International Journal of Art & Design Education

Problems in the Perception of Perspective in Drawing

Volume 19.1   2000



It is well known that the shape and size of objects visually changes if the object’s distance from the viewer and the position of the object changes. For these reasons, drawing three-dimensional objects on a picture plane demands not only knowledge of their external peculiarities, but also skills in matching the shape of objects to the peculiarities of visual perception which allows us to represent objects ‘truthfully’. However, this is one of the hardest tasks in drawing. It needs specific theoretical training in the construction of perspective. A review of textbooks and resource books on drawing published in different countries during the last 30 years reveals that a body of rules for linear perspective has evolved which is stable and interpreted similarly. However, explanations of the practical implementation of one-point perspective are not quite logical. This article covers some of the problems of the perception of perspective, and offers methodical recommendations for implementing perspective in training for drawing.