How to Use Perspective Tool to Draw in Adobe Illustrator (2023)

I used to work between Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator when I made packaging mockups. But later, I found out that the Perspect Grid Tool works pretty well too, the two-point perspective mode made it so easy to do a box mockup.

Besides making packaging mockups, you can also use the perspective tool to create perspective illustrations or drawings. And that is exactly what you’ll be learning from this tutorial.

Before jumping into the steps, you need the find the perspective tool in Adobe Illustrator.

Note: all screenshots from this tutorial are taken from Adobe Illustrator CC 2022 Mac version. Windows or other versions can look different.

Table of Contents

  • Where is the Perspective Tool in Adobe Illustrator
    • Turn on the Perspective Grid from the View menu
    • Find the Perspect Grid Tool on the toolbar
    • Keyboard shortcuts
  • How to Use the Perspective Tool in Adobe Illustrator
    • Example 1: Drawing on the perspective grid
    • Example 2: Use the Perspective Tool with text
  • Wrapping Up

Where is the Perspective Tool in Adobe Illustrator

You can find the Perspective Tool from the overhead View menu, the advanced toolbar, or keyboard shortcuts.

Note: showing the perspective grid isn’t exactly the same as having the Perspective Grid Tool active. The difference is that when you show the perspective grid from the view menu, you can see the grid but can’t edit it. If you’re using the Perspective Grid Tool you can edit the grid.

Turn on the Perspective Grid from the View menu

If you simply want to see the perspective grid and don’t need to edit it, you can go to the overhead menu View > Perspective Grid > Show Grid to see the grid.

How to Use Perspective Tool to Draw in Adobe Illustrator (1)

Find the Perspect Grid Tool on the toolbar

If you need to use the perspective grid to create a perspective design, then choose the Perspective Grid Tool from the toolbar. If you’re using the basic toolbar, you can quickly change it to the advanced toolbar from Window > Toolbars > Advanced.

Then you should see the Perspective Grid Tool and on the same menu, you’ll also the Perspective Selection Tool.

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Keyboard shortcuts

You can also use the Perspective Grid Tool keyboard shortcut Shift + P and the Perspective Selection Tool keyboard short Shift + V to activate and use the tools.

If you want to view the perspective grid, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Command (or Ctrl for Windows users) + Shift + I to show (and hide) the perspective grid.

Now that you find the tools, I’ll show you how to use them.

(Video) How To Use The Perspective Grid Tool in Illustrator

How to Use the Perspective Tool in Adobe Illustrator

The preset perspective view is two points perspective, but you can switch to a one-point perspective or three points perspective mode from the overhead menu View > Perspective Grid.

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Here’s a quick preview of what each perspective mode looks like.

“Point” means “vanishing point” here, but you can also understand it as “side”.

As you can see, the 1-point perspective has only one side (and one vanishing point), the 2-point perspective has two sides (and two vanishing points) and the 3-point perspective has three sides (and three vanishing points).

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The perspective grid can look complicated not just because there are so many lines, but also the different widgets with different functions.

You can move the widgets to adjust the perspective grid horizontally, vertically, and from different perspectives.

Additionally, you’ll also see this plane widget which you can choose the side you want to work on by simply clicking on the side. As you can see, the selected side will be highlighted in blue.

How to Use Perspective Tool to Draw in Adobe Illustrator (5)

I’ll show you how it works using a couple of examples.

Example 1: Drawing on the perspective grid

It’s super easy to draw shapes to the perspective grid and you can create a shape from scratch on the grid or add an existing shape to the grid.

I’ll show you an example of using the one-point perspective grid to draw part of a sidewalk.

Tip: If you can’t get the right point to start, using a reference image can help. Simply lower the opacity of the image, and lock the image layer.

Step 1: Go to the overhead menu View > Perspective Grid > One Point Perspective > [1P-Normal View].

(Video) MASTER The Illustrator PERSPECTIVE GRID Tool

You can also choose the Perspective Grid Tool from the toolbar and then go to the view menu to change the mode to [1P normal view].

This is what a standard 1P perspective grid looks like.

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You can click and drag the widget handles to adjust the perspective view accordingly.

For example, I moved widget C to the left end to extend the grid horizontally and moved widget C down to reduce the distance from the horizontal ground level.

Then I moved widget F to the right to extend the grid further, at the same time moving widget E up to extend the grid vertically, and moved widget D towards the vanishing point.

If you’re tracing an image, you can click on widget B, hold and move the perspective grid around to fit your image.

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Now it’s starting to look like one side of the street, right? The next step is to draw shapes. We can start with the building shapes and then add details.

Step 2: Choose the Rectangle Tool (M) from the toolbar, click along the grid line (you can start from the line between widgets C and E) as a guide, and drag to create a perspective rectangle.

