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