How To Draw Impossible Shapes (Optical Illusions) - Simple Drawing Projects for Beginners | Ethan Nguyen | Skillshare

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How To Draw Impossible Shapes (Optical Illusions) - Simple Drawing Projects for Beginners

teacher avatar Ethan Nguyen, Art Instructor

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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

9 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Class Trailer

      0:49
    • 2. How to Draw an Impossible Triangle

      3:58
    • 3. How to Draw an Impossible Square

      4:17
    • 4. How to Draw an Impossible Circle

      3:39
    • 5. How to Draw an Impossible Heart

      3:03
    • 6. How to Draw an Impossible Pentagon

      4:32
    • 7. How to Draw an Impossible Hexagon

      4:26
    • 8. How to Draw an Impossible Star

      7:15
    • 9. How to Draw an Impossible Star of David

      5:17
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About This Class

In this class, you learn how to draw a variety of 3D optical illusions called "impossible shapes." These are not called "impossible shapes" because they are impossible to draw. Rather, it is because these shapes can not actually exist in real life. 

By practicing these drawings, you'll learn basic drawing skills like how to create 3 dimensional forms and how to shade them. 

There are fun drawings that will help hone your art skills and wow your friends with cool optical illusions!

Course Material List

I buy a ton of art supply online and these links are the best prices I was able to find for these items & where I buy them myself.

Full disclosure, these are referral links so if you buy something through them, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!)

Music Credit:

"Carefree"
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Also, be sure to check out the my courses so you don't miss out on any important skills:

Meet Your Teacher

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Ethan Nguyen

Art Instructor

Teacher

I am a professional artist and teacher and have taught thousands of students how to draw the head and figure through my courses and online videos. 

My strength as a teacher comes from my ability to deconstruct complex subjects into manageable concepts. And my attention to detail helps me to explain these concepts in a way that is very approachable to students.  

In order to make sure my courses contain the best available information, I am constantly researching, studying, and training to improve my artistic skills. 

