Using perspective will make your drawings look more realistic by making objects recede into space. It looks hard, but if you follow these directions you can do it!

But first, here's some 2-point perspective vocabulary that will come in handy:

  • The vanishing point is the point on the horizon where parallel lines meet and disappear.
  • The vantage point is where the viewer enters the picture. In our drawing, the viewer is looking down at the books.

We'll use three sheets of paper. Our finished drawing will be on the center sheet. The other two sheets will help us draw important guidelines.

The reason for using the extra sheets of paper is to allow our vanishing points to be farther apart, which will reduce distortion. A good explanation of why this is so can be found by Googling "cone of vision."

Follow the directions below to draw some books using 2-point perspective, and you'll have a chance to see your artwork published in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News on Sept. 1, 2018. Details for submission are below. Happy drawing! We'll post another art lesson next week.

1. Tape three sheets of paper together as shown. Place two dots along the top edge of the outside sheets, for vanishing points. (Every line that is not vertical will end at one of these two dots.) Then draw your first vertical line (shown in red) and connect the top and bottom to your vanishing points. Repeat this step with the other two vertical lines (shown in gray). You have now created a cube.

2. The next two vertical lines (shown in gray) will divide the cube into three. The top edges will connect to the right vanishing point. Now it looks like we have three books! The edges of the pages are scooped. You can name your books anything you like. Just remember that the type on the books will follow the same rules of perspective (shown in red) as the books themselves.

3. Discard the outer two sheets of paper, and erase the unneeded guidelines. Notice the thin strips of color added to the top of the books. This is the back cover of each book. The pages of the books are a light color with a slight indication of pages (brown lines). We have also added a shadow to the surface on which the books rest. Which three books will you choose to draw?

How to submit your artwork

Children are invited to send or email copies of their work to us at the address or the email below. Phone pictures are fine. One drawing weekly will be selected for publication on Sept. 1 and the selected artists will receive a prize.

Be sure to include your name, age, mailing address, and email or phone number.

Send to:
Arts Editor Becky Batcha
Philadelphia Inquirer
801 Market St.
Phila., PA 19107