How to Draw Bridges | John Anderson | Skillshare

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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

11 Lessons (45m)
    • 1. Intro to Drawing Bridges

    • 2. Exploring Shapes of Bridges

    • 3. Arched Bridges: Part 1

    • 4. Arched Bridges: Part 2

    • 5. Arched Bridges: Part 3

    • 6. Suspension Bridges: Sketching

    • 7. Suspension Bridges: Penwork

    • 8. Sketching a Stone Bridge

    • 9. A Covered Bridge: Sketching

    • 10. A Covered Bridge: Penwork

    • 11. Draw a Bridge!

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About This Class

This class will show you how to draw many different types of bridges. If you are just getting into drawing or want to learn a new skill, line drawings are a great way to start!

These easy line drawings are for young and old alike. If you are an artist or wannabe artist it is a great way to explore your creativity and try something new. It also can be a fun drawing to teach 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."
"He has a fun way of explaining his drawing process."
"So much fun!"

Drawing is a great way to expand your creativity. Putting pen to paper helps you gain confidence in your capabilities, boosts self-esteem and inspires, drawing helps you relax and increases your fine motor skills.

In this class you will learn:

  • What tools I like to use for making line drawings
  • How to sketch your drawing out before putting the pen to the paper
  • Different styles of bridges that you can draw
  • How to add fine details such as wood texture, grass, and stones

You will be creating an easy bridge drawing or a more complex design using the basic tools. A pencil, pen and paper. It would be best to start with a basic line drawing and work up to a 3d illustration with some perspective once you have mastered the basics.

John likes to draw, he’s been drawing since he could hold any drawing utensil! He has filled many sketchbooks ranging from simple shape 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:

