Artists use the methods of atmospheric and linear perspective to create the illusion of spatial depth in their drawings and paintings. For those artists who wish to represent the visible world in their work, these tools are valuable ones. Perspective is also a good thing for an artist to learn, even if their work is not concerned with realistic representation, for it teaches students about the element of space in two-dimensional art.
Linear perspective was a mathematical system developed during the Renaissance, initially by an architect and engineer named Brunelleschi. The system, as it was developed and perfected, was soon utilized by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Piero della Francesca, to add a naturalistic conviction to their paintings, and to direct the viewer's eye toward the most important area of the painting (the focal point). It has been in use until today, although around 1850, artists began to be less concerned with creating the illusion of spatial depth in their paintings.
As it is a mathematical theory, linear perspective is sometimes presented with a technical approach, with formulas and the language of geometry. However, the use of perspective by artists is usually not in this technical manner. This online Perspective Lesson is geared toward how artists usually use perspective, not architects or engineers. There are 19 illustrations: simple diagrams illustrating 1-, 2- and 3-point linear perspective, and photographs and paintings illustrating the concepts discussed, as well as many links to the works of well-known artists as examples. The lesson is written in everyday, non-technical language. The concept of atmospheric perspective is also described and illustrated, as are the subject areas of perspective in still life, the human figure and landscapes, including foreshortening and viewing circles and cubes in perspective. The other spatial cues that artists use to indicate depth are also described in the lesson. (See my teaching qualifications) A printed version of this lesson is now available.
This is the third in my new series of fee-based courses for this site; the others are Charcoal Lesson, Figure Drawing, Painting: Possibilities, Design: Principles and Design: Sources. These new lessons are intended to help support the many other free lessons on my site (four drawing, four painting, and four design, plus many more). If you enjoy the site, this is a way to help keep it growing, with more free and fee-based lessons.
The cost of the online Perspective Lesson for Artists is $15.00, and can be purchased through PayPal, a secure site. If you would like to sign up for the Perspective Lesson, please click on the Add to Cart button below, then click on the View Cart button. When your transaction is processed (shortly), I will e-mail you the password for the Perspective Lesson. You will have permanent access to this page, and can study it as often as you like. If you have any questions, please e-mail me:
The cost of the online Perspective Lesson for Artists is $15.00. If you would like to order, please click on the Add to Cart button to the right, then on the View Cart button. Also, please enter your full name and e-mail address in the boxes below, and click on the Submit button, so I can e-mail you the password for the lesson.
Please enter your name and e-mail address below, and click on the Submit button, so that I can e-mail you the password for this lesson:
Thank you very much for your order! You will receive the password for the Perspective Lesson shortly. If you don't receive an e-mail from me within 24 hours, please e-mail me an alternate e-mail address if possible (occasionally there is a problem with an e-mail arriving at its destination).
If you have ordered the print version of the lesson, you will receive the online version as well; shortly you will receive the password for the lesson, and in a few days you will receive the print version by snail mail.
If you have ordered the print version, please enter your snail mail address below, then click on the Submit button above.
A print version of the Perspective lesson is now available, at a cost of $25.00. (This price includes shipping charges.) You will also receive the online version with the print version, so you can visit all the links mentioned in the text. To order the print version, please click on the Add to Cart button to the right, then on the View Cart button below. Also, please enter your name, e-mail and snail mail addresses below, so I can send you both versions.