Landscape Drawing

When it comes to urban landscapes, it is extremely important that linear perspective be employed. With natural landscapes, it is possible to avoid extensive use of linear perspective because there is less rigid definitions of shapes and sizes. However, when drawing people or human-made objects, formal perspective is necessary for subjects to appear believable and well-proportioned. Atmospheric perspective must also be incorporated in urban landscapes with the same principles applying to the different urban planes. For instance, contours of buildings in the background will be somewhat blurry and over all tones will decrease in value, while the foreground will offer greater definition, darker tones and greater contrast.

A common type of perspective used in drawing landscapes is central perspective.  Central perspective is straight forward, requiring a single vanishing point, from which an array of vanishing lines are drawn. It is very handy for drawing streets and other linear settings requiring the effect of depth. Begin by locating the point from which all lines of the various objects, be it windows, doors etc. are to converge. This is your vanishing point. Depending on the depth you would like to create, you can establish your vanishing point off the page.  The further away the vanishing point off the page, the less depth in the drawing. By adding shading gradations to the foreground vs. background, the effect of depth is enhanced.

To draw landscapes like the image of railroad tracks below artists use central perspective.

Other pages of interest

Landscape drawing
Vanishing points
Atmospheric perspective
Step by step guide to sketching
Sketching natural landscapes