Meet Your Teacher

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John Anderson

Artist / Adventurer


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1. Intro to Drawing Bridges: Hello everybody and welcome back to another drawing class. And this class we are going to learn how to draw bridges, are gonna start simple bridges and just the shape of a bridge. And now we're going to work all the way up to a 3D drawing of a bridge. So let's get started with the thing we need for this join. First off, for your need desk, a sturdy desk or table that you consider. Then you're going to just sketch book or a piece of paper you can draw on. It could be any size that you want. And then you also need some pencils and an eraser to reach their pencil lines. And I like to use mechanical pencils for this. You can also use a number two pencil as well for sketching in the bridge. And we're also going to need a ruler or a straight edge to make straight lines with. And then finally for filling in the drawing, I'm going to use a fine liner and this is a very fine 01. And I'm also going to be using a thicker one. This is a 03. You can see the size difference here of those two pins. Now this will allow us to be able to get more detail in using their thicker lines for the basic shape, using the thinner lines for more detailed stuff. So this is another great drawing for adding into your sketches and artwork. I hope by the end of this class, you will have learned how to draw different types of bridges and different shapes and styles, as well as varying levels of detail. So grab your sketchbook, your pens and pencils, and let's get started. 2. Exploring Shapes of Bridges: Alright, for starters, I'm going to start out with a pen here and just show you a few different styles of bridges. Now the first one we have is just a little creek running through here. And then we're going to have a very simple bridge going over the creek. Another type is to have multiple peers underneath the bridge. So if we have a bigger River Bridge is going to have more peers underneath it. And there was those straight bridges like you might have with a highway. And these will just simply have peers running down. Just to give you an example here. Another type of bridge we have is maybe your suspension bridge. So we will have tall poles up here. And then you will have your supports underneath it. And then you have all the suspension cables running down here. And of course you have the really in down here underneath that. Next you may have like a railroad bridge, which has the triangle beams running back and forth in here. And then of course you will have supports underneath it. Have another type of suspension bridge here. And I hope this just gives you an example. Different types of bridges that you can draw. And then we'll get into more details here in a little bit. So you'll have your suspended on cables running along the branch like that. Now, another type of bridge is similar to the Golden Gate Bridge. Now they will have the same type of support like you have here, but then they will go down towards the ends of the bridge. And of course you have all the support cables in here. And you will have your supports as well underneath the bridge. And another type of bridge is a tower bridge. Now this is more of when you have maybe a drawbridge in-between. These towers are some bridges, some famous bridges that have towers on them. And these may be similar to the castle joins I've drawn before. And then you'll have some windows in there, as well as down the tower. The drawbridge section here, and the middle. And of course you'll have the railing on the bridge down below. May also have supports underneath here. And there we have a tower bridge. So that is a few different styles and types of bridges. Suspension bridges, tower bridges, railroad bridges, and stone bridges as well. 3. Arched Bridges: Part 1: Alright, in this section we're going to draw in arched bridge. So we'll start with our water. And then we have our banks going up here. Three arches on this bridge. So one here in the middle, one on either side. And then we just have our main arch going across the middle. So I'm going to turn this so I can get a better angle here. And then when a handrail here. And then I want another line on each of these arches. And then of course I can just add in brickwork. And then you can add some stuff in the background, like trees. And you can have your creek running back there in the background as well. We'll have some trees back here on this little hill. Alright? So that is the basic idea for an arched bridge. Come back with our pen and fill it in. I'm gonna turn it again so I can get that arch. And then we're gonna get those Burke lines. Finish out our trees. And then we have our creek bank here. We can add some water detail in here. That's one style of an arched bridge condition. Come back with our eraser, clean up those pencil lines. We can add a little bit more detail to it by shading in underneath the railing here, as well as under here. A little thicker. A little thicker. And this one just gives it a little bit more detail. 4. Arched Bridges: Part 2: Alright, so let's do another one. Now. We just have a bit of water coming into here. We're going to have our bridge right here. Shrubs and trees on either side of the bridge. And then we will have our arch coming through here and underneath the bridge. So we want a little more 3D here and then shade underneath that. Next I have the roadway. This was a road bridge me there and then we have the railing along there. We're going to put in another line here for reference. A little bit of a opening here. And one over here. Then up here we're going to have our posts for the railing. There's going to be a little bit more decorative. Going to adjust this middle one. So we'll have a post above every support sound. We're going to put one here, one over here. And then I will have two here and the middle. And then one here over this one. And then one over here. Then we have, are really just going to be in between each of these posts. And we're going to add a top to the Post. And I want them all to line up about this height. So my curves need to go right down to their next. We have our handwriting to finish out up here. All right, then we can come back with our fine liner and draw this in. I'm going to start with the curve down here. Then I will work on those supports. And then anything that gets in front. We'll draw the foreground items, and then we will draw the items that are behind. So here we have a tree over here again shown and draw this one. Then we have our creek down here in the bottom. That's our perspective line. Alright, next I'm gonna get that straight line and draw the top of the bridge. And then we have all those posts. We have that little bit of decoration on each post. Then we have the railing clusters. This tree over here. We'll add a few more branches and you give it a little more details. Then we can add some trunk texture. Alright, so there we have another type of bridge and little more shading down here underneath. And we'll finish it up. Now under each of these arches wherein a shade that as well. Alright. That is another arched bridge way. And just go back over it again. Charioteer eraser and lightly clean up that penciling. And we just have a little bit down here in the water. And