Posted on 11/20/2014 at 05:10 PM by Blog Experts

Perspective anamorphosis, or anamorphic drawing, is a type of art that looks totally skewed when viewed from one direction, but takes on a three-dimensional feel when viewed from another direction. Anamorphosis, or anamorphic perspective, is an artistic technique that began just before the Renaissance through the paintings on the ceilings of the churches and cathedrals, and continued into the Baroque and Rococo eras (Thaneeya McArdle, 2008). One of the most famous examples is the dome and vault in the Church of Saint Ignazio in Rome by Andrea Pozzo (

Catoptric anamorphosis requires the viewer to look at the image through a conical, cylindrical, or pyramidal mirror (Rushbrooke, 1999). This site contains great examples of anamorphic art that can be viewed with a cylindrical mirror: Students could research the history of catoptric anamorphosis and learn how to send secret codes through these images. Leon Keer (, Kurt Wenner (, and Julian Beever ( are well-known artists in perspective anamorphosis. Their 3D chalk art is amazing! How do they do this? The short video below shows how to create a 3D alligator.

This artist has other videos on how to create a 3D wolf, Loch Ness monster, and a panda, as well as many others. This video shows a time lapse of artist Chris Carlson creating 3D sidewalk art. This drawing took him 11 hours to complete.

Having students create 3D perspective drawings will help them to integrate many of the Iowa Core standards—especially in mathematics and visual literacy. Students could also integrate many of the ELA standards if they were to write and present a proposal for creating one or more of the 3D drawings in specific locations in their school.


McArdle, T. (2008). Sidewalk Chalk Drawings. Retrieved from

Rushbrooke, R. (1999). Anamorphic Perspective - optical or catoptric perspective. Retrieved from

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