How to draw in perspective to a single vanishing point? 2/4

The guide by our comic book/Manga drawing teachers

How to draw in perspective to a single vanishing point? How to proceed.

Last week, we introduced you to perspective drawing ("what is perspective") and promised you a step-by-step guide in our next article. As promised, we will do the same today.
To do this, we will use a drawing applying the perspective method to a vanishing point.

You can practice with us using the tracing tools in a drawing program or you can use paper, pencil, ruler and square. Any ruler and square will do, but if you're interested, some types of rulers are really good for drawing parallel lines, for example, the Japanese ruler, which is transparent and has a full-length scale.

règle japonaise

How to start tracing?

Choose your angle of view and draw a horizon line. This is where it all starts because knowing where it is is essential to drawing in perspective.

Ask yourself how high the person looking at your drawing is. Imagine; when you are drawing, you are a writer; how high are you going to place your camera? High up, to see the scene from a bird's eye view? On the ground, at the eye level of a cat? or an ant?

As you can see, the horizon line is not always the line that separates the sky from the earth, it is rather the line that separates your drawing in two, at the eye level of the observer and, according to all the logic of perspective, as we saw in our previous article, everything that is bigger will be above this line, everything that is smaller will be below it, and everything that is exactly the same size will be on the line.

Let's look at it in this illustration: 

exemple ligne d'horizon - dessin en perspective

The point of view of the image on the left, shows us the different heights. On the right, these objects are seen through the eyes of the main character. To better understand, the first little girl is in the wrong place. Indeed, placed so far from the horizon line, she should be twice as tall as the main character, to respect real proportions. The second one, on the other hand, is more accurate.
The second step to start drawing, the angle of view. Once we have chosen the point of view, bird or ant, we have to decide what we want to look at, in which direction we want to place the camera lens? Up or down?
This decision will influence the placement of your horizon line. If your angle is towards the sky, the horizon line will be placed at the bottom of the image. The same goes for the ground, it will be placed at the top.

hauteur et orientation de l'angle de vue

As we can see in these images, on the left, the height, that is to say the horizon line, which will allow to give the right proportions and on the right, the angle of view, which will allow to orientate this horizon line.

To go further in this technique of perspective drawing towards a single vanishing point, next week we will talk in more detail about the image plane and the different vanishing points and lines.

Apolline offers drawing classes in Lausanne, Montreux and Morges, as well as online manga classes. Take advantage of the knowledge of our qualified teachers and the motivation of students who share your same passions.

To learn more, check out our other articles:

Crédits images : & Francesca Sarac