there you have it. 5. Arched Bridges: Part 3: Alright, once you've done some simple ones, you've worked your way up, you can try free handing it with your fine line pen. So we will draw another arch bridge here with free handing right down here. So we'll have our bridge going off into the distance. I'm going to follow the same procedure that we did with all the other bridges. Fish going to start with that base. And then we need our water down here below 3D detail and down here. While the post coming up here from each of these bases that will go up to the bridge itself, right up there. Then we just have some arches. Alright, then we just have our bridge reeling up here. Next I'm going to add in all the shading on these arches. All right, so then we have these posts going up to the main bridge and then the shading underneath. And there you can see you can do it free handed. It is a little trickier, but is a pretty good arched bridge way there. Nothing to add some depth is to add the other side and dark on that side in. All right, there we have a free handed arch bridge way. Alright, there we go. That is arched bridge ways. Let's move on to the next section. 6. Suspension Bridges: Sketching: Alright, so grab your pencil and eraser and a street image. And let's practice drawing a suspension bridge. We're going to practice something similar to the Golden Gate Bridge. So just for reference, we're gonna make a little tower over here and a bigger tower on this end. And they will have a base on each tower as well. And then we're going to have our bridge run through them. Some leaned over here at the bridge will go to, all right, so with our towers here, just going to make some straight lines. And then down here at the base, we're going to have a little square down here. And we're going to add a second line from my bridge. And that's going to get narrower as we get farther away. And then that's going to be off into the distance over there. I'm going to add the other side of the bridge here. And to have some supports here under this bridge. And there just simply cross members of the bridge going back and forth to support the bridge Up, and then up here above the bridge, we just have some more support members that will connect the bridge together. So these are going to be drawn in here. We're going to go up a little bit more with our tower, get one more of those. Alright, so we have our supports down here and we have some cross members up here. We're going to work on our other tower over here. Closer one, or I'm going to make it a little bigger. Now I'm putting three cross-sections on each tower. Alright, the next thing we have are some straight lines here for our suspension cables. And I'm going to make these two parallel. And then these two off here in the distance. Going to be parallel as well and a little closer together. So these are going to go up at a triangular shape. And I'm going to make two cables here. And when they meet here in the middle, I'm going to give him a little bit of a curve. So I need to make two more of these and remove this one. I'm gonna fix this bottom curve here a little bit. Alright, now that we have our suspension cables up here for any given load the bridge, and make a whole bunch of supports. So I'm just going to draw a straight line. And these are from the top of the bridge up to that cable. Do this real quick here. Make all those support tables. And then of course, as they get farther away, then we'll get closer together. And then we're going to add those support tables on the other side as well. So this will darken in a lot more where they are doubled up underneath here. And then where there is only one cable, you can see it is much lighter. Alright, next we have some bridge detail here. You know, just a little line going back and forth. And of course they get smaller going off into the distance. Next we have some water down here in the river. And then you can add some hills back here in the background. And you can add this shoreline, little bit of a mountain, the tail back here. 7. Suspension Bridges: Penwork: And I'll start with the thicker pen and fill this in. You have your bridge running through here. So we have our outer tower here that is going to be on the outermost part. Next I'm going to do this mountain section here that is in front of the bridge. And I grabbed that straight edge. And I've got these cables that are also in front of the mountain there. And that disappears there behind the mountain. These here, I'm just going to freehand. It may help to turn your drawing if you are right or left-handed to be able to get the curve of the lines a little bit better. I'm gonna do that here and get the bridge drone. And then I'm just going to fill in the rest of these details and then we just have the towers here and the suspension cables. Again, I'm going to turn this so I can get a better angle. Alright, lastly, we have the suspension cables. And you can also add in a few more details and the river. So let's go with those suspension tables. I'm going to grab my ruler and make some straight lines. Also going to switch to use that finer pen. So I'm gonna get that 01 pen. I'm gonna go down to this side of the bridge with these. I'm gonna keep my ruler is straight up and down as I can. And then we'll go over here with the other side. And I'm going to stop on the other side of the bridge with the other side of the cables. Just a little bit of touch up here to make sure your lines meet at the very ends. Now these are going to get closer together. Because when we go off to the distance. So be sure to keep that in mind. All right, then the other side, and we're just gonna go to that opposite lines or little shorter on these. We just have those mountains back there in the distance. Fill those in. Then you have your horizon line or your shoreline back there. And that little bit of a detail there. And there you go. That is how to draw big table bridge or suspension type of bridge. And then come back with your eraser. Cleaning up those pencil lines, lightly go over it with your eraser. She don't want to smudge it. And there we go. 8. Sketching a Stone Bridge: Alright, here we are going to draw a stone bridge. So we're going to start with some shrubbery that goes down here. And then we're going to have it creek down here. Alright, we're going to have some more grass over here, about the same height as on the other side. And then we'll have our road up there, creek down here running through the middle. Now under here, we're going to have a stone bridge with an arched stone opening. And then we're going to draw stones in here, about here on each side. And that's gonna go up here, which is called the capstone or the Keystone. And that'll hold both of these together. So we'll have all of these stones working our way around this curve. So all these lines are coming straight out from that curve. And then we will just make another line here to match that up. So these are all stones the same thickness. And then we have our crew Cronin back here. Our other end of the bridge is going to be back here. So we're gonna make that part back there. We're going to have our bridge come right through here like that at the top of this keystone railing or the hand real for our bridge up here. Then I'm gonna add a little bit of a detail over here on this end of the bridge, as well as