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Lesson 7: Drawing Form and Shape

In this lesson we take a look at form and shape. And we can do this with a very simple shape that is actually a bit tricky to understand - a sphere.



A drawing of a Medieval mace

In this lesson I take you through the steps of drawing a fairly simple form. We are going to use the ball head of a Medieval Mace and we go from drawing a circle to drawing the finished mace. This is an easy to understand process and it entails really looking at the object you are drawing.

Step 1: Draw A Circle. You can do it freehand, use a compass or use some round object as a template. I used an inverted coffee cup.


Step 2: Draw lines where there are differences in the dark/light on the object. The light is shining on the mace from the upper right so the small circle I have drawn is a very bright spot. I have divided the bottom left of the mace into two different crescent slices. The top of these two slices is darkest and the lower slice is lighter. This is because some light is reflecting off the table back onto the mace. I have also drawn the shadow.



Step 3: Fill in the various areas with graphite from your pencil. The darker areas get more graphice. Use soft strokes and move your pencil in strokes that follow the contour of the shape. In the case of a ball like this my pencil strokes follow nice curves. I use very few straight lines except a few as crosshatching in the darkest area of the ball. Once you have a nice amount of graphite on the drawing you should smudge it.



Step 4: Smudge the pencil lines using a smudge stick (Tortillon)

Follow the curve of the ball and smudge the pencil lines so the blend together into continuous shades. Notice the bottom of the mace head is not the darkest. Some light is reflecting back off the surface of the table and slightly illuminating this area so the darkest area is actually a little up from the bottom.


Finish with the highlights: Now use your eraser to remove the graphite from the brightest spots. For this drawing it is the small circle in the upper right and a think area along the bottom left where reflected light hits the ball. In this drawing I have also added the chain. To draw the chain use the same technique you learned for the ball.


Here is a review of the Steps:

  1. 1- draw the outline
  2. 2-draw lines for the dark/light area
  3. pencil in the areas using more graphite and darker lines for the dark areas
  4. smudge the drawing with a smudge stick or tortillon so everything looks smooth
  5. using an eraser erase out the brightest areas


Lets Continue on to Lesson 8 - How to draw metal ; We draw a Knight's Helmet


Draw Medieval Fantasies

Offers step-by-step instructions for drawing dragons, castles, and other objects of the medieval world; covers basic skills as well as advanced drawing techniques.




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