When you create shapes on the perspective grid, your shapes will automatically follow the perspective view.

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Use the same method, and follow the grid lines to create a few more rectangles as buildings on the sidewalk.

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Step 3: Add details to the drawing. You can add some windows, lines, or other shapes to the buildings or add a walking path/lane.

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(Video) How to Draw a House in 2-Point Perspective | Adobe Illustrator || PiEdit

If you find it difficult to draw on the perspective grid, you can also create shapes out of the grid in a usual way, and use the Perspective Selection Tool to place the objects into the grid.

For example, let’s add this object to one of the buildings.

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Choose the Perspective Selection Tool from the toolbar, click and drag this object to where you want it to be on the perspective grid. In this case, I dragged it to the blue building.

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Now let’s add a street to the drawing.

Step 4: Click on the bottom side of the plane widget to work on the ground perspective area.

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Follow the same method to add shapes or lines to draw a sidewalk.

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Got the idea?

Now, how about adding some text to the perspective grid?

Example 2: Use the Perspective Tool with text

Adding text to the perspective grid basically works the same as adding a shape. Use the Perspective Selection Tool to select the text and drag it to the area where you want the text to be. Here are the detailed steps.

Step 1: Use the Type tool to add text to Adobe Illustrator.

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Step 2: Switch the plane widget to the side where you want to add the text to. In this case, we’re switching to the left side, where the buildings are.

(Video) How to Apply Photos to the Perspective Grid Planes in Adobe Illustrator

Step 3: Choose the Perspective Selection Tool on the toolbar. Select the text and drag it to the area you want the text to be. For example, we can drag it to the first building.

Initially, it would look like this.

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However, you can adjust the anchor points to resize and move the text to an ideal position.

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Step 4: Click on the small x on the widget plane to remove the perspective grid.

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Or you can use the keyboard shortcut Command/Ctrl + Shift +I to turn off the perspective grid view mode and see how it looks.

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That’s it for this tutorial. Feel free to add more details to your perspective drawing.

Wrapping Up

Now you should get an idea of how the perspective tool works and what you can do with it. I only showed you the example of a 1-point perspective here, if you want to create 2-point or 3-point perspective drawings, you’ll have more widgets to move around and adjust the grids, but the drawing method works the same.

About June Escalada

Graduated from Creative Advertising major, worked more than eight years as a graphic designer focusing in branding and Illustration. Yes, Adobe Illustrator is my best friend and I’m passionate about art and design.


How do you use the perspective tool in Illustrator? ›

Press shift+cmd+I to view the grid again, pick the Perspective Selection tool (shift+V), select the right grid by pressing 3 and simply drag one of the rectangles over the grid as shown below. The rectangle will automatically come into perspective.

How do you draw perspective? ›

Place your ruler on a vanishing point and draw a light line to the area where you want to put the subject for your drawing. Then, make 2 or 3 more lines from the same vanishing point. Repeat this for the other vanishing point so all of the perspective lines from both points come together.

What are the 3 types of perspective drawing? ›

But there are actually three types of perspective you should know about. Those are atmospheric, color, and linear. Most great madshots will show all three of these types of perspective. And they're are valuable part of any mad-artist palette for giving a picture depth.

What are the 5 types of perspective drawing? ›

There are many types of perspective used by artists to convey a sense of space within the composition of a work, including linear perspective, one point perspective, two point perspective, and atmospheric perspective.

How do you fix mistakes when drawing? ›

5 Ways to Correct Art & Calligraphy Mistakes
  1. Use an X-Acto Knife to Scrape Off Unwanted Strokes or Ink Spatters. X-Acto knives are good for correcting small mistakes. ...
  2. Rub Off Mistakes With a Sand Eraser. ...
  3. Paint Over the Mistake. ...
  4. Just Go With It. ...
  5. Trace Over It.
18 May 2021

How do you create a perspective grid in Illustrator? ›

First up, simply click on the perspective tool icon in the toolbar to bring up the standard two-point perspective grid. There are three grid presets: 1-point, 2-point and 3-point perspective. You can switch between these by navigating to 'View > Perspective grid' and choosing the grid you wish to work on.

How do you draw perspective quickly? ›

Draw a horizon line on an empty sheet of paper, as high or as low as you like. Then pick a vanishing point (VP) on that line. Remember, one-point perspective means one VP. Next, use a ruler or other straight object to draw in a lot of convergence lines from the edges of the paper to the vanishing point.

Why is perspective so hard? ›

Sometimes the biggest problem with perspective is the word 'perspective'. It is too off-putting and brings up memories of vanishing points and technical pencils, but perspective doesn't have to be rulers and set squares just simple techniques to add depth to your paintings.

