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Best Books on Perspective Drawing for Artists in 2024

Iva Mikles
Best Books on Perspective Drawing for Artists in 2024

Since perspective is such an essential part of art and art education, I think it is important enough for any artist and designer to really study it in both concept and execution.

So, in this post, I share my practical guide to excellent books on drawing perspective and online learning resources you can take advantage of. Let’s have a look!

My Top Books on Drawing Perspective

Books on Perspective Drawing for Beginners

Perspective Drawing for Beginners

Originally published some 90 years ago, Doust’s short and simple book for the beginning artist teaches perspective in a refreshingly light-hearted (and often quite funny) way, and yet with a clarity and completeness many larger, and much more serious, volumes can’t match. A great beginner’s book, and also a fine choice for an experienced or advanced artist who wants a quick and fun refresher.

Beginner’s Guide to Successful Perspective Drawing

From the authors of the acclaimed and enormously popular Drawing for the Absolute Beginner, this new book continues in that style, with fresh and attractive prose, clear and helpful explanations and really effective examples and exercises. Covering interior space, exterior scapes and objects, this is a surprisingly complete work, perfect for the absolute drabeginner but going into advanced techniques and basic concepts as well. By itself a brilliant and indispensable text on learning and using perspective, and in combination with their first book one of the best and most complete ways to learn how to draw.

Basic Perspective Drawing

Mostly focusing on architectural drawing and interior designers, John Montague’s book is a great place for beginners to start, with a fresh approach to understanding perspective, precise and understandable instructions and clear step by step illustrations supporting each lesson.  

Perspective Drawing Handbook

A classic and widely used handbook for artists of all types, D’Amelio’s clear and concise little book can be thought of as a reference for use when working, but in fact it can also be used as a textbook, with very short explanations and very clear illustrations that can, in their way, teach you the whole picture of perspective in art.

Intermediate and Advanced Books on Perspective Drawing

Framed Perspective Volume 1 and 2

This volume is one of the highest rated books on drawing perspective.

Mateu-Mestre’s award-winning two-volume work is extraordinarily popular among visual storytellers – comic book artists and graphic novel artists, concept artists, and animators – but is valuable to anybody who wants to not only understand perspective, but especially to use perspective to add energy and to focus the narrative in stories, and to maintain space, order and flow in even highly complex scenes.

The Art of Perspective: The Ultimate Guide for Artists

Remarkable for their natural approach to teaching and learning perspective drawing – no complex equations or deep concepts, just seeing and doing – Metzger’s books are also great because of how they cover not just lines and shapes, but light, color and texture as well, and because they are applicable to not just drawing, but painting and really any other medium, including digital art. Great starter books, and an equally great resource for advanced artists, covering both the basics and the most complicated techniques and practices with equal clarity and effectiveness.

Perspective Made Easy

A fresh and delightful approach to teaching perspective, this extremely popular and critically acclaimed book offers fairly complete coverage of the basics of perspective drawing. I have to say that the comic strip type approach and simplistic language may not be to everybody’s taste, and seem a bit out of place when more advanced concepts are being discussed, but Perspective Made Easy book is really popular among artists!

The Human Figure in Deep Perspective

Too often we limit our study of perspective to scenes – landscapes, cityscapes, rooms and even still lifes, but fail to consider the representation of perspective in drawing people, which lack can make portraits and figure drawing flat and lifeless.

While not offering specific instruction, Cody’s critically acclaimed classic atlas offers an exhaustive look at the human body in various depths of perspective – an essential reference for the serious portrait or character artist. One of the best books on perspective drawing looking down on a person!

Creative Perspective for Artists and Illustrators

Written by one of the most important and influential artists, art educators and administrators of our time, Creative Perspective offers one of the best and most complete treatments of perspective in all its aspects, and then goes on to show and tell us how to creatively break the rules we just learned. Lovingly written and illustrated with examples from many interesting modern artists, this is a delightful book and I highly recommend it!

