Making Perspective Drawing Easier

Making Perspective Drawing Easier

I’ve had a lot of students go through my drawing classes; some fly through the perspective lessons, and some get stuck. I’m always trying to figure out how to make it simpler for everyone…..and today is another attempt at that! Grab yourself a block (or a square or rectangular object) that you can look at in front of you while I talk.


Tutorial: Making Perspective Drawing Easier

We all learn differently; some DO like drawing all the perspective lines, and that’s awesome! But if you’re like me, there’s little patience for rulers. So I’ve learned to get the perspective lines to point to the same place, and not stress out over whether it hits the horizon line, etc….making it look right to my gut is close enough for me. But it requires being HONEST – not just shrugging because I’m tired of working on the perspective. LOL.

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Start simple

Don’t start with crazy perspective projects – begin with a simple object. Face the front toward you first so you see JUST the front with the horizontals horizontal and the verticals vertical. Then tilt it just a little so you see a little of the top and a little of the side. Below are two ways to create incorrect perspective and one that works…read on!

First, I find that trying to use a single line leads me to create incorrect perspective every time. Try softer, sketchier lines.

Second I tried my high school art teacher’s “trick” which never really worked too well; I always had the feeling something was “off” and it took me a while to realize that if I didn’t draw each box PERFECTLY then the angled lines would be off. And even IF drawn exactly, this method makes all the angled lines exactly the same, which doesn’t create realistic perspective.

Now I have a different approach – and it involves no rulers!

  1. Draw the front panel nice and square. Horizontals horizontal, verticals vertical.
  2. Choose one angled corner and look at the angle in the real-life object or photo. Make that line long, pointing off the page to an invisible point. It’s not vital to know where that spot is.
  3. On a second corner point, look at its angle, too — draw a long light line that points to the same place off in the distance…don’t get in the habit of trusting yourself to just make up where the line goes until you get very practiced. Use your eyes, but also make sure that line will point in the correct direction.
  4. The third point will be easier; look at the real object, and also double check that its line will point the right way. 
  5. Draw the actual box lines darker, and join the vertical edge and horizontal edge of the back of the block. Erase the long lines if needed.


Two point perspective


Two points of perspective is something we are quite accustomed to seeing. When the block is turned so there is no front panel with horizontal and verticals that remain straight, you end up with some perspective points going off to the left and some off to the right. (If you drew the simple box above, you DID create two point perspective; just one of the two is horizontal.)

It can look confusing to have all those lines – but it’s the very same process. Choose one corner and assess the angle, and draw the line, then check the 2nd angle, make it point the right direction, and then the third. Same on the other side.

The second sketch here has a LOW HORIZON. I included this so you know that not all perspective lines will point “upward.” If you stand on a city corner and look left and right, you’ll notice the street and bottom edges of buildings point upward a little or a lot, and the tops of buildings point downward. This doesn’t mean its incorrect – it’s just a different horizon line. Don’t stress out over finding perspectives that don’t fit the model of the first example; nature/science/math is correct, and it just means you have a lot more to discover about perspective.


Carry through perspective across the drawing


When you start adding elements to your drawing, they all need to start working with each other in perspective. In the Mojo Cart painting, I had to work out the initial cabinet perspective for the big rectangle, then match up the signage and drawers. 

While a very loose sketch, you can see how the open drawer needs to follow perspective like the big block itself. As do the other drawers and signs….

Three point perspective drawing

Then comes the crazy overhead fruit cart! I’m including an extra sketch here for you that shows more simply the relationship between the cabinet of the cart and other elements.

Then the charcoal drawing – I had to initially work out the underpinning perspective. It’s a view from above the cart, and that means the verticals are not vertical – they point to a vanishing point way down below the drawing. But the others are left and right as we’ve already talked about.

To make the wheel, I drew a rectangle in perspective – as if it were a posterboard leaned against the cart – then drew an oval in the orientation of that rectangle.

Which brings us to the final sketch! Lots of deep shadows and bright highlights – I can’t wait to get painting this weekend!

Got questions about perspective?

I’d love to do more perspective lessons on specific challenges – if you’ve got a suggestion, let me know!


Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

Draw a cute pushcart with waterbased markers

Draw a cute pushcart with waterbased markers

Last week I’d promised another cute watermelon project and while I’m sure not a lot of people were on pins and needles waiting…*I* was wanting to get to this! I could “see” the cart in my head and was awaiting the full set of Sketchmarker Aqua markers; I’d planned on having a list of suggested colors for both these and the Sketchmarker alcohol pens, but….alas! I’m still using the Animals set instead. And I still had a huge amount of fun here!

Since it’s drawing and doodling month at Art-Classes, you can expect a few drawing projects in the coming weeks! Today’s video starts with the simple components of a cart that you can mix and match to create your own design.






