Today the lesson will be about drawing circles in perspective. When you are freehand drawing, you just look at the object and draw the items as you see them. However, if you want to make the drawing perfect, you will need to know some perspective drawing techniques. We have tutorials on drawing in one point and two point perspective, but now we are going to give you a tutorial drawing circles in the correct perspective.

**You Might Also Like Our Other Geometric Shapes Lessons**

**Here are More Perspective Drawing Tutorials**

## How to Draw in Circular Perspective

A circle when drawn in perspective becomes an ellipse.

Above are two concentric ellipses (Fig. A), as you would normally see on a dinner plate. Notice that the distance between the two curves nearest our eye (a) is wider than the distance between the two curves as they are farther from our vision (b). This illusion is caused by the foreshortening of the short diameter. The distances between the two ellipses on the long diameter (c and d) are always of equal width and constant.

Diagrams B and D are very similar in their method of execution. In the drawing of the arches we see how arcs of the same size may be reduced in relative proportions as they recede in distance. The drawing of arches becomes simplified when first constructed in rectangular door shapes. which are drawn in perspective.

In illustration D, we learn how two identical size circles can be shown in perspective, such as wheels on cars, etc.

Fig. C represents a segment of a cone.

Fig. F illustrates how a circular form may be constructed within a box drawn in perspective.

Fig. H represents a cylinder whose top edge is on a line with our eye level. In Fig. I the top of the cylinder is above our vision, while in Fig. J the top is below the horizon line.

When we view directly a closed curve so that all points on it are of equal distance from the center, we see a perfect circle. However, when this circle is tipped it becomes an ellipse—and the curve now has a long and short diameter. This illusion is referred to as drawing a “circle in perspective” or more commonly termed circular perspective. Once a student has learned to draw simple circles in various perspective views it is relatively easy to draw any common circular object in perspective, such as a can, plate, wheel, etc.

While an ellipse appears easy to draw it is quite common for the average student to have difficulty constructing it. Avoid the usual pitfall of bringing the ellipse to points at the ends of the long diameter (Diagram C).

In Diagram A, an ellipse may be more easily drawn by shaping it within a rectangle—first drawing arcs tangent to the diameters.

In Diagram B, is shown an accurate mechanical method of drawing a perfect ellipse by first drawing half of the ellipse, and then drawing the other half, through equal measurement on a series of parallel lines.

Diagram E, illustrates a series of circles in relationship to the line of vision.

Now we will see how we can draw common objects in circular perspective. These can be constructed in accurate perspective. It is by following this procedure that we shall eventually be able to draw them with ease, freehand perspective—and with a sound knowledge of knowing “what we are doing.”

You will observe that in Figs. A, B, C, D, and E that the objects have been basically constructed in boxes. Drawing them in this manner eases our problem—helping us to visualize their form, contour, and size. Too, this method insures more accuracy in construction of the objects.

Note that in Fig. A, as the words curve around the can, they become smaller at their outer ends. This gives a roundness and solidity to the can.

In our drawings of the barrel (Fig. C), you will see that it has been diminished or foreshortened, and yet it appears relative to its proper size.

In Fig. B the saucer is first drawn within a rectangular box. Both of the concentric ellipses for the bottom and top of the cup are constructed within rectangles which are in parallel perspective.

Draw the smaller objects by first constructing them in boxes and drawing them in proper circular perspective…such as the above ball and fish bowl.

And notice this wine glass has more than one circle to draw. Use this rectangle to draw it correctly.

I hope that this tutorial will help you draw circles and circular items in the correct perspective.

**You Might Also Like Our Other Geometric Shapes Lessons**

**Here are More Perspective Drawing Tutorials**

Technorati Tags: circular perspective, circles in perspective, ellipses, circles, perspective drawing, arcs, arcs in perspective

Carol Douglass

This is so helpful! And I’m relieved to see that I’m not the only one to have trouble with drawing curves in perspective. Thank you.

Brahmleen

Good Images drawn.

Jeff

In Figure A, I still don’t understand how you figure where to draw the line across (c-d). I understand that the vertical line is drawn to bisect the square but how do you decide how far up, or down, to draw the horizontal line?

Jon Hail

@Jeff c-d is is doing the same thing as a-b except it’s bisecting the square horizontal rather than vertical. Both lines are drawn through the center of the square which is found with the dashed horizontal lines. Hopefully that helps.

Regards

Andy

Thanks for the tutorial

serranoliver

thank you very much for you share

gracias por tus aportes

Danny

Hi very well done and helpful! I recently tackled the challenge of a compass with open lid @ 30 degree perspective ( 2 eclipse facing each other ). Found it VERY difficult! Might be a good tutorial! Cheers!

artislife

hello and thank you very much for this tutorial,it’s very useful

Perspective Drawing in Cartooning Guide for Cartooners « How to Draw Step by Step Drawing Tutorials

[…] Circles are easy to draw but you might find it a bit more difficult to draw them in correct perspective. It is too difficult to explain in a quick guide, however, we have a quick tutorial for drawing circles in perspective here. […]