Perspective – What are you looking at…?

What are you looking at….?

Perspective in practice – Horizon


After a short holidays break (HOLIDAYS IN GREECE) we are back to our sketches and drawings! Today we will explore together how perspective actually works on paper. In the previous article (PERSPECTIVE – THE BASICS) we made it clear that sketching what you know will not help you massively. You need to train your eyes and hands to work together and draw what you actually see.


Keeping this in mind you must be prepared to draw shapes that do not actually correspond to reality; however they look real and accurate on paper! And if this sounds very vague to you, do not stress out. Perspective follows some very specific rules. Once you get yourself familiar with that; then you can build up to more complicated shapes and subjects pretty quickly.


To understand perspective, the most important thing you will need is…just your eyes! Everything relates to where you stand relatively to an object. It is important if you are far, close, above or below. That will determine how big or small you perceive something and how “steep” all lines are (here is where perspective messes with us…).

empire-state-building-19109_640 - Αντίγραφο

Imagine that your eyes have laser and can cut a flat plane right in front of you. That will be your horizon. This plane moves up and down as your whole body (…the level of your eyes) moves up and down. To understand how this works imagine yourself standing at the top of the Empire State Building – now your horizon is very very high – you can actually see most of the New York City buildings from above. Now imagine yourself at street level (Times Square) – your horizon is very low – you need to rise your eyes to look at the buildings – you can only see them from below (no view of their roof top).

Tip: Check the Empire State Building and Time Square links. They are impressive!

Being at the top of Empire State Building takes your eye level (your horizon) really high. This enables you to see everything from above.


Being at street level your eyes are quite low compared to the huge high rises next to you. You cannot see any of the roof tops.

The line we all know as the “horizon”, actually follows the level of your eyes. This takes us a step closer to understanding perspective. The rest of the perspective principle is that all lines tend to vanish into the horizon.


 Keep reading to see how:


Next Article: Coming soon…



28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“The article above as well as the whole series of the Sketching Advice articles is an effort to put together my knowledge and offer it to fellow artists in their first steps in as simple words as possible . I am not a professional artist or tutor, however I have spent some time sketching and through trial and error I realised that following some basic principles can simplify sketching a lot. Feel free to ask any questions and I ll be glad to help if I can .”


*All pictures used here are either my sketches or edited royalty free photographs.


Love Sketching & Painting



Perspective – The basics

Perspective – The Basics

What you don’t understand…

Previous Article: LET’S MAKE A PLAN…



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…



28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_oTHE ARTIST…

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