on this end. Now these are just like little wings that come out from the bridge. All right, then we'll just have stonework in here following the lines of the bridge. So we get all those stones going in the right orientation. And then I'm going to make a cap on top of this handwriting. So just another extra line there. I'm gonna grab my ruler and make a straight line up here. Go up a little bit and make a cap on top of that. Alright, so down here in this part of the bridge, kinda make these lines in here. And then we'll have light coming through the other side. So we're going to shade up above this line. And of course darker up here at the top, and then getting lighter down there. And we're also going to shade a little on this wing of the bridge and on this one here. Alright, so from here you just need to add some stonework. So just add in a few stones. So right here above that keystone on the opening, we have this detail line where the hand railing goes up from there. And then we have fiefs don't lines here to follow. And I'm just gonna make a few of these down the entire bridge. Then from there we can just add in some stones here and there came this stone appearance. Alright, next burger is going to work on some of the graphs around here. Just add some texture in here, and maybe a rocker to some graphs around that. And then we can also add some cat tails or water plants down here. Adding some graphs in here. Line here, up the hill. Can add a clump of grass here in there. I can have a little rock back here, some more shoreline or creek bank on this side. I'll make it look like that creek goes around a little bit when they're up here at the top, we can add some tree ranges. Alright, then we can add in here little bit of ground here. And then we'll have the creek running down here. So just a little bit of water line. And that'll give us a good water texture. So we have water running through here. All right, so there we have a stone bridge across a little creek in the woods. And we have some trees up here with their bushy branches. Alright, so that completes our stone bridge sketch. And if you want to, you can go back through with your pen. And you can also add more detail as you go on doing that. But your pencil work is gonna give you a good idea of what your drawing is going to look like. Alright, so that is a stone bridge drawing. Let's move on to the next one. 9. A Covered Bridge: Sketching: Alright, here we are going to draw a covered bridge. Now we need our creek running through here. And then we're going to have our bridge, our bridge running across the creek here. And we have some stonework underneath the bridge. And then up on top of the bridge is going to be made out of wood. So we have that detail to draw. Its. We have stonework down here. Now normally when I'm doing bridges, I'll start with the supports and no work my way from there. Alright, so we've got some graphs here in a bit of grass over here. And we have our stone over here that comes down to the grass. And then this is the creek bank or riverbank down here. So we can see our river right in here. And go ahead and make that darker. And then our bridge up here. So remember to keep all your lines parallel to each other. And then we'll draw our base here. Now this is a wooden bridge. So we have paneling on the side here. We'll have a roof on it for our covered bridge. And we wanna keep our parallel line here. Up here at the roof line. Let's draw our ridge line up here to give us a reference point. And we also need the other side of the bridge. So I'll draw that part in bridge about like that. And then we have the root here, there. And then we have this little bit of wood up here. Back and forth in here. We have some would support, so we'll add those in here. And I'll work from both ends, working my way to the middle so I can even these up a little bit and make sure I have those even space. Next we have all this wood paneling. And then we have our roof line up here. So we want our roof line to go right there. And then we have the overhang of the roof is going to go back to this post right here. And we have those boards in there. Finally these over the top. And then we have those angled forward to again darker inside the bridge. And we're also going to make this line. Here is the bottom of the bridge. So these boards are vertical boards like we did on the other side. Then we have a little bit of stonework under here. And we have a few stones over here on this side we can see. All right, so then we have a little bit of rough texture on top of the bridge. And then we may have a fence line that will come out from the bridge to guide them into the marriage. 10. A Covered Bridge: Penwork: Now that we have a rough sketch of the drawing, so we're going to grab our pen down and then go ahead and draw this in now. So I'm going to start off with the base of the bridge either side of the bank. And make our rough line in here. We're gonna make those parallel to each other. And then finish off the top. We've got this little bit of roof over here. And then that goes back to the bridge itself. And then you have the overhang underneath there. And then we have the other side of the bridge here. And I'm just gonna free hand these boards so they look a little more real. So if your free hand it, that will give you a little bit better board texture. And then I'm going to finish off all these straight lines. And then we'll get into the boards. Alright, now we can just start on all those boards going across the bridge. And I'm using a 0-1 on my pin size. So it's a little smaller. I can get a little better detail in the drawing. And then you can add nots in the word. And then we have these boards up here in the top. And then these support Fords that go back and forth in here. We have some here on the other side. And we have to draw this fence post here. And then we have the inside of the bridge here going in there. To go ahead and finish all this stuff here we have in the front. Alright, then we just have these boards inside the bridge. And we have these here. And then we have our proof overhang. And we have some stonework down here. And I'm just going to add in a few more grass details. And then we'll finish off here at the creek on a lightly go along the edge and then I'll add some grass on there as well. Alright, lastly, we have the roof texture, a little bit of ground texture, the pneumonia shade underneath the shadow of the bridge. So I'm going to just do some cross hatching. And there we have a covered bridge. 11. Draw a Bridge!: Alright, so I hope you found this class helpful in how to draw a bridge in getting you started. And start out with those simple drawings and work your way up to getting more detail with stonework and would work in your bridges, as well as doing a suspension bridge with all those cables and everything in it. All right, so for the class project, you're going to pick one of these bridges. It can be a simple bridge or a more complex bridge starting with the creek or river. Or it could be even a cavern. And then move on to your peers or the base of your Bridge. And then adding the bridge across itself. And finally add in the little details like the trees and grass, the river itself. And be sure to upload a picture of one that you make. I'd love to see it. And I'll see you in the next drawing class. Thanks for watching.