Practice Drawing Shapes

Mar 08, 2021

The element of Art : Shapes

We will be covering the elements of Art as a series in several blogs. The elements are line, shape, form, space, texture, value, and color.

What is a Shape? 

Simply put, it's an outline of a flat object. You can make up your own shape by putting lines together and call it whatever you want. The shapes we’re most familiar with are the geometrical shapes, circles, squares, triangles. We also have nature’s organic shapes, these can be symmetrical or asymmetrical and have more curvy lines. A pear is an organic shape that’s symmetrical because you can put a line in the middle and both sides are the same, but there’s also a pear shape that’s asymmetrical. Smaller shapes may be easier to draw than big ones. Start with the smaller ones and then try bigger ones.

Shading your Shapes

Use light pressure when drawing shapes because once your sketch is finished you will add the shading. You want the sketch lines of your shapes to blend in when you continue to add layers of graphite for the shading. If your sketch outline is too dark and doesn't blend in with the shading your drawing will not look realistic. Objects in nature don’t have outlines they have edges that’s why everything needs to blend. 

Freehand Circle

Drawing a circle freehand can be difficult at first especially if you’re drawing it by moving your wrist. The trick is to start by rotating your hand before touching the paper with your pencil. You rotate your hand by moving your whole arm and keeping the wrist straight and still. Once you feel your hand is making a fluent circular movement you can slowly put your pencil to paper and draw the circle. If you’re not satisfied draw a couple of circle lines over each other, you can always erase the rest later. 

Rectangle without a ruler

If you want to draw a rectangle and you have a hard time drawing a straight line, you can also draw smaller lines like a sort of dotted line. Afterward, you can connect the lines and then you have your rectangle. You don’t have to go for perfect results, it's about practicing the movements and training your hand and muscle memory.

Looking for Shapes in a Reference Photo

It’s very important to learn to see basic shapes in anything. Instead of looking at an object as a complex shape, you can break it down into smaller simpler shapes. Doing this will make it easier for you to accurately draw the complex shape. Once you learn how to see objects as basic shapes then you will be able to draw anything you see. The easiest way to break down the photo into shapes is to print it and draw basic shapes over it. You then start by drawing the shapes you see first, the details can be filled in later. 

In the drawing course within my membership, I will teach you the basic elements of art step by step and give you plenty to practice with. Want to join? Check out the details here.


Want to read more? Check out the other topics here.

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