Perspective in art refers to the representation of three-dimensional objects or spaces in two dimensional artworks. Artists use perspective techniques to create a realistic impression of depth, or they distort play perspective to present dramatic or disorientating images or spaces.

In real space things look bigger if they are close to you and smaller if they are further away, this is perspective. Using perspective in art helps make things look three dimensional – and creates a sense of space receding into the distance. There are two types of perspective: linear perspective, and aerial perspective 

Linear perspective

If you look down a straight road, the edges of the road   look as if they are coming closer together in the distance, parallel lines move together as they recede away from you. This is called linear perspective.

The point at which the lines appear to meet is called the vanishing point. When you’re drawing perspective drawings, the lines which you have drawn should lead to a solitary point.

To create the impression of a road heading away into the distance, there is a single vanishing point more or less at the center of the image. This is also sometimes referred to as ‘one-point perspective’. 

To represent three-dimensional objects or buildings, artists use two (or more) vanishing points.  Depending on where your point of view is located or angled, that is where the perspective lines are radiated from.

Aerial or atmospheric perspective

With linear perspective artists use lines to create the impression of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface. Another technique is aerial perspective or atmospheric perspective. This refers to the effect that the atmosphere has on the appearance of things when they are looked at from a distance.

When you look at a view of buildings in a city, or a landscape the elements look blurred or hazy in the distance. The further something is away from you, the less clear its details are and there is less contrast, and colors become more muted the further they are away and blend together.

As a beginner, as you learn to draw perspective, you will learn how important it is. Perspective is very important in art when you want to make your drawings and paintings more realistic. Perspective technique skills are important to show in your art portfolio for college admissions. Learning basic perspective will also make it a lot easier to sketch, draw and paint more quickly from life and from your imagination.

Once you learn the basics, to practice perspective and make art that explores perspective, explore different areas of your home. Your bedroom, living room, kitchen, garage, staircase, closets, inside your refrigerator, etc. draw from life but take as many photos to as possible of these spaces to find the most interesting composition, the more the better.

 Take photos from different angles, for example- the view from laying down, the view from upside down, the view from low looking up or the view from high looking down

Once you learn the basic principles of linear and atmospheric perspective, you can start playing around with it: you add a sense of drama, surrealism or explore abstract space.

You can create a disorientating or surreal sense of perspective.

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