Saturday, April 21, 2012

5th grade - One point perspective

The visual art element of space means to create a feeling of depth in an artwork.  When you are working with a flat piece of paper, it is good to know all the techniques that make it possible to create the illusion of depth.  This week, the 5th grade classes are going to work on the concept of one point perspective.  But to do so, we need to know some vocabulary.


A level line where water or land seems to end and the sky begins. (most definitions are courtesy of


The point at which objects moving away from you (getting smaller and smaller) appear to vanish.  This point is usually found on the horizon line.  There are an infinite number of vanishing points.


Straight and flat across, parallel to the horizon. Notice the similarity between horizon line and horizontal?


The direction going straight up and down; the opposite of (or perpendicular to) horizontal.


Two or more straight lines or edges on the same plane that do not intersect.  That means they never touch or cross.


Intersecting at or forming right angles.  A right angle is a 90* angle.

Okay!  So, right now you are probably thinking to yourself, 'is this an art lesson, or a math class?!?'

It is both!  Besides knowing about art, an artist needs to be a mathmatician, a scientist, and an historian!  Being a musician wouldn't hurt, either.  So pay attention in your other subjects.  It will help you in art!

Alright, back to the lesson.

ONE POINT PERSPECTIVE drawing means that all of the objects in the picture are lined up with only one vanishing point.  Imagine looking down a long hallway...
Everything seems to come to one point in the center.

To create this effect, draw a horizon line and put one dot somewhere in or near the middle.  Use this vanishing point to connect all vertical and horizontal objects to the horizon line.  See the image below.

You can draw houses, cars, roads, or any other 3-D object using this techinque!  Make sure your vertical and horizontal lines are not leaning.  This will take some practice.

In class, we will be creating a 'dream room' using one point perspective!

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