3 Point Perspective | Drawing Characters: A guide ( Part 1)

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Welcome to another exercise on 3 point perspective drawing.

Today we will practice creating characters from a 3 point perspective.

Before we get started, a quick overview on perspective drawing is necessary. If you’ve been following this category, you’ll remember that we started with 1 and 2 point perspective. Click here to be redirected if you missed them. It would be easier for you to grasp the concept of 3 point perspective after having understood the previous ones.

3 point perspective is mostly used when the artist wants to express a sense of great depth or height, meaning the objects shown in the field of vision will be either very tall, to the point where the tops seem to disappear, or very low and the same concept would apply. And it’s because the perspective lines seem to touch.

Today’s tutorial will focus on communicating “depth” as an expression of 3 point perspective.

If you’re new to 3 point perspective, click on the image below to see a guide which can help in understanding this concept using basic shapes before transitioning to drawing characters.

basics of 3 point perspective
3 point perspective

There is no limitation when it comes to mediums used. I like to mix it up so I started with traditional pencil and paper and scanned the work to complete it digitally. I suggest you use what you’re most comfortable with, and according to your goal.

Step 1

The guiding lines

perspective lines and vanishing points
The perspective lines

These include the horizon line, vanishing points and perspective lines.

As demonstrated in the image above, we have the first 2 vanishing points on the horizon line. The 3rd one is located below it since we’re communicating depth. I drew multiples perspective lines from each to serve as a guide throughout the drawing process.

The next tutorial will focus on communication “height” using 3 point perspective.

Step 2

The setting

3 point perspective. Getting started
The setting

For this tutorial, I drew a group of characters coming up from a lower level using stairs. Something like a subway exit. Therefore my first step was to draw the environment, then set up the ground where the characters will be standing on. Notice how the different lines that limit the stairs and the exit area follow the direction of the perspective lines.

Step 3

The initial Sketch

creating characters in 3 point perspective
The initial sketch

This is just a rough sketch of the characters general shape and position in the setting. This is done with keeping the perspective lines as a guide the whole time. Notice how the characters appear larger towards the horizon line and smaller as they get closer to the 3 vanishing point.

Step 3

Inking

sketching characters in 3 point perspective
inking

Inking comes after sketching the characters. It should be done only when you’re satisfied with the characters placement in the setting. In the following step I will be scanning the page to add detail using a digital medium.

I like to use Clip Studio paired with a Wacom tablet as a personal preference. There is an array of different softwares available. Feel free to experiment with them until you find what serves your purpose.

Step 4

Detailing

In the longest section as I had to put great care in adding flair to the characters to give them personality. This is an important process of character creation. Making sure they stand out will cause them to be memorable.

In this section I also implemented the shadowing process and other final touches.

Part 1

inking characters in 3 point perspective
detailing part 1

I worked on each character separately, starting with the one in the middle. Fine details such as the hand and face require a lot of attention. I repeated the same process with the second and third character, giving them their respective personalities. I also removed certain blemishes and added changes as necessary. This is better done with the use of multiple layers.

Part 2

characters in 3 point perspective
detailing part 2

Shadowing is an important aspect of drawing. In this case I kept it light, and used dark colors to show contrast where possible. And if you feel adventurous, you can even add action lines to create emphasis such as in the final example below.

final result with action lines.

This concludes our tutorial for today. Remember, anyone can draw, but it takes practice and consistency to improve. Congratulation on sticking until the end.

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Stay tuned for more and many thanks for visiting!

About Post Author

AJ De Michel

Content Creator and Web Developer, JUNIALAMEN. The Hispañola native believes that art is the ultimate form of human expression, and he is passionate about connecting people from all walks of life through different media including music, visual arts, and game development.

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