How To Draw Illustrations in 3D | John Anderson | Skillshare

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How To Draw Illustrations in 3D

teacher avatar John Anderson, Artist / Adventurer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Drawing 3D Introduction

    • 2. Tools You Need for Drawing

    • 3. Learning Basic Shapes and Shading

    • 4. Sketching a 3D Treasure Chest

    • 5. Filling in the Treasure Chest

    • 6. Sketching a 3D Stone Building

    • 7. Filling in the Stone Building

    • 8. Drawing Your Own 3D Object

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About This Class

In this class you will learn how to draw 3D illustrations step by step. From simple line doodles to detailed drawings. If you want to broaden your art skills, learn how to make illustrations with line drawings, or if you just like drawing, this class is for you!

These drawings are fun and simple and vary in levels of complexity for young and old alike. This class will show you how to create a 3D illustration with a few examples you can follow along with. I show how to get started with simple shapes as well as more detailed line drawings. If you are an artist, (or wannabe artist!) this is a great way to explore your creativity and add to your sketchbook! It also can be a way to teach drawing to children or grand kids, keeping them busy but still learning!

Here's what others are saying!
"I really liked this class, and all your classes! I like the simplicity of it, easy to follow with fun ideas."
“Great class! Clear and straight forward, gave me a feel good sense of accomplishment.”
"He has a fun way of explaining his drawing process."
"So much fun!"
“We had a nice family drawing time taking this class. Thank you!"

Drawing 3D is a fun exercise in creative drawing. Starting out with line drawings gives you the ability to draw whatever you see, think, or imagine. By adding the third dimension you can create drawings that appear to be standing off the page. Line drawings are great to fill a sketchbook with or to frame and use as decoration.

You will learn:

  • What tools I like to use for drawing
  • Adding a 3rd dimension to your drawing
  • How to sketch your drawing out before putting the pen to the paper
  • Creating detailed 3D illustrations

John likes to draw, he’s been drawing since he could hold any drawing utensil! He has filled many sketchbooks ranging from simple drawings to detailed outdoor scenes and fun castle drawings. His favorite type of drawings to create are the fun little knights and castles that you can learn to draw in his class How To Draw A Simple Medieval Castle. These simple line drawings can be quick and easy or be made into just about any size and complexity you want. And they look great framed too!

Even if you’re new to drawing, you’ll find this class quick and simple to get you creating.

If you liked this class be sure to check out these:
How to Draw Mountains:
How to Draw a Cabin in the Pines:
How to Draw a Simple Medieval Castle:
How to Draw Broadway Tower:
How to Draw a Medieval Scene:
How to Draw Simple Trees:
How to Draw Pine Trees:
How to Draw a Fairytale Castle:
Get Started Drawing with Simple Art:
Getting Started with Stippling & Dotwork:
Coloring Line Drawings with Colored Pencils:
How to Draw Bridges:
Getting Started Drawing Snowflakes in 10 Minutes:
How To Draw Perspectives:
How to draw Sailboats:

Meet Your Teacher

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John Anderson

Artist / Adventurer


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1. Drawing 3D Introduction: Hello everybody and welcome back to another drawing class. And this class you'll learn how to take a basic line drawing and turn it into a 3D line drawing. We're going to start with a line drawing and then we're going to add details and shading to it. So it will appear as if it is off the page. I'm John, I like to draw anything from detailed outdoor scenes to fund castle drawings with those little nights up on the walls. You can find more on my drawings in my other Skillshare classes, as well as at Pennhurst studios. 3d is width, height, and depth. So we have three-dimensions here. So most times with drawings they are 2D, they will have some degree of width and height to them. So we're going to add to that some depth with details and shading. By the end of this class, you should be able to take your ideas and create a 3D illustration. You'll be able to turn your line drawings into a more detailed drawing using the width, height, and depth with those three-dimensions. Sure to check out my other class on drawing perspectives for more on this subject. All right, Let's get into making some 3D line drawings. 2. Tools You Need for Drawing: All right, For our line drawn here today, we're going to need a few different things. Number 1 is a sketchbook or a piece of paper. To use a big sketchbook when I'm at home drawing all sorts of ideas. And when I'm on the go, I will just grab a smaller one. Or you can just grab a piece of paper and sketch your ideas on that. Now for starting with line drawing, I recommend grabbing some pencils and erasers. This way you can erase lines if they're not straight before you put your pen to the paper. Next is to grab a fine liner. Now there are lots of different brands you can use for fine liners with a, I think it's about 03 size. And that one is very good for just everyday joins. So if you can find a pen that is like 0, 3, 0, 1 to 0, three sides. Those are great for everyday joins. And then if you want to get more detailed, you will stick to the smaller size. This is a 000 five as a very fine tip pen. 300, 5001 are great for doing fine detail work. But for everyday use you can just grab a 03 up to 0, 8. And those are great for everyday joints. That's about everything in the supplies you'll need. So let's get started drawing. 3. Learning Basic Shapes and Shading: All right, To start out, we'll just go with a simple box shape here. And this is what it would be if it was just a 2D drawing. Again, has that width and it has that height. So drawing with perspective would make this appear as if it was off the page or if you're looking into a scene. So we need to make this look more 3D. So we're going to add the extra dimension to it. So we're going to make the same box here. But we're going to add some depth to it. So we're going to make all our lines here the same size. And now we have a 3D object. So we're going to add some shading to emphasize the drawing as if it is sitting on a table or something like that. And we'll just add in some shading on this side. And we'll get into shading and textures in a later class. So be sure to follow along for that. I'm going to do some cross shooting here. This is crosshatch. There's going to be on the back of the box, our light source, I'll be coming from the other side. And I'm also going to shade this side, but I'm going to make this side a little bit lighter. And then we'll pretend our light is back over here. So we're going to add some shading Back in this area here. Then if you imagine that the top of the box here from the light source, we're going to make this same angle of line down here and over here. And we're just going to shade inside that area right there. So there we have a 3D shape and it is shaded from the light source back over here. And it appears as if it's sitting on a table. Students again with a few different sides of the box. Then if you imagine our depth line going back into the image that way, that is what we're going for here. We're going to draw another box here. We have our width here, which is this way, height, which is our up and down. We're going to add that depth dimension to it. So I'm going to add my shadow from the box here. We're just kinda imagine that the light is coming from the right side over here. And we'll shade this in over here. Now to give this even more detail, we can darken up our shadow on the side that is closest to the object. 4. Sketching a 3D Treasure Chest: All right, In this section we're going to draw a treasure chest. And we're going to make it appear as if it is a 3D object. So it is standing out from the background. I'm going to start by drawing some parallel lines to define our box of the treasure chest. Going to make the sides of the treasure chest here. Next I'm going to add the lid, which will be open. I want to make it about the same size as the box itself. And again, those will be parallel to each other as well. Again, the top here is also parallel to the box, and then we'll make the lid here itself with the curved lead. This will be inside the lid. You can see this part here. So now we have parallel drawings and they're all matching lines. Now we can just go from here and add more details to our box or so we will start with our details next. So I'm going to add a latch up here on the top. And down here in the front, about in the middle of the box. Add the latch piece down here. And this is going to be a loop. That is where they will put the lock on the treasure chest. We'll go ahead and we could put a lock on here as well. What's a little bit of details there? I'll add on a little fine details on the lock, such as the keyhole that'll be shaded in. We have some third dimension details on the lock here. So this is the side of the lock. We could also put some rivets that hold it to the box itself appear on the top. I'm going to make this board. So it looks like our box has some thickness to it. These are actually boards. Treasure chest made out of wood. So it will have some thickness to the boards here that opsin adding to our 3D drawing is adding those sort of details. We also had the slats on the top of the box. And of course, each treasure chest, we'll have a bunch of treasure in it. So we will add some treasure coming out of the box here, as well as some treasure inside the box. So these would be coins. So you have a lot of circular items in here. Maybe a little sword inside of it. I'll be stuck down in the treasure there. And on the back of the box here, I'm going to make this board here as well. So that adds that much more detailed to our drawing. So when you're making a 3D drawing, what you're really working for is adding those details that make it stand out from the page and adding perspective to it. This is a big part of that. We'll add some more of those coins in here. And they may be in the lead here and they open it. Just remember when you're filling this in with your pen, anything in the foreground, you will draw that first. We have our board back here. We're not going to draw that line through the coin here with the sword. We're not going to draw it to the hilt of the sword either. Because we went all the things in the foreground to be drawn first. So it looks like they are in the foreground. Let's make some board slats here on the outside of the chest. And let's add some rivets that hold this together here with some rivet details there. And let's have some maybe a pearl necklace hears coming out and looping around the corner here. Let's finish our chain here and end this end of the box. We're going to shade that in a little bit. Just for reference, I'm going to make a few marks here for shading. That is the corner of the inside of the box over there. And then back over here we'll have some more shading going on. And then in the lid here we will shade a little bit here. Deeper part of the lid on this inside part will shade these as well. And that gives us some more detail there. So in addition to your shading, you'll also have board textures. And we'll get into textures later in a later class. So be sure to follow for that. But