Drawing in five-point perspective is truly fun, and you can create amazing drawings with little effort. There are only a few simple rules to learn and you will be off and running. To make things easier, it helps if you are familiar with basic one-point perspective, but not it is not completely necessary. See the slideshow on one-point perspective drawing at the bottom of this article for help.
The idea of five-point perspective is that you are drawing a scene that is contained within a globe shape. The light of the globe is altering your normal perception of the scene and creating a fish-eye view. You can draw interiors or exterior views with this system, however, this article will focus on how to draw a city in five-point perspective.
This is an art project that I do with my eleventh-grade students and they always come out great. However, it could be done by students as young as middle school all the way up to adults wanting to learn some fun new drawing skills. Once you have learned how to draw in five-point perspective, you will be addicted. You really can create amazing drawings that blow people away. Just don’t let anyone know how easy it actually is.
The history of linear perspective is fascinating. Filippo Brunelleschi is not only credited with re-discovering perspective systems, he is also the architect who designed the dome of the Florence Cathedral, which was impossible to do without his genius. To create the dome, Brunelleschi created a new type of brick laying pattern, that we now call a herringbone pattern. He is definitely an architect who is worth studying.
Using these three perspective rules will help make your drawings correct. All of your architectural lines should follow these rules. Organic shapes, like trees, do not necessarily need to go to the points. However, if you look at your drawing and something seems off, check and make sure that you are using your five points correctly.
The center point on the horizon line behaves in much the same was as it does in one-point perspective. All objects going back in space towards the horizon, should get smaller and move to the center point. These lines are straight, not arced. Think of the center point as where lines that seem to be going into the sphere go.
To draw the box below your horizon line, (eye level) first draw the red front box with your lines going to the top and bottom points and left and right points. Then, draw orthogonal lines to the center point from the corners. The back of the box should have lines moving to the peripheral points again.
I hope you are enjoying drawing in five-point perspective. Below you will find several examples of student artwork. These students followed the same three rules of perspective to complete their five-point cityscapes. Each student added their own personality and creativity to the project. It is always surprising to see the many ways students apply the ideas of this lesson to their artwork. You can too! You are only limited by your imagination.
Resources for further research on drawing in perspectie.
Author: Bruce Black
Welcome to Life Reimagined! I am a professional artist and long time art teacher, Over twenty-two years teaching and still going! I have painted all my life and love to inspire others to reach their creative potential. I hope this blog brings you inspiration!