Shadows in 2 Point Perspective

This page will illustrate a specific method of creating shadows within a scene that is already using point perspective. It, like the creation of any perspective scene, will be at its most accurate when using simple boxes but like the boxes within a perspective scene you can look at the resulting shapes as a "guide" for the more detailed objects you actually wish to create.

Keep in mind this is not a catch all approach to creating shadows in a scene. A more artistic, and possibly accurate, way of approaching shadows is discussed in a later section. But since we are coming off of the section on perspective we should look at this approach first.

Of course a similar technique will work when using 1 and 3 point perspectives but we'll use 2 point for this example.

From the light source we can draw a line going straight down, perpendicular to our surface, to an arbitrary position of our choosing. From that point we radiate 3 lines out towards the lower corners of the box that are furthest away from the light source.

We then need to trace line down from the light source to the upper corners of the box shape. These new lines can stop where they intersect with the lines from the previous step.

At this point we only need to fill in the appropriate areas. Look for the new shape that is defined by...

  • The edges of the original box.
  • The edges of the lines cast out from the bottom fo the vertical line under the light.
  • ...and also for where the corners of the lines cast down from the line source meet those edges.

With the shadow in place we now have the completed image.

We don't need to, but you can double check your work by tracing a line down from each perspective point to the edges of the shadow. Since the edges of the shadow should logically match up with the edges of the box that cast those shadows they too should lead to the convergence points.

  • If we imagine the light to be below the "ceiling" of the box then the shadow will be infinite and we simple will not bother with the step that draws lines down from the light source to the top corners of the box. The lower lines will simply go to the edge of your cavnas.
  • If the bottom of the line leading to the light source had fallen *between* lines leading to the convergence points (meaning between the blue or red lines above that denote the "floor" of the box) then we would have made *four* lines that radiate out from the bottom of the vertical light line to the corners of the box.