See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Class Trailer: hi. If you're beginning artists looking for simple but fun drawing projects toe help you hone your basic drawing skills. Then you have come to the right place. In this course, you'll learn how to draw simple optical illusions called the impossible shapes. Don't worry, these drawings aren't calling possible because they're difficult to draw that call impossible because the optical illusions that can't exist in real life. But they're actually quite simple to draw. And by doing these projects, you'll learn how to draw the basic shapes, develop hand eye coordination, basic shading skills and very basic perspective. All the drawings broken down into step by step, so you bid to follow along easily, and once finished, you'll have 1/4 on to show off to your friends family. So grab your pencil and paper and I'll see you on the inside 2. How to Draw an Impossible Triangle: In this video, you're gonna learn how to draw a simple optical illusion called the Impossible Triangle. So the reason this illusion is called the Impossible Triangle is because there's a shape that can actually exist in real life. But despite the intimidating sound name is actually very simple to draw. So let's get started. The first step, it's a draw is simple. Triangle. I tried to make all the sides as uniform as possible. Next, within the triangle you just drew draw the three sides again to form a smaller triangle. The gap between the larger and smaller Trying Corp will determine the thickness of your impossible triangle. I tried to keep this distance relatively thin so that my drawing doesn't get too crowded. Repeat this process one more time to create 1/3 even smaller triangle. Now go to each of the three diamond shapes at the outer corner of your drawing and put a short line through the middle of each and that's it. That's all the line we have to make. Our impossible trying goes in here somewhere. We just have to make it visible now. So first erase the three corner tips of the larger triangle. Notice that we now have a large triangle like shape at the outer edge of the drawing, and we also have a small triangle at the very center. Let's go ahead and think in these two shapes, because we don't for sure that these are the lines we want to keep. I'm going to be using a 0.5 kopeck multi line up in, and I'll provide the toe all the materials in the description of these pens. Take a few seconds to dry. So be careful not to smarts them when you're drawing. Okay, so now we just have to take in the rest of the drawing. That's a lot of lines so it can get bit confusing. The best way to think about this is to imagine that you're trying to get from the large triangle to the small triangle using the's roads. Here's what I mean. Here we have a choice of two roads for the 1st 1 It doesn't matter which road you picked, so let's just go with this one. Followed this road down until you get to the far end of the small child, then make a turn to connect to it. Now let's do the same thing for this corner again. You have to roads to choose from, but since this one is already used, we'll have to use the other one. And again. Once you get to the far end of the small triangle, make a turn to connect to it, and lastly, we'll do the same for the third corner. Now let's just wait a minute for the ink to dry and then erase the pencil line to reveal our impossible triangle. So we're pretty much done without triangle, and you can stop here if you like. But I'm gonna add a few finishing touches to make a drawing really pop. I use a 1.0 size pen to create a quick outline and the outer edge of the triangle and also at the center. And lastly, let's add for the shading, use a to B pencil to put a gradation at the three in the corners of the triangle. Let's add a lighter gradation using an HB pencil at the three outer corners, and we'll finish 3. How to Draw an Impossible Square: In this video, you're gonna learn how to draw a simple off of illusion called the Impossible Square. Despite the name, this illusion is actually quite simply the draw. It's a pilot project and a great way for Guinness to practice your drawing skills. So let's get started. The first step is to draw a simple square. I'm going to draw this free hand, but you can use a rule if you like next. Within the square you just drew. Draw the four sides again to form a smaller square. The gap between the larger and smaller square will determine the thickness of your impossible square. I tried to keep this distance relatively thin so that my drawing doesn't get too crowded. Repeat this process one more time to create 1/3 even smaller square, tried to keep the spacing identical to the previous square. Now go to each of the four small squares at the outer corners of your drawing and put a short diagonal line through each and that's it. That's all the line that we have to make our impossible squares in this somewhere. We just have to ink in some of the lines to make it visible first erased the four corner tips off the larger square Notice that we now have a large square like shape at the outer edge of the drawing, and we also have a small square at the very center. We know for sure that we want to keep these lines, so let's think them in. I want to be using a 0.5 kopeck, multi line a pen, but any inking pen that you have to do, I'll provide a link to all the materials in the description. By the way, be careful not to smudge the ink when you're drawing now, we just have to think in the rest of the drawing. That's a lot of lines so it can get a bit confusing. The best way to think about this is to imagine that you're trying to get from the large square to the small square using these roads. Here's what I mean. Let's start with this corner here. We have a choice of two roads for the 1st 1 It doesn't really matter which road you pick, so let's just go with this one. Follow this road down, and to get to the far end of a small square and then make a turn to connect to it. Now let's do the same thing for this corner again. You have your choice of two roads, but since this one is already used, we'll have to use the other one. And again. Once you get to the far end of the small square, make