# How to draw basic shapes

## 01. How to draw a circle

Measure out a square using a ruler. From the top left corner, draw a line [A] to the bottom right. Draw a second from top right to lower left [B]. Add two centre lines, [C] and [D]. On the eight short lines going out from the centre, plot dots at incremental thirds [E]. Now draw your circle tangent to the sides of the square and using the plot points placed two thirds from the centre. 'Ghost draft' this to practice first.

## 02. How to draw an ellipse

To draw a circle that appears tilted in perspective (an ellipse) repeat step 6 but this time start with a square drawn on an imaginary angled plane. You can simplify this process by drawing two lines dissecting each other, one short and vertical [A], the other horizontal and longer [B]. Now plot end points. Those on the horizontal line should be equal in distance from the centre.

Once again it's about connecting these points with a curvilinear path. But this time the upper semi-circle [A] is more foreshortened than the lower arc [B]. Practise this process small at first, just to build up your confidence – then move onto larger ellipses, which require more gestural arm and shoulder movements. It takes a lot of training to draw accurate ellipses.

## 03. How to draw a cylinder

You first need to determine your cylinder's size and orientation in 3D space. Draw an angled line measured to express its length in depth [A]. Introduce a line that runs parallel to it to determine the cylinder's width [B].

These two lines should be tapering to an imagined far off point to express any foreshortening that's occurring. The shape of both end ellipses depends on your viewing angle; in both cases the angle of each is perpendicular to the established sides.

Your ellipses should run perpendicular to your edge lines; knowing this helps you avoid 'squished' cylinders, a common issue when using horizontal ellipses to cap the ends of angled cylinders. Applying this rule will also help you describe cross contour lines accurately. When you need to add a cross contour line to a cylinder, lightly 'draw through' the entire ellipse in question, this helps maintain the curved ends found when the visible line connects to the form edges.

## Try this cylinder exercise Establish a horizon line, then draw a plumb line directly down the centre of your paper

Establish a horizon line, then draw a plumb line directly down the centre of your paper. From the converging centre point, draw a set of diagonal lines reaching outwards mimicking the length and width lines [A & B] from step 9, and cap it off with an ellipse. As this first cylinder started life at a single point (the vanishing point) we've actually drawn a tiny cone. Now continue to draw more cylinders, continuing along the established perspective plane.