And three quick ideas on ways to combine the pieces:

Tutorial: How to draw cute pushcarts in watercolor markers

The video includes TWO examples in watercolor marker after the drawing basics….one that’s super simple, and another that’s a little more complex. You’ll learn some techniques to use with water-based markers along the way!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Watermelon cart

This simpler cart is created on Canson XL, which is much easier to blend with most brands of water-based markers. There’s not a ton of details or compartments….but isn’t it adorable? Whatever theme you decide to try, think about how  you can decorate elements with colors representing that theme. Making a wintry cart? Blue background with snowflakes! Creating a coffee cart? Use lots of yummy browns and golden colors.

Artventure Cart

Drawn on Arches Cold Press, this one had a few challenges – the paper is tougher to blend on, so thinking ahead to divide the art into sections that can be watercolored quickly is a must. But the texture and richness of the color on this paper beats the cheaper paper if you’ve got the desire to learn other ways to get around the paper’s troubles!

Prints and more

I’ve uploaded the Artventure Pushcart to Society6 in case some of you need a little cart for your studio! I wish it came with free art supplies….ha! At the time I’m writing this, I only have one link until they populate the rest of the items but hopefully by the time you look, you can scroll to the bottom of the page to find other items. 

More ideas

This kind of drawing can be created in all sorts of mediums! Traditional watercolor, alcohol markers, pencils, you name it. Just draw out your shapes and start adding the fun!

If you’re making a frameable drawing for someone for a birthday or Christmas, customize it with items THEY love. A gardener would love a cart with plants and tools. A car guy would get a thrill out of a manly cart laden with tools.  Think outside the box – let me know if you get stuck!

On social media the rest of the week I’ll have a few more carts to share, so pop over to Instagram and check them out each day!


Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

How to use Sketchmarker and Copic Color Charts

How to use Sketchmarker and Copic Color Charts

Color charts, color charts, color charts – it’s a FIESTA! I hope these will be helpful to you all in participating in the fundraiser below – Sketchmarkers are new-ish in America where I am and not a lot of people know much about them. If you’ve been pondering trying a few colors, I’ve got some suggestions you can shop from and participate in the fundraiser all weekend long. 


Color for Ukraine Fundraiser

This post is in support of a fundraiser that you can read more about here: if you want to join in, buy Sketchmarkers at Ellen Hutson OR Amazon and the profits will be donated to support Ukrainians! And there are THREE hops going on this weekend on Instagram…lots of crafters, sketchers, and artists from all over the WORLD! I’m in the Saturday and Sunday hops, so go see all the fun and enter to win a HUGE prize.

Read Ellen’s story here.

In addition to the prize offered by the sponsors of the fundraiser, I’ve got a new hex chart that I just launched: Sketchmarkers! Every purchase of the chart this weekend will have 50% of the proceeds donated to the fundraiser. Scroll on to see the hex chart and two FREE charts. Even if you don’t use Sketchmarkers you might want the conversion chart!


Video: How to use my marker color charts 

A little of the making of the charts, and how to get updates when they happen!

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it on YouTube and leave comments over there.

The 3 Sketchmarker Charts

Sketchmarker Blending Groups Chart

First is a chart of color suggestions – I’ve had one of these for Copic for years, now I have one for Sketchmarker. Download it for free – you’ll get one version with my numbers on it and a blank you can choose your own combos to keep on hand.

Sketchmarker – Copic Conversion chart

Two charts….one is listed by Copic numbers and the other by Sketchmarker numbers. This one will be great to use when following a class or tutorial in one brand but using the one you have in your art room!

Sketchmarker Hex Chart

Last but never least, I worked my fanny off to get this done in time for this weekend! It’s not perfect, these charts never are, but…this week was just a bear! I had the blues and greens down pat days ago but no matter spending 16 hours a day working on the reds and yellows, I just could NOT get them the way I wanted. But….perfect is the enemy of the good, so I’m calling it good. It’s still helpful for finding color combos as well as figuring out what colors are similar enough that you don’t need them all.

This weekend I’m donating 50% of Sketchmarker Hex Chart purchases to help Ukrainians!

PS Especially if you’re a regular reader and Copic user – leave a comment about how YOU would use any of these charts. Let the Sketchmarker folks know the treat they’re in for!

Next week’s altered schedule

After the week I’ve had, I’m giving myself a little time to breathe…no Monday video. Maybe only one this week. I lost my dearest aunt and godmother on Friday, and I’m a bit wrecked from that on top of the work in this chart project. I never did get to the watermelon project – so when I get my feet back under me I’ll be here. Subscribe and you’ll get an email when that happens!


Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

How to doodle a Copic watermelon

How to doodle a Copic watermelon

We finally got our version of the heat wave where I live! I know a lot of you have had it worse than we do for longer….but I’ve got no air conditioning so do I get to gripe a little about 89 degrees inside the studio? LOL! Anyhow…this week’s theme is one that will hopefully keep us all cool – WATERMELON! And we’ll start with a doodle since the drawing and doodling classes are on sale all month long. Yay!




