How to Draw the 4 Basic Forms (in Art and Design)

how to draw the 4 basic forms in art and design sketching Cube Pyramid Cylinder Sphere

How to Draw the 4 Basic Forms (in Art and Design) 38:54 min

You want to draw your ideas from imagination,
but you can’t visualize anything in 3D volume?

Don’t worry, we can fix this. 🙂

It all starts from drawing these 4 basic volumes only!

  • The cube,
  • The pyramid,
  • The sphere
  • And the cylinder.

  • 00:11 How to draw basic forms in 3D easy!
  • 00:28 Sketching Workshop format for beginners
  • 01:01 The 3 basic shapes of Squid Game (Square, Triangle, and Circle)
  • 01:15 How to draw the four 3D forms (Cube, Pyramid, Cylinder and Sphere)
  • 02:05 Draw from 2d shapes into 3D volumes
  • 02:31 Pyramid form with 4 faces
  • 03:22 The top view of a cylinder is a circle
  • 03:33 When a circle becomes an ellipse in perspective
  • 04:58 Drawing contour lines on a sphere, the easy way
  • 05:58 Add line weight to the cylinder
  • 06:07 Special guest: Lucy!
  • 06:29 The Master cube is the base of any form!
  • 06:43 Download your Designer Starter Kit (Make your first steps in perspective)
  • 06:54 Horizon line = Eye Level
  • 07:27 Take an object to view in front of your eye level
  • 08:09 The 5 primary positions of a product and the horizon line
  • 10:24 How to duplicate a cube in perspective
  • 12:57 How to draw a cube’s contour lines
  • 15:20 Use a cube to draw a pyramid
  • 19:36 With a cube, draw the pyramid from any angle
  • 21:08 Draw a sphere fast and easy with contour lines
  • 27:04 Draw a cylinder and its variations easy
  • 28:26 Assemble basic shapes to create advanced 3d forms

The 4 Basic forms: Cube, Pyramid, Sphere, Cylinder

00:11 How to draw basic forms in 3D easy!
00:11 How to draw basic forms in 3D easy!

Let’s start the sketching workshop (for beginners)

00:28 Sketching Workshop format
00:28 Sketching Workshop format
  • I wanted to try this new video tutorial format.
    They are longer though but cover more of the topic.
  • Let me know if you would like to get more of these video formats by email or in the comments! 🙂

The 3 basic shapes: Square, Triangle, and Circle

01:01 The 3 Basic shapes (like Squid Game)
01:01 The 3 Basic shapes (like Squid Game)
  • Basic sketching starts with these 3 simple forms only!
  • They are the cube, the pyramid, and the circle.

01:15 How to draw 3d forms from the Square - Triangle - Circle
01:15 How to draw 3d forms from the Square – Triangle – Circle
  • Complete this sketching mission today:
    Learn “How to draw 3d forms (from the three 2D shapes”).

02:05 Draw from 2d shapes into 3D volumes
02:05 Draw from 2d shapes into 3D volumes
  • Visualize the kid’s wooden toy.
  • The 3D volumes have to go through a 2D cutout of the game.

02:31 Pyramid form with 4 faces
02:31 Pyramid form with 4 faces
  • The square becomes a cube
  • The triangle becomes a pyramid
  • The circle becomes a sphere or a cylinder

Master these 4 Sketching tips! (I use them every day!)

TIP 1: A circle becomes an ellipse in perspective.

03:22 The top of a cylinder is a circle
03:22 The top of a cylinder is a circle
  • Take a cup (best if transparent)
  • Observe the top of its cylindrical form.
  • You get a perfect circle shape.

03:33 When a circle becomes an ellipse in perspective
03:33 When a circle becomes an ellipse in perspective
  • Tilt slowly the cylinder (the cup)
  • The circle becomes visually an ellipse

TIP 2: Draw “invisible lines” to create volumes fast

04:58 Drawing contour lines on a sphere
04:58 Drawing contour lines on a sphere
  • You need a few seconds only to draw a sphere with this technique.
  • Draw a horizontal ellipse and a vertical ellipse to your circle
  • Spot the front and behind intersections
  • Add a cross for each to show more clarity.
  • Connect the intersections with an arrow.
  • To practice more: How to draw a sphere with the XYZ axis?

TIP 3: Use line-weight to clarify your sketches

05:58 Add line weight to the cylinder
05:58 Add line weight to the cylinder
  • TIP: Add line weight to your volumes to show more contrast.
  • Remember to always start your sketches with a line pen pressure.
  • To practice more: How to draw with line-weight?

