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1 point perspective | 5 simple steps for drawing a city

Learn how to quickly draw a city in 1 point perspective

Have you ever looked ahead while standing in the middle of the street and paid attention to how small objects in the distance appear compared to those closest to you? Even the sides of the road seem to converge and connect in the distance. What you are viewing is the street in 1 point perspective, meaning you are getting the view directly from the front. When drawing in perspective, we bring the world we see in 3D to reflect on a flat surface that is in 2D.

Before we begin!

This tutorial will focus on helping you achieve this process as simply as possible.
You’ll also find a pic collage of the 4 steps located towards the bottom of the page. Feel free to use it as a quick reference next time you’re drawing. So grab your favorite drawing materials and let’s get to it!

If you’re in a rush you can also watch the 1 minute video tutorial on the same subject located below for your convenience.

Step 1

Horizon Line

The first thing needed is to draw a horizon line across your page.

Simply put, that’s the line where the sky and the land/or water touch. It represents your eye level.

Step 2

Vanishing point

The vanishing point is the space on the horizon line where distant lines seem to meet.

You may choose any location on the line and place a dot with your pencil or whichever medium you are currently using. I suggest pencils for beginners as it will make it easier to erase any mistakes.

Step 3

Perspective lines

Any object, that will be drawn from this point forward, will have to relate to the vanishing point.

That’s why we draw perspective lines to keep the proportions adequate. Perspective lines start at the vanishing point and extend in any direction you decide, they will determine the shape and size of objects as you draw them. For objects taller than the vanishing line, you may draw perspective lines above the horizon to accommodate for their size. Draw a many perspective lines as needed.

Step 4

Add content

For this section, first concentrate on adding the general shapes of the elements you want to draw, for example; cubes and blocks where you want to have buildings. To help with proportions, pay close attention to allow them to fall within the perspective lines you draw, i.e. the buildings levels and roof lines as well as the trees and bushes, as shown here. For this tutorial, I decided to go with a view of the city but feel free to go with whichever scene feels most comfortable to you first. A good way to start is to practice drawing simple shapes in perspective (cubes, pyramids etc..) For the sake of simplicity, I only added some trees and bushes and a skyline of buildings seen in the distance. A subsequent tutorial will focus more on adding elements of lighting and shadowing.

As I like to say: “Only your imagination is the limit!”

Step 5

Clean up your drawing by detailing and adding shadows as needed.

And jut like that we are done. Congratulation for sticking until the end. Feel free to like our page on Facebook. Also check out our Publication page for a complete list of our products. Don’t forget to visit our Youtube page for 1 minute video tutorials, also available on our website here.

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Here’s a pic collage of the 5 steps to use as a quick reference.

collage reference of the 4 steps for drawing a city in 1 point perspective