Jon Messer Art Class

Jon Messer Art Class animated logo

Online Perspective Course for Artists

A Simplified Visual Approach

Jon Messer

For Artists of All Levels

For all artists: beginners, students, and working professionals.

Watch the videos and download the pdf instructions. Repeat the lessons at will. Review them anytime you like.

Lifetime Access

Learn perspective at your own pace.

Your enrollment comes with lifetime access to all course materials plus a 15-Day Money-Back Guarantee.

Enroll Now

One Payment of $89

15-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Many good artists struggle with perspective

Do you avoid drawing interior spaces or city scapes?

Is Urban Sketching an uncomfortable exercise for you?

Have you ever found a research photo with a perfect environment but the camera angle is wrong for your composition and you had trouble translating it to your vision?

Have you done drawings that start out believable but somehow the perspective goes astray?

Are you unsure when you try to create the scene for your illustrations even though you are good at observational drawing?

I can help

I learned perspective on the job when I became an architectural illustrator in 1984. Professional perspectivists taught me real world perspective techniques in a real world environment.

I studied it extensively and collected many fine books on the subject, working my way through the assignments in order to understand.

I discovered that there are many techniques that aren’t necessary on a daily basis.

In 2011 I started teaching perspective at the Animation Guild (local 839). Then at LAAFA, CAL ARTS, Santa Monica College, and CGMA.

I teach with two guiding thoughts:
1. Keep it simple and make it understandable as well as entertaining.
2. Teach what real world working artists need, not every arcane difficult technique there is.

Many students have told me that the way I teach makes perspective understandable and easy to use while other perspective classes had left them confused and unsure.

That’s because my 35+ years of experience drawing buildings, interiors and whole cities gives me a good overview of the concepts and techniques I teach.

Then the pandemic came along!

I had to learn how to teach online using Zoom and other programs that make this possible.

Here’s the BIG SURPRISE!  I have gotten great results teaching perspective online. That is what has led me to creating these video lessons with multi-page pdf instructions, along with free YouTube videos.

My goal is to help other artists use perspective effectively and improve their careers.

Jon Teaching in person


Hi Jon! I’m Charmaine, one of the BFA1 students from your Perspective 1 class. I just wanted to email you to say: thank you! For your teachings and for the great semester – I really learnt a lot.

I had previously taken a perspective class but failed to grasp the concepts properly (and subsequently flunked the class haha..) and it kinda burned me from approaching perspective from then on- it was always something I dreaded, and thus, didn’t want to properly learn because I thought I “couldn’t”. I was SUPER nervous for your class- I was so sure that it’d happen again, that I wouldn’t be able to do the assignments at all… But then, it didn’t happen! The way you’ve taught the class and the way you’ve broken down the basics of perspective made it all “click” in my head and it really, genuinely helped a TON. It kinda made me want to slap my past self with how simple it all is in hindsight (and with your guidance!). I learned so much and perspective is not something I completely dread anymore 🙂

Sorry for the extended ramble, I just really wanted to thank you!! I know teaching through Zoom can be a sort of isolating experience, especially without the camaraderie you might feel from an in real life class… But it was a great class, I loved the little talks you gave and the amazing art you showed us for your clients. And I really, really wanted to thank you for making perspective so dang approachable. For being such a great teacher!!

So, thank you once again for the great semester! I hope you have a good summer ahead, and I hope to see you on campus in the fall! 🙂

Best Regards,
Charmaine A.

Thank you text from one of Jon's students


Excellent class! I would love to see more classes like this, traditional, as it’s literally becoming a lost art. This computer generation is totally losing sight of these skills which Walt Disney and the Nine Old Men were advocates of, spent their lifetime and legacy teaching.

I’d love to see Jon teach another class in watercolor, for landscape backgrounds.

Cyndy B.


Student quote from zoom class
Blockout of an interior in perspective

Perspective is a system of drawing
as well as seeing.

It makes creating environments easier.

