5th grade Peter Sansom inspired Reverse Perspective Room Drawings

“I’ve been wanting to learn how to draw this way for a long time.” What a wonderful response from a 5th grade artist when I was introduced this project for the 1st time.

We talked about perspective and how you should be able to pull all the lines in a 1 point perspective drawing or photo back to one dot.

I demoed quickly how to draw the dot and the lines. I passed out the flat template drawings I measured and created.

We gathered in a circle, armed with pencils and rulers, and together drew our vanishing points and rectangles on the right and left walls.

Once we got that framework sorted out, we brainstormed what we could imagine going on side walls and the back walls.

I demoed how to draw a wood plank floor, a brick floor, a floor covered in a rug, etc.

Then they created their own rooms filled with their own designs, creations, and personalities. I was really impressed with the level of detail and imagination they captured in their projects.

I sold this project to them as something that fools the eye, trompe l’oeil. When it was flat it didn’t look like anything other than 1 point perspective. Let’s cut it and glue it to release the illusion…

…but no illusion. It just looked like a pyramid with the top part shaved off. I started to see the illusion accidentally when I clipped a fully constructed model onto the whiteboard and saw it from a distance.

When I used my document camera to display it on my SmartBoard, everyone was impressed with the illusion. But that’s a whole lot of steps to get there. I’m going to offer choices of a reverse perspective constructible drawing or regular 1 point perspective the next time I teach it.

We finished our pencil drawings with Sharpie and colored in with markers.

Love how they look together

Flat unconstructed page, fully drawn and colored reverse perspective with my document camera

My teacher example

My teacher example on the SmartBoard

Video showing the shiftng perspective

Peter Sansom’s Reverspective Painting clips

So glad another art teacher, Chrissy Scarpati, tried this with her artists and shared their results on Instagram.

And Chrissy Scarpati found inspiration from Susie Belzer’s art class’s reverse perspective drawings posted on Instagram.

I’m excited to try this with another group of 5th grade artists.

4 thoughts on “5th grade Peter Sansom inspired Reverse Perspective Room Drawings

  1. Hi Julia, its great to see the project working out so well for you! I know quite a few people use it, but I don’t see so many actual results online…..thanks for putting that right! All the best,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s