Tutorial: How to doodle a Copic watermelon

I bet you never really thought to bring your Copics to the doodling game, did you? It’s really easy to doodle on TOP of Copic with any kind of pen – dip pens, microns, gel pens, all that works just great on the same kinds of papers you would use for Copics! This one is on Neenah – a 12″ x 18″ sheet…I found a ream of it for sale locally and broke the bank so I could have some large cardstock to work with!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

This is not a mandala.

I know some folks will worry that there’s a spiritual significance here, but honestly – it’s a doodle. It’s also not going to be ‘perfect’ which, I hope by now you realize is my jam. I do me, and I don’t worry about trying to get every line the same and every leaf shape to be identical. On a drawing like this, close enough is great for me and I celebrate it!


Do a doodle!

Whatever shape you decide to doodle on, color it first…and it doesn’t even matter if you color it nicely since detailed pen work goes on top! Then relax and add your doodles. They can radiate around a central point like this one, or just be random and fun!

If you want more step by step lessons, and to bring in all kinds of fun patterns into your world – the Whimsical Patterns class is all about white and metallic gel pens on back paper! Some of the patterns are gridlike, some circular like this watermelon, and some just freeform landscapes! Very relaxing and a lot of fun. All the Drawing and Doodling classes are on sale all month if you want to get  your jam on in all kinds of media!

More watermelon please!

I’ve got tons of watermelon ideas in my head after doing this drawing – how about stamped critters ON a watermelon, or a watermelon planet in a galaxy, or a watermelon dress on a figure, or a watermelon popsicle, or…..well, you get the idea. Pop over to my instagram this week for fresh new ideas all week long! Post your own ideas and I’ll share some of the craziest ones to my Stories!


Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art






2 things and a rant: Changing our Art Language

2 things and a rant: Changing our Art Language

Today’s video is a little different….it’s not a tutorial, but it’s something I hope we can have a substantial conversation about! I really want artists to feel better about themselves; but we are our biggest saboteurs! We trash our abilities and our work, even in subtle ways with words we don’t realize are speaking negativity into our minds—hampering our ability to grow.


Video: Changing our art language

In today’s video, a flashback to “two things and a rant” that I used to do years ago, I’ve got two things:

  1. Sea Shepherd fundraiser printable continues through Sunday
  2. July’s HUGE list of classes on sale ends August 1!

And the rant…all about the language we use and how it can damage our psyche – causing us to have major artist block when facing a blank piece of paper!

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it on YouTube and leave comments over there or at the end of this post.

If you’d like to hear more about how I worked through this painting, it’s over in Patreon for members of that community.

Changing our art language

For years now I’ve been working through peeling certain words from my vocabulary; and as Toastmasters has showed me, once we become aware of our language issues (like uhm and uh) then we hear it more in others all the time! As I get further from the place I used to be, and am no longer dissing my work or skills, I’ve really seen it happening all over the place. 

Don’t say: “I’m just a ____.” It makes the art medium/genre we work in less important. Less artistic. And….imply that it’s less valuable. While it may come from a humble heart not wanting to sound like a pro/expert, it’s also dismissing your own creative efforts as not very good.

Do say: “I’m an artist who makes ___.” This honors your work, your talents, and your supplies.

Don’t say: “I wish I could ___.” Wishing implies there’s some magical fairy who needs to sprinkle you with pixie dust. We know that’s not coming! It implies that those who can do the thing you’re drooling over have had that pixie dust – and not that they’ve worked hard for decades to get where they’re at.

Do say: “I’m working toward ___.” Even if your steps are halting beginner ones, this tells your mind that you have a goal. You have a vision to get toward that place in your art. Your brain will respond! Not instantly but in time it will stop blocking you every time you sit down because there’s a goal you’re working toward.

Don’t say: “I can’t/won’t ever be able to do ___.” Talk about training your mind to believe the goal is beyond you. Now there’s not even a fairy to hope for. It’s just a fact that there’s a brick wall, and you’ll be filled with fear every time you try. Remember it may take you longer or shorter of a time to reach where someone else arrived at; just because it’s taking time doesn’t mean you won’t get there.

Do say: “I’m excited to be learning to do ___.” Tell that little guy in your brain that he’s supposed to be happy every time you sit down to practice. That the blank page is supposed to be filled with anticipation and not dread.

The trifecta to avoid is saying “I wish I could do more than just stamp since I can’t draw.” How about turning that around: “I love to stamp other artist’s drawings and give them my own flair in coloring them.” That honors you, honors the artist who drew the stamps, and honors your supplies!

I’ve begun unsubscribing from channels or social feeds that are full of negative language, even if not intentionally done, so that it doesn’t creep back into my brain again. That might seem extreme, but we need to guard our minds in order to grow. Finding encouraging voices who help me see my potential and not my roadblocks is what keeps me in a good mental place.

The Painting

The results of the first pass, which happened while everything was very very wet:

The finished painting was a delightful surprise to me; I was applying techniques I’d learned in architecture classes I’ve taken from mentors of mine….proving once again to myself that a technique has so many more applications than just what it was taught to do!


In case you missed out on the fun on social media this week….tap on an image to go see more!