What are the rules of perspective? ›

Page 1
  • Basic Rules of Perspective.
  • ▶ The farther an object is from the drawing plane, the smaller.
  • its perspective image in the drawing plane.
  • ▶ Lines that are mutually parallel and parallel to the drawing.
  • plane are depicted as parallel.
  • ▶ Mutually parallel lines that are not parallel to the drawing.

What are the 2 types of perspective? ›

There are two main types of perspective drawing—linear perspective and atmospheric perspective: Linear perspective: Linear perspective relies on mathematics and straight lines to create depth.

How do you draw a 2 point perspective? ›

Step One: Define the horizon line and the vanishing points. Step Two: Draw the corner of the object in between the vanishing points. Step Three: Draw lines from each end of the corner to each of the vanishing points. Step Four: Draw parallel, vertical lines to indicate where the object ends.

What is 3 point perspective used for? ›

In the world of drawing, however, three point perspective is most commonly used when the viewer's point of view is extreme. good way to consider this viewpoint would be to imagine you looking up at a very tall building or perhaps looking down from a very high distance.

What are the 6 principles in perspective drawing? ›

6 important principles for drawing In Perspective Principles (Overlapping, Convergence, Vanishing points, Horizon line, Foreshortening, Diminution)

What is 4point perspective? ›

A second type of four point perspective is what is called the continuous four point perspective system. This system keeps the Zenith and Nadir lines of the cube actually parallel, and curves the North to South and East to West lines of the cube.

What is a 1 perspective drawing? ›

One point perspective is a drawing method that shows how things appear to get smaller as they get further away, converging towards a single 'vanishing point' on the horizon line. It is a way of drawing objects upon a flat piece of paper (or other drawing surface) so that they look three-dimensional and realistic.

Why can't I draw properly? ›

Reason 1 – You Need More Practice

They simply need more practice to get better. Drawing is a skill and like with any other skill, you can't expect to get better without practicing it. So many people think that drawing is just something that some people can do and others can't. This simply is not true.

Why is it so hard to draw accurately? ›

We still look in patterns of saccades – fixating on a particular area before moving on. But instead of our eyes flicking all around the object we're drawing, a typical zigzag pattern, they creep around the outline a bit at a time, pausing as they go. That's what makes drawing accurately so hard.

Why am I getting worse at drawing? ›

Because you are experimenting

If for example you've gone from drawing in great detail to very loose or you've changed your style, your work may look worse because you haven't yet mastered that look. It's important to keep stretching yourself in this way otherwise in the long term your work will remain stagnant.

How long does it take to master realistic drawing? ›

If someone is taking regular drawing classes with an instructor then they should expect to take at least 6 months for basic skills and another year or two for more advanced skills. There is, of course, a large difference between learning how to draw and actually mastering drawing. Drawing mastery takes years and years.

Is drawing a talent or a skill? ›

Drawing is a Skill.

A skill is something, that can be learned through practice and learning it the right way. Drawing is a Skill, that you can learn no matter if you are talented or not. But it will take a little more time to learn.

What are the 9 common mistakes for digital art drawing for beginners? ›

10 digital art mistakes we do while becoming digital artists by...
  • No. 1: Not using a drawing tablet. ...
  • No. 2: Not using pressure sensitivity. ...
  • No. 3: Abusing the Airbrush. ...
  • No. 4: Over-blending. ...
  • No. 5: Using gradients to shade. ...
  • No. 6: Using smudging wrong. ...
  • No. 7: Saving the image wrong. ...
  • No. 8: Not using the digital tools.
22 Oct 2019

What are 3 things you can do when you make a mistake on you artwork? ›

But before we dive into our solutions, let's take a look at preventing the mistakes in the first place and the meaning of imperfection.
3. Remove the Mistake with Blades
  1. Use an Eraser with a Rough Surface, a Sand Eraser or a Piece of Sandpaper. ...
  2. Creating a Paper “Patch” ...
  3. Use Digital Tools to Fix Mistakes. ...
  4. Redraw.

Does copying drawings make you better at drawing? ›

Copying from the Great Artists gives something else that every proficient fine artist must have –good taste in art and style. Copying the Old Masters allows you to develop better drawing techniques, understand what makes art beautiful, and discover time-honored drawing methods and techniques.

How many types of perspective are there in Illustrator? ›

Illustrator allows for the three types of perspective illustration. See the image below for a visual of one-point, two-point and three-point perspectives.

How do you skew in Illustrator? ›

To skew an object in Illustrator, select the object and choose the skew command from the Illustrator menu. You can then use the arrow keys to adjust the object's alignment. When you're done skewting the object, press Return or Enter to finish the adjustment.

How do you add perspective to an object? ›

Click Effects Add perspective. Press Ctrl, and drag a node. Click Effects Add perspective. Drag the nodes on the outside of the grid to apply the effect you want.


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