Perspective – The basics

Perspective – The Basics

What you don’t understand…

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Welcome back to CHROMA sketching advice blog! This week we will be discussing perspective; this is one of the most fundamental elements for a drawing that prizes itself to look realistic. The basic principles of perspective are really easy to understand and apparently really easy to implement. However, many people struggle to incorporate it to their drawings and thus the result is not satisfactory. This is going to be an introduction to perspective and to a related series of articles. The following weeks we will build up on how to easily incorporate this to your drawings and make them look 3 dimensional.

The confusion related to perspective only derives from a lack of understanding of how this works in the real world and how it translates on your paper when sketching. Things are really simple. Objects look smaller, flatter and paler as they move far away from your eyes. If you think about it, this happens with all objects around us. You see a mountain (which you now is huge) in the far distance and it looks like you can squeeze it between your fingers. It also looks slightly blue and you can hardly distinct any slopes or big rocks – it is just flat. Now think of yourself looking outside your window on the fourth floor, seeing people on the street below. Again, they look much smaller than they actually are when they stand next to you.


 This is pretty much what happens with all objects, even with those you have been struggling to sketch right. A chair that is in a distance from you, looks smaller and flatter. Your friend who is standing 10 metres away from you looks smaller than they actually are. And that building you have been trying to sketch, guess what…you see it smaller than its real dimensions because you are standing in some distance from it.


This theory obviously is not something new to you. You have heard about this before and you have tried to put it on paper already…but still your shapes look wonky. This is entirely your fault because you draw what you know and not what you actually see!

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 What you need to understand from the previous paragraphs is that when we draw, we draw things as we see them; not as we know them. You always need to keep in mind that perspective distorts shapes, proportion and colour. What you know to be a perfect cube in reality …sketch wise will be a weird shape which is not a cube but it will look like a correct cube in perspective.

 Understanding that we draw what we see and not what we know is the first step to draw perspective right. The technique is dead easy and it will take you 5 minutes to understand.


Next week we will grab pen and paper and will see how this works on a real drawing with some basic shapes.

Happy Sketching!


Previous Article: LET’S MAKE A PLAN…



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Let’s make a plan

Let’s make a plan…

Drawing better in a few weeks

It’s a fact that as a beginner artist your first sketches and drawings will not be as precise and “nice” as you would like them to be. In the previous article we tried to understand the reason why our sketches look “childish”. And the answer to that can be summarised in these three words:

  • Perspective
  • Proportion
  • Tone

These three aspects will be our main topic of discussion for the next few weeks. We will break them down and explore how you can easily incorporate these into your drawings! I am sure you will love them exactly as I did a few years ago when I saw my drawings improving instantly!

We will simplify it in a way that after some practice you will get excited about the improvement of your drawings and you won’t stop sketching boxes, bottles and chairs…trust me, I ve been there before.

This is the base for sketching anything you fancy really!


Perspective will be our first topic. The next three weeks will be devoted to perspective, followed by a week for exercise. Each week we will be dealing with a different aspect of perspective.

  1. Perpective, basic principles
  2. Looking from above, looking from below
  3. Horizon, make your sketches stand out
  4. Exercise

The next article is already under way and  will be published early next week.


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