The 7 P's of Drawing Will Make You a Master



The art of drawing can be as simple or complex as you wish to make it. Taking into account the 7 P's of the art form is sure to lean you towards the latter.

It could also help you improve by a lot.


Perspective hinges on the concept of relativity.

A refrigerator looks large from a foot away, dangerously massive from its base and positively teensy from the roof. This is the power of perspective, and drawing it is a superpower in and of itself.

Learn to recognize the difference between a vantage point and a vanishing point and you'll be well on your way to drawing better scenes.


Proportion is relative too. Get it wrong and your drawings will look relatively bad.

Proportion puts a word to the delicate balance between the size of a hand and the size of a head or a doorway or a dog...

Once everything's proportional, your art will look much more realistic, even if it's all dragons and tentacle monsters.


Perception is how you see the world. In drawing, it's also how you influence others to see the world.

You can't hover over everyone who looks at your art and tell them how to look at it can you? Well, perception mixes in with your other drawing skills to allow for such expression by less overbearing means.

Breaking the rules in all the right places makes for art with perception baked in, as does applying the rules to a T.


Position, in this case, refers to that of the drawer.

If you're close to the subject of your drawing, your perception changes, and so will that of viewers of your art.

Decide what effect you'd like to have on your audience beforehand and seat yourself accordingly.


Placement in drawing is all about where on the page your drawing is. Front and center or off to the side?

The choice is yours and the effect can drastically change depending on what you choose.

Again, this plays into perception by enhancing (or downplaying) portions of your work to dramatic effect.


Flat, two-dimensional surfaces extending infinitely into space... These are planes.

Mastery of planes makes rendering perspective a walk in the park.


Another powerful perception modifier is priority; that is, the priority you give to each element of your drawing.

A common example that separates brut or self-taught artists from pros is the attention given to backgrounds and foregrounds. In the case of the non-formally trained, backgrounds are given more attention than necessary - giving their art a less-than realistic look.

The 7 P's can transform your drawings from basic to bejeezus if applied properly. Of course, it's up to you to decide if bejeezus is really what you're going for.

Check out our post on the 4 painting modes of the Renaissance!


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