Monday, April 28, 2008

Three-Point Perspective

Art Teachers usually do lessons in perspective. This usually includes non-linear perspective (placement, size, overlapping, color, saturation, etc.), 1-pt. perspective and 2-pt. perspective. For examples of perspective drawing in the Art World we have to begin looking back at the Renaissance and end somewhere after the Impressionists. Very few contemporary artists use these skills today.

The most common applications of perspective drawing today are not in Art but in Visual Culture, Design and Visual Communication. Comic book artists and animators are masters of 3-Point Perspective.

At the right is a background sketch by comic book artist Joel Gomez showing the kind of work expected of comic book artists and animators. These skills are essential for Designers and Visual Communicators but less important for contemporary Artists today. Check out a great video interview of Joel at

Serious animation and design students should know that this is the level of perspective drawing they should be striving for. For continuity, students could be introduced to non-linear perspective in elementary grades, 1 pt. perspective in upper elementary grades, 2 pt. perspective in middle school and 3 pt. perspective in high school. Anyone interested in working in animation or comics should have something like the image to the right in their portfolios.

People who don't plan to become professional designers should none-the-less understand the principles of 3 pt. perspective, be able to recognize it when they see it, and have an appreciation for the tremendous talent and skills of comic artists and animators.

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