Drawing Perspective & Space

Drawing Perspective & Space: Basic Principles of Drawing in Perspective B/W

Markus Sebastian Agerer, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016

An excellent basic text on drawing with perspective and a sense of space, Agerer’s book covers landscape perspective, light and shadow, object drawing and proportion, as well as offering a clear and understandable explanation of perspective as a concept and a part of art and artistic rendering. 

Drawing Perspective

Especially valuable for two things – how to see the world in a clear three-dimensional way, and how to apply this new way of seeing to your art – Brehm’s very basic and easy to follow book is fast becoming a classic, and not just among artists.

Freehand Perspective and Sketching

Originally published almost exactly 100 years ago,Miriam Dora Norton’s great classic remains as valid and applicable today as ever, and the language seems not just contemporary but fresh and clear. With less emphasis on technical drills and data and more on seeing and spontaneously rendering, this is a book that captures not just the essence of perspective as an element of art, but the spirit of artistic creation itself.

Mastering One-, Two-, and Three-Point Perspective

This brand new book offers one of the most clear and effective explanations of what perspective is – especially as it applies to landscape / cityscape scenes – and how to achieve it effectively and consistently in your art. If you just don’t get perspective, even after reading other books, I’m willing to bet that you will after reading this simple and accessible book.

Painting Perspective

For painters, who can’t always rely on all of the tricks and techniques available to people who are drawing, this is a wonderful book, helping you understand how to achieve a real and believable sense of space and depth in your paintings using not only some of the conventional methods, but also color, texture, light, flow and related ideas around placement and composition. Maybe the best way for many painters to take their work to the next level!

Perspective and Sketching for Designers

An industry standard and maybe the most effective and excellent book of its type, Beduhn’s comprehensive work details specific techniques, and the reasons and ideas behind them, for every single part of interior and space design. Equally old school and high tech, this valuable (and, admittedly, fairly pricey) book relies heavily on on-line video lessons, which come free with purchase, and also touches on digital media – though mostly focusing on pen or pencil and paper. Brilliant, and absolutely essential for any designer!

Perspective for Artists

An inexpensive and exhaustive primer for all aspects of perspective, in concept and in practice, originally published in 1921, Cole’s textbook certainly takes an old-fashioned (and, for some, maddeningly slow and detailed) approach to teaching, but you will definitely leave with a complete understanding and mastery of perspective in art.

Perspective Series for Comic Book Artists

This three book set has become something of a cult classic – not just for its hipness or its innovative approach to teaching, but for its extremely effective and applicable lessons. An important resource for comic artists who make comic books, graphic novels, animations, storyboards and the like, and a valuable and entertaining read for any artist, Chelsea’s three volume treatment of perspective and how it can enhance storytelling, drama and action is highly recommended.

The Complete Guide to Perspective Drawing: From One-Point to Four-Point, Five-Point and Six-Point Perspective

Just as the name claims, this is the most complete and comprehensive book on perspective in art I have ever found, including history, concept and execution. Not the easiest book to read, and not a quick reference, Attebery’s work is also perhaps not the best choice for new artists who want to learn the basics in a more quick and simple way. But for the advanced artist who is willing to invest some time and effort in order to take their art to amazing new levels, this is a must-have, and is a great classic in the art community.

Easy Techniques for Mastering Perspective Drawing on Location (Urban Sketching)

All of the books in the Urban Sketching Handbook series are great, but I am happy to close this buyer’s guide to the best books for learning perspective by giving a little love to Stephanie Bower’s two amazing volumes – the first specifically about perspective, and a fantastic book, and the second sharing some of her best drawing and sketching techniques and artistic insights, a surprising number of which seem to directly or indirectly touch on realistic perspective and space. These are both fantastic books that I recommend enthusiastically!

I hope my list of best books on perspective drawing has been helpful to you, and you will have a lot of fun mastering perspective in your drawings and paintings!

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Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am a full-time self-taught artist behind Art Side of Life® and a Top Teacher on Skillshare. I have 15 years of experience in the creative field as a concept designer, illustrator, art director, and now freelance artist, content creator, and art instructor. My goal is to help you get your creative groove on with Procreate and make awesome art through practical classes, tutorials, Procreate brushes, and guides on art tools, supplies and resources. About me »

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