2 point perspective. Loosely explained from a French cafe..

So, you’ve sat yourself down in a shady square, ordered  ‘un cafe, s’il vous plait..’ and taken out your sketch book – and you realise that the scene opposite isn’t a simple one point perspective. It looks complicated. What to do? I’ve put this tutorial together with just this in mind.

Step 1. Before you start drawing, mentally divide the scene up. In the photo (below left), I’ve put in the Eye Level or Horizon Line. This is drawn at the point where lines in the picture are neither sloping up or down. The images on the right show how the lines from both buildings vanish left and right to the the Horizon Line. It becomes clearer in the set of drawings which follow these photos.



Step 2. Once you’re happy with the ‘virtual perspective lines’, order another coffee and, turning your sketch pad round into a portrait format, draw a vertical line approximately down the centre of the page. Once that’s in place you’ll be able to rough in the main components of the scene.

Step 3. Now add some more details to the windows and cafe entrance. I find with cafe scenes, it’s always good to draw the furniture in first – it kind of sets the stage. Then add the figures to fit.

Step 4. Background scene drawn in, now to add the tree and some stronger tones to the windows and doorways before strengthening up the figures and finally the shadows. Excellent. Time to take a look at the Lunch menu…


And here’s the final sketch a little bit larger.. Hope this has helped clear up a few points. More tutorials soon.