a turn to connect to it. And now, for the third corner, I think you get the idea. By now, we have two roads. One is taken, so we use the other one. And then, when you get to the end, make a turn to connect. Easy right, lastly, will do the same for the fourth quarter. Now, let's just wait a few seconds for the ink to dry and erase the pencil lines to reveal our impossible square. So now is at a few finishing touches to make the drawing really pop, I use a 1.0 size pen to create a thick outline at the outer edge and at the center of the square. I'm using the pen and the ruler to gradually add inclines right next to each other to create a thick border. But if you have a marker or a Sharpie that can make a decline in just one stroke that would actually work better. Also, make sure to add the borders on the outside of the drawing, and lastly, let's add some shading. I'll use a to B pencil to put a gradation at the four inner corners of the square. There was at a lighter gradation at the four outer corners. Now let's just put our signature on this and call it a drawing. 4. How to Draw an Impossible Circle: in this video, I'm gonna show you how to draw a simple optical illusion called the Impossible Circle. The first step is to draw a circle. Obviously, you can use a compass or a circle template to do this, but I'm going to show you a neat little trick to draw a perfect circle Freehand. The way this works is that we're going to basically turn our hand into a compass. First market anchor point on your paper that will be the center of your circle. We will use this knuckle here as the pivoting point and place it on the dot Hold your pencil firmly so that it doesn't move and gently turn the paper with the other hand. And if all goes well, you should end up with a perfect or near perfect circle. Next, we'll draw a smaller circle inside this one. To do this, I will pivot off my finger. Of course, everyone's hand is different, so use whatever position is comfortable for you, then mark. The north and South Point off the smallest circle now draw to spider like herds. From these points to the launch circle, these spirals can be a bit tricky, so don't be afraid to erase and redraw them as many times as you need to get it just right . Now, let's add some finishing touches to the drawing. Our add a gradation in these two corners with a highlight. In between, I'll use a to H and an HB pencil to put in the bass tone. I want the lines of the circle to follow the pattern of the gradation as well. So our lighting them with a kneaded eraser and then darken them is needed during shading. The lines will be light, whether shading is light and dark, where the shading is dark. Next, we'll put in the same gradation on the other side. Now I use a to B pencil to darken the ends of the gradation even more. And lastly, I want to make a circle look. Is it? It's hopping out of the page a bit. To do this, we have to put in some shadows. Let's imagine that the light source is coming from above, in which case that will be a shadow cast in this area of the outer circle and in this area of the inner circle. Let's work on the outer circle first. One thing to remember is that the shadow will be darkest when it's near the object and gradually lighten as it moves into the light. So it's important to capture this gradation. I'll use a to B pencil to put down a base total first. Now I'll use a Q tip too soft on the edge of the shadow and smooth out the shading. Then I'll use a four B pencil to put in the really dark shadows near the object, and now we'll just repeat this process for the inner circle. I'll use a blank piece paper to rest my hand on so that I don't much the drawing and we're all done. 5. How to Draw an Impossible Heart: The first step to drawing an impossible heart is to draw a simple heart. Now you can draw your heart freehand, but here's a simple way to draw a perfectly symmetrical heart. Mark two dots on your paper, then use a compass and pivot on these dots to create two overlapping semi circles. These will be the top part of your heart. Now we'll just extend this to complete the heart toe. Help keeping symmetrical, draw a vertical line down the middle and the guide, and now just draw the rest of the heart. Unless erase these extra lines. Next will draw love of smaller heart inside this one. To do this, set your confidence to the same with as the distance from the center line to one of the dots and pivot off the same two dogs to create to touching semicircle. Now just extend this shape form. The small heart ls clean up these guidelines as we don't need them anymore. Now you want to connect this point of the heart with this point. Using a curve, you want to position the curve so that it's roughly centered within the heart. Then go to this point of contact between the curtain on the heart and draw a horizontal line across, then erased the tip. Next draw a love occurred to connect this point and this point, and once again go to the point of contact and draw a horizontal line across and once again erased the tip. The next step is to extend this line until it's half way into the heart and draw a curved connecting the end of that line to this point. Then extend this line in the same way and connect it to this point using occurred. And lastly, let's use A to be at a four B pencil to add a gradation in these corners off the Impossible Heart and Wanda. 