I'll just show you real quick here. We're going to do a little bit more texture. And that's simply just a few little lines on the boards. Maybe an hour or two on the board. Where lines go to. And then just simply add a few lines for some more detail. Here on this side, we're going to need some handles to lift this treasure chest with a bracket that holds it on. And then make our handle here on our bracket here we'll just do a little bit of shading. This will be great with our little fine pen can get in and do these finer details. I'll make some coins out here. Make sure they're round. All right, next we just need some details around the treasure chest. So a little bit of shading down here at the base where it is sitting on the crown. So on this side we're going to be shaded in a little bit more. On this. And here. Oh yes, up here under this end when we shaded as well. So now that we have our treasure chest sketched out with our pencil, Let's grab our fine liner. And we'll fill this in. 5. Filling in the Treasure Chest: Let's start with a thicker, fine liner and go with the basics. And then we'll switch to a smaller one. And we're going to fill in the smaller details. And again, remembering that everything in front you wanted to draw first, we're going to start with these purple beads here. And just work my way around filling in. And you just want to line up your lines. If it goes behind, make sure your line looks like it goes straight through. Now if you need to remember, you can always turn your sketch book to make it more comfortable for you to draw. That makes it a lot easier. I'm going to finish with all the boards here. So that is the main part of our drawing as the chest itself. And then I'm going to go on to more of the details. I'll finish the lock down here. And remember we have that extra side there. Now it gives us LOC some depth to it. We have this plate that holds the lock. So all our boards that go behind like a lock here or the chain, you just want to make sure that they all end up going straight across and we don't want them parallel with the chest itself. All right, then on the box here on the corners we have all these rivets that hold it together. I'm gonna go ahead and draw those in with my thicker pen here, finish off these boards on the lid. Then we have one more board back here. I'm going to finish this knife over in front of it. Here in the back. I'm also going to add some details that add some depth to it as well. We're just going to add some graphs back here. Same on the other side and a little bit of grass detail here. Then I'm going to switch to my other pen and finish the rest of those fine details. All right, so we have this right here that is just going to be dark. And then, so I'm going to add in all those coins. I can add some board textures. We've added a little bit of shading to our box. Now we can just add a little bit more on the ends. And then we have a little bit under the bottom. Just about finished. I knew that by evenly spacing some hash marks, arcs. And then I'm going to add a little bit of wood details on the box here before I shade down this side. These are like metal brackets here on the side, so they're going to be a darker shade when I add my wood texture in these boards. All right, lastly, we just have the shading down at the base. And now we have a 3D illustration. Now what really set that out is the shading and the details from the page, and that is how you can make a 3D drawing as well. Finally, we will erase our pencil lines. So we'll just go lightly over this with our eraser and erase any pencil lines we had. And that will clear up the line drawing. So we're gonna go on from here and work on another 3D drawing you can do in your illustrations. 6. Sketching a 3D Stone Building: For our last section, we're going to draw a 3D building. And since I like to draw castles, will draw a simple castle building. So we'll begin with our box shape. And this will be all parallel lines matching up to each other. So they're all going the same direction. We'll have a couple of different levels here. So this line here is going to be parallel to this one down here. My reference line there. These parallel lines here. This here is like a boardwalk here on the edge of a castle wall. So we can make a doorway underneath here. We'll just make a wooden ladder that would be going up to this level up here. And then we need a little bit of surrounding details like the ground. So now we can go back and add some more detail to this or so with our stone walls up here, they're going to be pretty thick. Thick stone wars. And we can add the inside of those will all up here. And if you want to, you can add the floor of it. And then we'll just shade the inside of these darker. We can add some windows underneath it. And then we'll have this level down here where the second storey level is. There's normally like a line around a building to show where the second story is. We can make a doorway on this one here. Now just remember that all your lines on the building are going to be parallel with each other. So this floor right here, It's going to be parallel with the top. That's essentially what makes it a 3D drawing. When you have a bigger window down on the bottom side. This here is also a shaded wall. Underneath here will be shaded somewhat. So we'll put a few stone details on this building here. 7. Filling in the Stone Building: All right, so let's go ahead and grab our fine liner and fill this in. And we're going to start with the basic shape. And then we'll use our smaller fine liner to do the rest. So let's switch to our smaller pen. Will fill the rest of this n here. So I'm just working my way around filling in those pencil lines of our original sketch with my small fine liner. This way I can add those fine details to it. Then we can just add little fine details like ours don't work. Or if this was a wooden building, we could add a wood texture to it. We have this sort of stone ramp that goes around like a break in the stone wall where they made some sort of detail with the stonework. And that goes in right here. This is a wood doors, so we'll have some wooden texture on it. Go ahead and finish up our stonework, and then darken inside the doorway. All right, we just have this little bit of stone work here on this little wrap around the building. And then we need a little bit here on top of the roof. All right, let's go ahead and we can shade this in here. So I'm going to shade in these back walls and these walls on this side as well. And then a little bit under this awning here, have some shade underneath that. And of course, the floor up here's going to be dark and then we're going to shade a little bit on this one here. Just to add some detail there. Now we do need some stones under here. So any place that we missed stones, we can just go back and fill those in. And I like to put a little bit of shading on this wall. And then a little bit on this overhang here, do that to the whole top just for some texture. And then over here behind this tower, will angle it for some shading. Can see that adds some more details to it there. Then we just have our ground down here. If you want to add that in, that's totally optional. I think adding the ground adds a lot more detail and character to the scene. So we'll go ahead and draw that in here. I'm going to shade in front here a little bit more. Could we have our light coming from the back side? So I'm just gonna go ahead and shade the front under here. And then I'm just going to erase everything underneath. Are all our pencil sketching underneath it. We'll just finish out by erasing those pencil lines. And there we have a 3D drawing of ability. 8. Drawing Your Own 3D Object: For the class project school back through and practice drawing those 3D boxes to get started with that height, width, and depth. And if you would like, you can practice along with drawing the treasure chest. Or you can practice trying the 3D buildings and make a bunch of them and put them all together. Or just draw a 3D illustration that you've come up with on your own. I'd love to see what you guys create, so be sure to share a picture. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you guys in the next class.