Today we introduced 2 point perspective. Floating shapes is one of the most effective projects to learn perspective.
But since we already did floating shapes when learning one point, I decided to switch it up just a bit while still getting the basic skills. So we decided to make bird houses.
Two Point Perspective Bird Houses
We start with a horizon line just as with one point perspective. (Check the introduction lesson if you’re not sure of what I’m talking about.) Just as the name says, for 2 point perspective we have 2 vanishing points.
I suggest that students put their vanishing points all the way to the edge of the paper on the horizon line. Vanishing points can be further in but for an introduction to 2 point I would rather not challenge them at this point.
For our boxes we make a vertical line for the front corner edge of the box. The top edge goes back to both vanishing points. Repeat with the bottom edge. (The example is dark so you can see it better but for my students I stress using a light hand for the converging lines.)
Then determine the back edge of the box. Remember that vertical lines stay parallel to the edge of the paper and the front edge of the shape.
The bottom of the back edges go to the opposite vanishing point and Presto a floating box.
Next we work on the roof peak.
To make the roof peak we decide the side for the peak. On that side we need to find the center. To do that we make an “X” from one corner to the opposite. The center of the ‘X” is the center of the wall. Take a vertical line up to where you want the peak to be. From the peak take the sides down to form your roof slant. Take the point of the peak back to the vanishing point for the roof peak (this won’t always be visible). The back roof slant will be parallel to the front slant.
The same “X” technique is used for other details when you need the center; like the hole and the perch. Even the bottom post can be centered this way.
Students had fun adding details.
One of the things I love about perspective is it gives students who may not have the confidence to experiment creatively a safe avenue to create. Students enjoy the confidence that such a structured project gives them while still allowing them to add their own flair.
Didn’t they turn out great!
This project is a keeper.