How to draw Cylinder forms (to create many products)!

how to draw cylindrical forms

How to draw Cylindrical forms!

  • TIP 1 Draw with a Papermate Flair M
  • TIP 2 The minor axis is your symmetry axis!
  • TIP 3 The 3 steps to drawing “cylindrical forms” are easy
  • TIP 4 Visualize boxes in perspective
  • TIP 5 Draw contour lines
  • TIP 6 Try the Spring technique!

Drawing cylinders is inspiring when you decline them into an infinity of forms to draw your products. Let me show you how to decline them easily in 3 steps, and share with you my sketching tips!

TIP 1| Draw with a Papermate Flair M

Learning a new technique is often intimidating at the start.
As a beginner, we lack precision.
This is why I recommend you to practice with a thicker felt nib: The Papermate Flair M is my favorite.

Draw without looking for perfection and enjoy studying today’s drawing tutorials!

Papermate FLAIR M (Medium)
Papermate FLAIR M (Medium)
Thick felt nib
Thick felt nib

TIP 2| The minor axis is your symmetry axis!

Take any product around you with a cylinder base. 
Turn it in any angle while visualizing the invisible minor axis.
Take any product around you with a cylinder base.
Turn it at any angle while visualizing the invisible minor axis.

An important rule is to draw a cylinder base product, the minor axis is your symmetry axis. No matter from which angle you see your product.

We use the Cylinder base to create our new form drawing a series of ellipses.
We use the Cylinder base to create our new form drawing a series of ellipses.
Spot the minor axis here in blue = symmetry axis
Spot the minor axis here in blue = symmetry axis

TIP 3| The 3 steps to drawing “cylinder forms” are easy

Let’s have fun drawing some random forms using the “Cylinder base” technique! I show you below in 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Draw an axis
Step 1: Draw an axis
Step 2: Draw ellipses with different sizes all along the axis.
Step 2: Draw ellipses of different sizes all along the axis.
Step 3: Connect the ellipses creating the form you want.
Step 3: Connect the ellipses creating the form you want.

IMPORTANT:

TO KNOW: The top ellipse is thinner than the bottom one. All the ellipses in between get thick gradually going down.
TO KNOW: The top ellipse is thinner than the bottom one. All the ellipses in between get thick gradually going down.

TIP 4| Visualize boxes in perspective

To level up your visualization in 3D, imagine your “cylinder forms” embed in boxes in perspective.

Each box is a portion of the "Cylinder form".
Each box is a portion of the “Cylinder form”.

TIP 5| Draw contour lines

To show even more clarity and volume, add in contour lines. To practice this, you will need first to study the Designer Starter Kit.

Level up learning how to draw the contour lines of your volumes.
Level up learning how to draw the contour lines of your volumes.

TIP 6| Try the Spring technique!

Let me show you a fun sketching technique.
I draw some springs to create some volumes. Remember to widen the “ellipses” as you go down.

Draw with the Spring technique!
The Spring technique!
Fill many draft paper to practice.
Fill out many draft papers to practice.

Alrighty, I hope you enjoy this simple tutorial. I wish to show you how you can draw many new forms even as a beginner. 🙂

See you for the next DRAWING TIP!
Cheers,
Chou-Tac

About The Author

Chou-Tac

Hello! 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 is to help you all along with your design projects and journey! Leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at choutac@thedesignsketchbook.com : ) Chou-Tac

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