STEAM Project Ideas from the Greats – Perspective with Leonardo Da Vinci

STEAM Project Ideas from the Greats – Perspective with Leonardo Da Vinci

(Concept: perspective)

One-point perspective is a great concept to master.

The concept is math. Pure math. But the creative result is nothing less than stunning.

Think of one-point perspective as looking into a tunnel:

© Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York / Brooklyn Battery Tunnel

The lines formed by edges of the wall, road, and ceiling all fade back to a central point.

Look at the simplified version below:


The purpose of perspective is to fool the eye into thinking that a page has three dimensions. 

Up close? Things appear bigger. Just like in the real world. If you look at a pencil in your hand, it looks, well, pencil sized.

If the pencil is on the far side of the room, it looks like a toothpick.

So the trick with perspective is to draw objects from large to small as they reach the farthest-away part of the page – called the vanishing point. Here is our tunnel drawing with some objects getting smaller as they go back towards the vanishing point:

vanishing point

So forget about my little drawings (if you possibly can. They are so fabulous) and take a look below at this study by Leonardo Da Vinci:

Study for Adoration of the Magi, Leonardo Da Vinci / image in the public domain / Library of Congress

You can see some of the lines of perspective emphasized below:

vanishing point

Notice how the lines of perspective all fan out from the vanishing point. It looks like a tiled floor.

The lines are not just drawn randomly about. If they start at the vanishing point and go to the edge of the work area, they will appear in perspective.

left: yes right: not so much

Project Idea:

Simple steps to drawing a simple room. You may do one or both pages.

Please note: This is a sketch worksheet and not a final design. But I want to have as many projects out to you as possible before the winter break. (Guaranteed I will sneak back on this post and update the worksheets very soon.)


step1Look at these Tweets about the mathematics of perspective:


STEAM Project Ideas from the Greats – Perspective with Leonardo Da Vinci

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