It makes drawing furniture, vehicles, buildings, scenery and even life drawing easier.

It informs your way of looking at the world when you sketch and draw.

Keep it simple!

Art History tells us that perspective drawing comes from the Renaissance. It has continued to evolve and improve thanks to the contributions of many brilliant artists and mathematicians since then.

There are many fine books on the subject that have literally hundreds of techniques. It becomes mind boggling. And for 90% of the drawings we do those complicated methods are not required. Advanced techniques can be very time consuming and complicated.

In these digital times we will use a 3D program to build accurate models and select or animate shifting views at will. Building those models takes time and a different set of skills. It becomes complicated fast. And even with computer modeling there can be problematic visual breakdowns.

Drawing in perspective is about problem solving. Visual problem solving. In my experience, I’ve found that looking at a problem in the simplest way possible will allow you to find the solution to perspective problems.

Animators, Game Designers, Concept Artist, Storyboard Artists, and Illustrators need a different set of skills to produce images that convey character and depth quickly and convincingly. That ability calls for the use of good perspective. And good perspective doesn’t need to be overly complicated.

quick sketch 2-pt perspective interior

3 Common Myths about Perspective

MYTH #1:
Perspective is really complicated

Many artists think perspective is like the Chemistry or Calculus of art classes. Not so.

I think perspective is more like music theory. If we learn some basic concepts we can create fluidly, and we can play in tune with other artists.

The truth is that most classes in perspective are overly complicated. But perspective is a visual system and when taught properly for visual learners it becomes sensible and easier to learn. It even becomes fun!

I’ve had many students tell me they avoided drawing backgrounds and stressed out over perspective, but after my course they developed a good understanding and came to enjoy creating environments.


MYTH #2:
Perspective requires deep study

This class is built around the most common techniques that all artists need in order to be good at drawing views with a convincing sense of depth.

Practicing 5 minutes a day at drawing boxes and using diagonals will make you a good perspectivist. The key is to draw them properly.

The techniques aren’t as complicated as you might think. They work when you draw them using triangles, straight edges, and free hand; they also work using the line tools in programs like Photoshop, and Procreate.

I teach using traditional materials, but you don’t need a big drafting table, t-squares, and a lot of drafting equipment. All you need are 2 triangles, a ruler, a pencil, and a pad of paper. Course Materials List.

MYTH #3:
Digital assist tools make  perspective automatic

The drawing assist tools don’t solve any perspective problems – they only help guide your hand but not your mind. If you understand the what, when, where and why, you will be building great background scenes. I say building because perspective is a system for drawing from the ground up.

If drawing an interior of a cafe with tables, chairs, counters, and doorways is difficult and daunting, you need a little help from perspective. I promise it will make this task easier, not harder.

The competent working artist can draw interiors, exteriors, furniture, and props well and enjoys doing it.

About Me

I’m Jon Messer and I love teaching. I’ve been doing it for 12 years now. Here in Los Angeles I teach perspective at Cal Arts, LAAFA, Santa Monica College, CGMA, and the Animation Guild, as well as to film industry professionals through their unions.

I have been an architectural illustrator since 1984. I worked in the studio of the great Carlos Diniz for 8 years. Then I had the pleasure (and challenge) of building my own studio as a freelance artist, and have had clients all over the world. I have created illustrations for advertising, theater, children’s books, and print.

I have done storyboarding, keyframe illustrations, and concept art creating designs for a full length feature animation film.

I also love watercolor painting, both Plein-air and in studio.

My hobbies include: bicycling, surfing, plucking away at guitars, and walking my dog Tad. All of which are better when done with my family.

Jon Messer painting plein air in Yosemite

For Artists of All Levels

For all artists: beginners, students, and working professionals.

Watch the videos and download the pdf instructions. Repeat the lessons at will. Review them anytime you like.

Lifetime Access

Learn perspective at your own pace.

Your enrollment comes with lifetime access to all course materials plus a 15-Day Money-Back Guarantee.

Enroll Now

One Payment of $89