How to draw the 3 basic forms of design sketching (Cube Sphere Cylinder)


Today is a wonderful Sunday! 
Sunny and happy like I love!

Last night, 
I have prepared a video tutorial about the basics of design sketching: the cube, the sphere and the cylinder. 

At the end of this video, you will know how to draw them in an easy way.
Remember to go through the Designer Starter Kit first. You can find it here.

Get some paper and pen, here we go!


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How to draw the tree basic forms of design sketching.
So welcome to TheDesignSketchbook.com, I am Chou-Tac.

I invite you to take a piece of paper and ballpoint pen or markers such as a Papermate flair and let’s start. So I’m going to draw a cube here for the first form and as you can see, I start with the top surface first then I draw the vertical lines to the bottom and I will draw the bottom surface then.

And this is how I will complete that cube. That’s the way that you can easily visualize your cube when you’re drawing it. And of course, if you are a true beginners I invite you to download the designers starter kit where you will get all step by steps to know how to draw a cube in perspective.
The second form here is a sphere but it’s for now just a circle. And here on the third one is a cylinder as you can see the top ellipse and the bottom ellipse are different at the top Phillips is thinner. The bottom ellipse is wider and then I just connected and the middle line is a minor axis. We will go through more later.
So now what I want to draw is to do what I want to do isthe contour lines. Basically the contour line is what I use mainly for as a center lines is that I’m dividing the 3D forms into two.
Like if you would see, like this box, let’s say it’s the cake, I have a knife to cut it, cut it like in the middle, in the horizontal way and in the vertical way as well. And same for each side. And this is very convenient for you whenever you are going to draw some products that are more complex because you will subdivide your basic form so you can kind of like sculpting, sculpting it.
And make sure that you come to an angle so follow your perspective.
It’s something that is going to be used anytime ever not even if like the contour lines on something invisible. They allow you as a product designer to do some forms very fast instead of just instead of trying to do with a multiple stroke for the shadow. Like trying to blur trying to shade and so on, you can draw just a contour line and you will will feel the surface.
And make sure that you know your basics from The Designer Starter Kit and that you are not guessing. You can see and red, the common mistake is that you’re trying to guess and at the end, everything looks awkward, because you don’t really know why you don’t know how to justify but actually they’re sort of very simple and they just need the basics.