6. How to Draw an Impossible Pentagon: the first stuff to drawing an impossible Pentagon is to draw a regular. You can draw your Pentagon FREEHAND or, if you want to make it a perfect Pentagon, follow these steps. Mark a dot in the middle of your paper. This will be the center of our impossible Pentagon. Use a compass or circle template to draw a circle around the stock. The five points of our Pentagon will be evenly spaced along this circle. To find the first point, simply draw a vertical line from the center dot to the circle. Now let's find the other four points. Use a protractor to measure 72 degrees from the vertical line and repeat this all the way around circle. When you're done, you should have five evenly space points along the circle that are 72 degrees apart. Now just connect these points to form the Pentagon. Next, draw a smaller Pentagon inside this one. To do this, simply draw all the size of the big Pentagon again except move them inward so that they form a new Pentagon to make sure the spacing of all the lines of uniforms. I'm going to use the width of my ruler as a measuring unit. So there's our medium Pentagon are now. Let's repeat this process and draw yet another Pentagon inside this one. This time I want the spacing to be a bit smaller. So I used the width of my protractor to measure things out. And there's a small Pentagon. Next, let's Inc in the large and small Pentagon, because we know for sure that these are the lines we want to keep. I'll be using a 1.0 hoping Moti lighter. You can find a link to the materialised in the description. Now it's ink in the rest of the drawing. That's a lot of lines here, so it can get a bit confusing. The best way to think about this is to imagine that you're trying to get from the large hunting on through these more Pentagon using these roads. Here's what I mean. Let's start with this corner here. You have your choice of two roads for the 1st 1 It doesn't matter which one you pick so much. Just go with this one. Follow this road down until you reached the far edge of the small Pentagon. Men make a turn to connect to it, and that's it. Now let's do this corner again. We have a choice of two roads, but since this one is already taken, we'll have to use the other one once again. Follow this road down until you get to the far edge of the small Pentagon and then making turn to connect to it. Now repeat this process for the other three corners one should done. Just erase the pencil guidelines to reveal our possible Pentagon to make the drawing pop. I'm going to use in large Sharpie marker to add a thick border at the outer and inner edge of the Pentagon. Then I use A to B and four B pencil to add a great nation at the five inner corners of the shape, and I also add a great nation at the five outer corners as well. And lastly, I use a four B pencil to add a hard shadow necks of these lines in order to create the illusion that the parts are overlapping each other and that's it. War done 7. How to Draw an Impossible Hexagon: the first after drawing an impossible hexagon. It's a draw, a regular hex regard. Here's a very simple way to draw a perfect hexagon. First mark a dot in the middle of your paper. This will be the center of your impossible hexagon. Use a compass to draw a circle around this dot The six points of our hexagon will be evenly spaced along this circle to fire the 1st 2 points. Simply draw a horizontal line through the center dot marked the two points of contact between the line and the circle. Now let's find the other four points. Set your competence to the same width as the radius of the circle, then pivot off one of the points and marked the two intersections between the compass and the circle. Repeat this process for the other side, these intersections of the four remaining points of our hexagon. Now just connect the points to form the shape. Next, let's draw a smaller hex gone inside this one. To do this, simply draw all the size of the big Texan gone again except move of inward so that they form a new hexagon. Be sure to keep the spacing between the lines uniformed throughout. Okay, so there's our medium hexagon. Now let's repeat the process and draw yet another hex guards inside this one just to make it interesting. I'll make the spacing a little bit bigger this time. So I used the with my ruler to measure things out. And there's our small heck cigar. Next, let's Inc and the large and small Hexagon because we know for sure of these that Lawrence we want to keep. I'll be using a 1.0 Copa multi line up in, and you can finally, to all the materials in the description. Now it's ink in the rest of the drawing. There's a lot of lines here, so it can get a bit confusing. The best way to think about this is to imagine that you're trying to get from the large hexagon to the small hexagon using these roads. Here's what I mean. Let's start with this corner here. You have your choice of two roads for the 1st 1 It doesn't matter which one you pick, so let's just go with this one. Follow this road down until you reach the far edge of the small hexagon. Men make a turn to connect to it, and that's it. That was due this corner again. We have a choice of two roads, but since this one is already taken, we'll have to use the other one once again. Follow this road down until you get to the far edge of the small hexagon and then making turn to connect to it. Now let's repeat this process for the other 4/4. Once you've done, just erase the pencil guidelines to reveal our impossible hexagon. Then I'll use a to be at a or B pencil to add a gradation at the six in the corners of the shape, and I also add a gradation at the six out of corners as well. And lastly, I'll use a four B pencil to add a harsh shadow next to these lines in order to create the illusion that the parts are overlapping each other and well done. 8. How to Draw an Impossible Star: In this video, you don't have draw a really cool optical illusion called The Impossible Star. The first star is draw a normal star shape. First, put a dot in the middle of your paper. This will represent the very center of your impossible star. Next draw. A perfectly vertical line going up from the start. The length of this line will represent the length off the branches of your star. Okay, so we got one another five branches. Now it's time to draw in the other ones. To do this. Imagine that there's a circle around the center dot and you want to divide this circle into five equal pieces. You can use the first vertical line as your starting point. Not you could just eyeball this, or, if you want to be really exact, you can use a protractor to measure it out. You'll want to make the angles between each line 72 degrees. When you're done, you should have five evenly spaced line pointing out from the center dot and these lines should be the same length as your first vertical line. Not just connect the ends of these lines in this pattern to form a star. And while our we have a perfect star, by the way, if you find on this measuring to be too technical, feel free to draw your star