06:07 Special guest: Lucy!
06:07 Special guest: Lucy!
  • Lucy is looking for attention 🙂
  • Don’t get distracted, and keep sketching!

TIP 4: The cube is the “Primary base” to draw anything! (Master it asap!)

06:29 The Master cube is the root of any form!
06:29 The Master cube is the root of any form!

06:43 Download your Designer Starter Kit
06:43 Download your Designer Starter Kit
  • To learn how to draw a cube in perspective, get your free guide. It’s free!
  • You learn step-by-step how to draw a cube from any angle.
  • Plus many more sketching tips for beginner artists and designers!

How to visualize the horizon line (to start in perspective)

06:54 Horizon line = Eye Level
06:54 Horizon line = Eye Level

The eye level is your point of view
The eye level is your point of view
  • The horizon line is also called “eye level”.
  • It is basically from the viewer’s position.

07:27 Take an object to view in front of your eye level
07:27 Take an object to view in front of your eye level
  • Take an object, and place it in front of your eye.
  • That would be the frontal view of your product.

08:09 The 5 primary positions of a product and the horizon line
08:09 The 5 primary positions of a product and the horizon line
  • Move the object in 4 directions: Up, down, left, right
  • Draw its position with the horizon line

How to duplicate a cube in perspective (simple geometry)

10:24 How to duplicate a cube in perspective
10:24 How to duplicate a cube in perspective
  • We cover a “duplicating tutorial of a square” on 2D first.
  • Then we apply the same technique in perspective to duplicate the exact same cube.

Divide a cube (using simple geometry) to create advanced forms

12:57 How to draw a cube's contour lines
12:57 How to draw a cube’s contour lines

Start drawing a pyramid (using the cube as a base)

15:20 Use a cube to draw a pyramid
15:20 Use a cube to draw a pyramid
  • We use the cube as a base to draw a pyramid.
  • The cube drawing becomes the “construction lines”.
  • Make sure to draw it with light pen pressure.
    So you can draw the pyramid more boldly to create contrast.
  • To learn more: 6 Tips to improve your quality of lines!

19:36 With a cube, draw the pyramid from any angle
19:36 With a cube, draw the pyramid from any angle
  • To find the “peak” of the pyramid, trace the diagonals of a face to find its center.
  • Connect the peak to the 4 corners of the opposite face.
  • Try different viewpoints using the exact same technique!
  • It’s magic 🙂

Draw a sphere (the easy way)

21:08 Draw a sphere fast and easy with contour lines
21:08 Draw a sphere fast and easy with contour lines

Draw a cylinder and its variations

27:04 Draw a cylinder and its variations easy
27:04 Draw a cylinder and its variations easy
  • Use this simple technique to draw a cylinder starting with its 2 ellipses.
  • Create variations by twisting the profile.
  • Make sure they are symmetrical.
  • To practice more: How to draw bottles easily

Assemble simple shapes to create advanced forms!

28:26 Assemble basic shapes to create advanced 3d forms
28:26 Assemble basic shapes to create advanced 3d forms
  • Assemble random 2d basic shapes of your choice (square, triangle, and circle)
  • Use the basic volumes (cube, pyramid, cylinder, and sphere) to draw them in perspective.
  • Note: In perspective, a square could become a cube or a cylinder. It’s up to you!
  • To practice more: How to draw with the “LEGO BLOCK technique”

Level up your sense of 3D observation!

Analyse products around you
Analyse products around you
  • Look around you
  • Select simple products
  • Visualize the basic forms they are composed.
  • For example:
    My GoPro camera is made of a big box.
    The lens is made of a smaller box and a cylinder.
  • To practice more: How to draw a GoPro camera?

Simplify the products into primary forms
Simplify the products into primary forms
  • This pan and camera are different.
  • However, they are both made of a cylinder and a box!
  • They are more look-alike than it seems.

SKETCHING ROUND UP

  • Right-Click + Save as… to download the pictures for your notebook.
1- How to draw a cube
1- How to draw a cube
2- How to draw a pyramid
2- How to draw a pyramid
3- How to draw a cylinder
3- How to draw a cylinder
4- How to assemble volumes and create new products
4- How to assemble volumes and create new products

After that,

  • you will see your quality of lines boosted
  • your 3D vision will be much more accurate
  • best of all, ready to build new and advanced volumes by yourself!

Have a wonderful sketching session!
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

2 Comments

  • Aurea María Oliveira Santos

    Reply Reply August 26, 2022

    Excelente contenido para aprender y para enseñar .Muchas Gracias por compartir

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply August 26, 2022

      Estoy feliz porque te gustas la video de tutorial y ayudarte a dibujar las formas del arte y diseño.

      Thanks Aurea.

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