Here let’s draw a very quick thumbnail of what you will find in the Designer Starter Kit. So once again, you will find it, you will find all step by steps in the guide. So just give me your email and I will send you the guides to show you everything on the Designer Starter Kit.
So here on the surface, I can see here I draw some diagonals, so I can get the center and the contour line will go trough the center and I can just connect to the vanishing point.
Here we go. So as what I told you, we make sure that the contour lines follow the same perspective. They also joined the vanishing points but are all behind. So for the two point perspective here, there is a vanishing point on the right and a vanishing point on the left. Here we go.
Right, Left.
When you know the basics you can avoid to draw all the perspective set to save some lines and clarity.
So as you can see here for the sphere with just two additional ellipses I got here the transformation from a simple circle in 2D to a sphere in 3D. And when I join here I’ve got an extra access which is going to help me to better visualize tree dimension.
So basically, when you draw this, let’s say to explain how confirm this sphere here but cut this little ellipse that cut the sphere in two is that you can imagine that this is actually from the top view a circle which is on the plane.
The circle is embedded in the square in perspective. Then I draw the contour line and I got the x and the z axis and then I can draw the vertical to get the y axis.
Here we go.
So in three dimensions, you have X, Y and Z axis going through the center of this sphere.
It is pretty magic, right?
So here is a quick preview of what you can do with these three simple forms of perspective.
So here from the top view, basically you have a square, you have a circle which is inside and then you draw the daigonales. And the diagonals, you will draw the contour lines that split the square and the circle in two vertically, horizontally. So you have four parts.
Okay, four equal parts.
It’s more like a game.
So I invite you to not hesitate to make a pause on this video to rewind a bit and draw with me at the same time.
Here we go like for the cylinder is actually the same logic. You have to think that the ellipse is actually a circle for the top view and is embedded in the square. It is like you have a tube here, like a pipe, which is inside the box. Let’s say you are buying a maybe like a can which is inside the packaging, a box. This is what you need to draw and imagine and from there from the box it will actually help you to the contour lines of the cylinder.
Here we go.
Alright, so the cylinder is inside the box. And then thanks to the box, it helps me to draw the Contour lines. And basically as you can see here on the side, the contour line is the touching points of the pipe on the box. Like imagine that you have the packaging form of the box in front of you, you put a pipe inside with those contact points, which is going to be all along the Vertical surface.
All right. Here we go.
Try to visualize in real life your sketch into a real product. And that’s going to really help you to better draw in 3 dimensions.
It’s not just a 2d paper just a sketch in 2D paper. It is a representation in your mind of something real.
Here we go.
So I’m doing this small corner to help you to show you that what is in front and what is on the back to gain clarity in your sketch.
So,
So this little cross. This is the front. This is the back.
This is just to clarify it. To to make sure that in one half a second you can understand your drawing.
Front and the back.
There we go.
So it’s all about simple geometry. So basically remember the circle inside the square.
The cylinder inside the box.
Here we go. And as you can see here, I got well defined my x y z axis right here. We can also notice that the y axis is actually going through the center of the top surface and the center to the bellow surface. And this is just like a projection. These two so face are connected.
Here we go.
He’s pretty magic, right?
And I love this game, because when you understand it and take the time to practice it with the right the right step the right order the steps then everything is which is really cool, because you have understood how simple is the geommetry of design sketching.
Here we go. So I got iterate a bit.
So remember to draw always starting with Llight lines. So it allows you some more margin to maneuver with your mistakes. So, you can iterate on top when something is not correct.
Here we go.
From the cube, the top and below surface I got highlighted with these little stars like these crosses in three dimensions the center of the top surface, the center below surface and I joined them.
And that’s the box that actually you could draw the cylinder inside if you want to.
Because for the cylinder I got draw with a reverse engineered just to show you that actually you can draw the cylinders first. And then when you understand the basics of perspective, you can complete the box around. And we got the cube, the sphere and the cylinder as the three main basic forms of design sketching.
And when you enjoy your cylinder, make sure that you take your time to make things neat in the way that make sure that your ellipses are well horizontal and the minor axis go to the middle.
Here we go.
And use it as a symmetry axis. Okay?
There we go.
Okay, one more time.
Do not hesitate to download the designer starter kit to get al the steps.
If you feel overwhelmed at this stage that’s normal because it’s just that you don’t know instead below this is why I invite you to get all the techniques on the guides. Right there. All right?
So here is the cube, the sphere and the cylinder.
Here some iterations because I realized that my contour lines was not vertical like the edges.
So it is good to sometime to just take a little pause and double check. Because, one of the main key to success this is focus. Right, make sure it’s parallel to the edges. Okay?
So remember, you have to iterate.
This is one of the key of success. Whenever something can be adjusted, go ahead. It’s not about being perfect every time, but you have to iterate to gain some precision. Alright?
So you can draw with precision and also with some very fee lines as well.
So remember to keep focus, right here. Draw with some light lines. And this is how you we keep going with confidence all along.
And remember to close your cap of your pen when you finish your session because they can dry so fast. I was drawing with the Papermate flair. And this is one of my favourite pen that I can also recommend you very much.
Here we go. So I hope you enjoyed this video and I see you for the next one. And remember to subscribe to the channel. Click also the little bell below to make sure that you won’t miss any future video.

See you guys!

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About The Author

Chou-Tac

Hello ! My name is Chou-Tac. I am a product designer from France. If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my industrial design career, I believe that they can also help you reach your design goal as a student or professional. My aim to help you all along with your design projects and journey. Anytime, feel free to leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at [email protected] : )

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