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A Room with a View

Questions to ask yourself:

What conditions, attitudes, and behaviors support creativity and innovative thinking?                                                                                         

Why do people value artworks and select them for presentation?

How do images influence our views of the world?

How do people contribute to awareness and understanding of their lives and the lives of their communities through art-making?

Art courtesy Ms. Carrie King's students

Mt. Eden High School, Hayward, CA

Enter Text

Art copyright Edward Gordon

A Room with a View

GOAL: Create an interior space using 1 or 2 point perspective that includes a door or a window letting in light.


1. Research interior spaces you are familiar with.  Find spaces that would want to spend a lot of time in. Take photos of rooms that you like.  The photos must include a door or a window.  The door or window must be allowing light in.  

2. This piece is more about how the LIGHT comes through the window or doorway and less about the view outside.

3. You will be working from a photo that YOU take.

4. The room MUST be drawn in accurate 1 or 2 point perspective - your choice of medium (no pastel), HOWEVER, color harmony must be either monochromatic or a limited palette (no more than 3 colors with all of their shades/tints).


1. WHAT room will you draw?  Choose a part of a room with a wondow or doorway that has light coming through it and is interesting to you.  CHOOSE CAREFULLY!  Try to choose a room from your own home or utilize a space here on our huge campus!

2. WHERE you stand in the room when you take the photo will determine whether it's 1 or 2 point perspective.  Do NOT take a photo of a window head on.  You need show the use of perspective.  Also DO NOT compose your photo so that it is symmetrical....that's BORING!  Use the "rule of thirds" on your camera to help you design a pleasing asymmetrical composition.  CLICK HERE to view information on the "rule of thirds".

3. Stand to the side of the window/door, not right in front of it.  Stand back far enough that you can see the wall meeting the ceiling or floor or both.  You MUST show the light coming from the window/door as it falls on the wall or floor of the room.

4. You are NOT to use someone else's photograph.  You are NOT to take a photo from the Internet.  THAT IS VISUAL PLAGIARISM!

5. The time of day you take the photograph is important.  Light changes throughout the day.  The best time for direct light is early on a sunny morning or late afternoon.  But keep in mind the direction of the room may determine the best time.

6. After you take the photo of the space you have chosen, you are to print it in BLACK AND WHITE.  You must work from a print out, you are NOT to work from your cell phone image.

7. HOW do you figure out the type of perspective?  Line up several rulers along the horizontal receding lines in the photo (like the edge of the wall and the ceiling.)  If they all line up with one point...which may be WAY off the edge of the paper, then it's 1 point perspective.  If they seem to be going in different directions, then it's probably 2 point perspective.  You MUST have this figured out before you begin your drawing!

Lesson inspired by Ms. Carrie King,  Mt. Eden High School, Hayward, CA

8. If you are doing 2 point perspective, it is best to place your vanishing points FAR off the main drawing paper as in the last example shown in the photos.  You may put them on the drawing board or on additional paper that is taped to your main drawing paper.  Just make sure they are level by using the large yardstick located on the front tray in the front of the classroom.

9. You need to know where your vanishing points are in order to draw your room accurately.  But keep in mind that open doors and objects in the room may have their own vanishing points!  One image can hold multiple vanishing points (think about movies and video games as good examples.)

10. Once you have established the vanishing points, you can crop in on a smaller area that you want to draw.  But you MUST establish the vanishing points FIRST!  It can be helpful to draw a few of the important lines directly on your photo in red pen.

11. Your picture will be 9"x12" for your final draft.  I recommend you tape off a border and attach it to a large sheet of newsprint.  This will allow you to draw any vanishing points that wil be off the edge of the main paper.

12. Always sketch LIGHTLY in pencil first, starting with the vanishing points and major parts of the room.

13. Your main focus is on the LIGHT and on accurate perspective.  Do not place too many details/objects that detract from the LIGHT and the PERSPECTIVE.

14. Once your drawing is accurately rendered, you may keep it achromatic or add color using a monochromatic color scheme OR a limited color palette of only 3 colors that includes all of their shades/tints.  Pastel is not recommended for this project.

Work to be handed-in:

1. Copy of photograph YOU took

2. Final art for A Room with a View, size 9x12 with a 1/2" border

CLICK HERE to download a paper copy of project guidelines