

  8. I am a new art teacher. The students really need lessons on perspective and this looks like a good one! Unfortunately, perspective is not one of my strong suits. Can you recommend a site or video that would contain more detail on teaching this lesson? Perhaps even one I can show the students as well.

    Very much enjoying the ideas from your site.

    1. I don't know of a site, but I'll try to run through the steps: 1. Draw horizon line with vanishing point at each end 2. Make vertical line for corner of building 3. Connect top and bottom of vertical line to vanishing points using a straight edge 4. Add two more vertical lines for ends of building 5. Use the vanishing points to add details like signs, windows, etc. good luck! P.s. draw lightly and erase unnecessary lines as you go.


Comments are very appreciated - thanks for stopping by!