How to Draw a Bridge in Perspective


Architectural drawing requires a level of precision that can prove maddening if attempted entirely in freehand. Formulaic techniques keep drawings in correct perspective, all which involve vanishing points. Perspective can be in one-point, where objects are viewed from directly in front, or two or three-point perspective, where the angle of observation is skewed to varying degrees. Regardless of subject matter -- bridges, highways, swimming pools, or hallways -- the receding lines of any object can be traced to a vanishing point on the horizon line.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • T-square
  • Draw a horizontal line across the entire sheet of paper, about halfway between the top and bottom of the sheet. This is your horizon line.

  • Draw a dot on the horizon line, preferably near the middle of the paper. This point is known as the vanishing point.

  • Draw two equal-length, vertical uprights, one on each side of the dot. These will serve as the near end of the bridge, so space them accordingly.

  • Connect the bottoms of the two vertical lines with a single horizontal line.

  • Draw two lines: one from the dot to the bottom of one upright, then a second line from the dot to the other upright. These lines form the level of the road surface along the bridge.

  • Draw two more lines: one from the dot to the top of one of the uprights, and then the second to the top of the other. These lines form the upper-most level of the suspensions or other upper supports.

  • Draw two final parallel vertical lines near the vanishing point, each one running from a point along the upper-support line to the surface line. These form the far end of the bridge.

  • Connect the bottoms of these two vertical lines with a single horizontal line.

  • Erase the upper and lower lines from the vanishing point to the far end of the bridge.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the T-square for every straight line, and to ensure that your angles are square.
  • In one-point perspective, all straight lines will either be horizontal, vertical, or extending from the point closest to the foreground toward the vanishing point.
  • When working with perspective, exactness matters. Keep your pencil sharp and use a straight edge long enough to draw each line with a single stroke.
  • Light lines erase easier than heavy lines. Don't press too hard on your pencil when drafting your initial lines.

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  • Photo Credit Photodisc/Digital Vision/Getty Images Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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