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Where to place the horizon line in drawing?

Where to place the horizon line in drawing?

Questions from Nicole, Drawing Academy student

I think this is usually what trips me up whenever I try to draw something, especially with perspective. What is the best way to identify and then apply where the horizontal line is? I know it’s at eye level, but what are some tips for applying that to my drawings?

Thanks so much,
Nicole

Answer from Vladimir London, Drawing Academy tutor

Hi Nicole,

Many thanks for your question.

Yes, you are correct, the horizon line will always be at eye level.

Where to put it in your drawing depends on the composition.

Usually, dividing a drawing by the horizon, exactly in the middle, is not the best approach.

A composition will look better if the horizon is off-center. For example, check these two paintings. One has the horizon higher than the center and the other is lower:

Where to place the horizon line in drawing

Where to place the horizon line in drawing

A high horizon suggests that a viewer is located up on a hill and a lower one is more suitable for flat land.

I think you may also find these two articles on perspective interesting:

//drawingacademy.com/how-to-determine-horizontal-spacing-in-perspective

//drawingacademy.com/how-to-draw-a-square-in-perspective

Kind Regards,
Vladimir

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. sam says:

    Hi, thanks for this article. How to place the horizontal line in still life and can there be more than one horizontal line in one still life?

    • Drawing Academy says:

      Hi Sam, thanks for your question. There is only one horizon and it is always at the eye level.

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