freehand! Okay, hard part's over. Now we just have to turn this regular star into an impossible star. Go to the tip of each of the star branch and measure a small distance down, Then draw a horizontal line. Across this point, this line would determine the thickness of your impossible star, and the further down you go, the thicker your impossible star will appear. I think the impossible star looks better when you make the branches thicker, so I'm gonna go down about three and 1/4 inch. Repeat this process for the other four branches. Just be sure to keep the spacing uniform throughout. When you're done, just erase the tip of each of the branches. Okay, So before we go any further, let's think in the lines that we want to keep. To avoid confusion, I'll use a 1.0 co pick, multi liner pen to put in the outline of our drawing. I'll include the link toe, all the materials in the description, unless it's a great some of these guidelines, so it doesn't get too messy. Ha much back. I'll keep these guidelines that former Pentagon as, oh, come in handy later on. The next step is to connect the corners of our star like shape in the following way. Notice that we now have two Pentagon shapes at the center of our drawing way Have a large Pentagon here and a medium Pentagon here less actually draw 1/3 Pentagon inside the medium . One of the best way to do this is to draw all the size of the medium Pentagon again, except move them inward so that they form a small a Pentagon as a quick tip. The smaller you make this third Pentagon, the more you will emphasize the contorted look of your impossible star and make the optical illusion even more striking. So I would actually recommend making your Pentagon even smaller than the one I'm drawing here. Now, that's just think in this small Pentagon, okay to take and the rest of the drawing Just imagine that you're trying to get from the smart Pentagon to the large Pentagon. Here's what I mean. Let's start with this side of the small Pentagon to get to the large Pentagon, you can either go left or go right for the 1st 1 It doesn't matter which one you pick, so let's just go right. Draw a line from the small Pentagon to the large Pentagon, and once you reach one of the size of the large Pentagon, make a turn and go along that side until it ends. And that's it. So let's move on to the next one. Once again to get to the large Pentagon, you can either go left, all right. But since the left side is blocked, we'll have to go right. And once again, when you reach the large Pentagon, make a turn and run along its side and just repeat this process. For the remaining three sides of the Pentagon, the last step is to connect this line with the tip of the star. And let's do that for the other four lines as well. Majesty, race the pencil line, and we have an impossible star. Now let's add some shading to give this drawing some dimension. Let's work on this branch here First. I'll start by using an HB pencil to put down a bass tone in this area. Then I'll put dark gradations in these three areas to emphasize the fact that the branches of the star over laughing. Now let's move to this section and put a gradation at this end and this end with a highlight area in between. Next, I'll use a to B pencil to reinforce the darker areas, and now we'll just repeat this process for the other four branches. Lastly, I'll take a four B pencil and add some hard shadows in the areas where the branches are overlapping. This'll, little bit of detail will really make the drawing look much more three dimensional. And now let's just put our signature on it and call it a drawing. 9. How to Draw an Impossible Star of David: in this video, I'm going to show you how to draw an impossible star of David. This impossible star will be made up of two impossible triangles. So the first step is to draw the first impossible triangle. First draw a simple triangle with all the sides being equal. Next, within the triangle you just drew draw the three sides again to form a smaller triangle. The gap between the larger and smaller triangle will determine the thickness of the shape. To keep the drawing from being too overcrowded, I recommend keeping this gap relatively thin. Repeat this process one more time to create 1/3 and even smaller triangle. Now go to the three diamond shapes at the outer corner of your drawing and put a short line through the middle of each. Now erased the three corner tips. Lex erased these lines here to complete the impossible triangle. If you want more detailed explanations of which lines to raise, check out my impossible Triangle video. All right, we just finished the first impossible triangle. Now let's draw another one, except this time we'll flip it upside down. I'll go about 1/3 of the way down and draw a horizontal line for the base of the new triangle. One key detail is that this line will into we've with the old triangle. In other words, the line. Go under the old triangle and then over it. And let's draw the other two sides of the triangle while still following this over and under padded next, just like the last time would draw the sides of the large trying Go again, the form a smaller triangle. And of course, you'll still want to follow the over and under padded. Repeat this process one more time to form 1/3 triangle. Now go to all the places where the second triangle overlaps the first and erased the lines of the first triangle. You can see how this makes the two triangles look like they're interwoven with each other. Next, close off the corner off the second triangle and erase the tips and lastly, erased these extra lines. And that's it. We have our impossible star of David. Let me think it in so you can see it more clearly. Now. I'll take a Sharpie marker and put a thick border on the outside of the shape to make it pop more now for the shading. I'll take a to B pencil and put a gradation at the three inner corners of the first triangle like so. Then I'll put a gradation at the three outer corners, and I'll repeat the same process for the second triangles. And lastly, to make the drawing look even more three dimensional, I'll put a shadow in all the areas where the two triangles are overlapping each other, and that's it well done.