Art Basics - How to Draw 2D and 3D Shapes | Jordan Hill | Skillshare

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Art Basics - How to Draw 2D and 3D Shapes

teacher avatar Jordan Hill, Illustrator and Storyteller.

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Starting Thoughts


    • 3.

      Lines and Drawing From the Shoulder


    • 4.

      2-Dimensional Shapes


    • 5.



    • 6.

      Cubes and Rectangular Solids


    • 7.

      Cylinders and Cylinder Variants


    • 8.



    • 9.

      Thoughts on Practice


    • 10.



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About This Class

If you're a complete beginner looking for a place to start or you want to commit to the basics after years of never fully comprehending them, this is the perfect course for you!

In this class, we will narrow the very broad topic of art into a much smaller subsection - drawing 2D and 3D shapes. If you think of drawing like building with blocks, the first step is to obtain the blocks. This is what 2D and 3D shapes are to drawing. Without them, the best case scenario is that you will struggle to draw and the worst case scenario is that you will be completely incapable.  

The good news is that it is fairly simple to learn to draw these shapes, and if you understand why it is that they are drawn in the way they are, you will be well on your way to advancing your artistic journey. So join me in this class as we learn to draw shapes!

Music: - Feelin' Good by martynharvey

Meet Your Teacher

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Jordan Hill

Illustrator and Storyteller.


Hi, thanks for visiting! I'm Jordan, and I've been an artist and storyteller all my life.

I've always been intrigued by the arts and the sciences alike, and this curiosity has an impact on the way that I approach my artwork and life in general. The most important thing to me has always and will always be the emotion people get from experiencing my work. I want people to feel something, and I hope that I can help encourage you as well. 

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Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: art is a skill that builds on itself. If you don't understand the most basic of art concepts, you're going to struggle later on, whether your brand new toe art or you're someone who's been drawing for years, that just never really took the time to fully grasp why three dimensional shapes are drawn the way that they are. This class is for you. I'm Jordan. I'm an illustrator and storyteller, and in this class I will take you step by step through the process of drawing three dimensional shapes, having a really good foundational grasp on why three dimensional shapes are drawn the way that they are will really help you later on. Knowing the form of objects and being able to visually understand them will help you later when it comes time to shade and simply serves as a great way to warm up your hands before a drawing session. So without further ado, let's get into it 2. Starting Thoughts: in the same way that you need to know the alphabet in order to read. Or you need to know guitar chords in order to play a song in order to draw. We need to know how to create shapes. Now this may seem very basic, and it is. But if you don't know how to create shapes both two dimensional and three dimensional, then there's no way you're going to be able to learn how to draw. Now I have a sketchbook here. This is the one I'm currently working on for more loose, sketchy things, and this takes some of the pressure off, and it allows me to practice things like my shapes without feeling like I'm ruining a page . If you want other tips on how to take some of the pressure of your such book away, I have another class on that very thing that you can check out if your sketchbook refuses to stay open. I like to use binder clips attached to the edges of the page. I'm not going to be working on, and that just helps keep it flat so that I don't have to worry about it falling over on my hand. We're going to start this video with a red pencil, and I'm just going to go through a few basic shapes that you need to know in order to learn how to draw. I do recommend learning how to draw these shapes. Freehand. I don't necessarily think it's the best, especially for people learning how to draw to use templates or rulers. At least at first. You want to be able to create a sketch without any use of tools. 3. Lines and Drawing From the Shoulder: so the first thing that we're going to want to be able to draw isn't really a shape at all , and it's just a lot, and I'm not going to draw a ton of lines here, but I will show you this other page that I did as a kind of sample. As you can see, I tried to keep them somewhat similar in length until I decided that I wanted to change, and I tried to do them very long as well. Now the best way to do this is in one long, fluid motion moving from your shoulder as opposed to your wrist. A lot of times we'd stop up our wrists and we try to draw like this, and that's not really how you're supposed to draw. It's not only bad for your wrists, but you also can't get a smooth lines. It's better to move your entire arm from your shoulder 4. 2-Dimensional Shapes: the next thing, you're going to want to be able to draw our circles. Now people like to use both circles and straight lines as excuses as to why they can't draw . Oh, I can't even draw a straight line. I can't draw a circle. Forget that for a minute. No one is going to be perfect at this on their first try, and I don't even get perfect circles most of the time. However, especially in the sketching phases, it's not necessarily as important to have perfect circles. Really, what you're looking for is a general guideline that you can refine later. Also, if you're drawing a lot of character is a lot of humans or animals. There aren't a lot of perfectly straight lines or perfect circles in nature. When you get into more man made objects, that's really the only time you get perfect circles, unless it's a very weird coincidence. So don't worry about making it perfect. Just draw circles, fill up several pages of circles again, make sure you are moving from your shoulder as much as possible to protect your breasts. Try to create many different sizes of circles, very small ones, very large ones. And as you can see, even with my larger circles here, my ends don't necessarily meet up perfectly. But if I was working on a sketch, I could just fill that in and it's a sketch, so that would be good enough. Now the next thing we're going to dio is a thing that I could probably stand to have some more practice on, and that is ellipses. How these air basically ovals if you're looking for a more common term for them, but they're very difficult to draw. And so trying to practice them is very good for all artists. Really, because these are the types of shapes that you use when creating things like cylinders, things like glasses or mugs or any kind of circular object unless you are looking at, said circular object from the top. We are now going to move into squares and rectangles very similar in nature, simply four sides straight sides. I'm sure everybody knows how to draw a square or to attempt to draw a square again. Don't worry about getting it to perfect. Just you're warming up your hands and you're trying to practice. Practice makes better, and the supplies to things like shapes as well. I know it may seem a little elementary for lack of a better term, but it really is important to be able to draw shapes quickly. The final two D shape that we're going to be creating are triangles. Now you can do all types of triangles. You can do triangles with sides that are approximately the same length. You could do it right. Triangles. You can dio tall, skinny triangles, very wide extended triangles. Try lots of different kinds facing lots of different directions and just go with the flow. The thing I tend to try to do when I'm practicing shapes is put shapes inside of other ships, and this is not only to safe space, so I'm not wasting tons of paper. But it also helps you to figure out spacing. It helps you to figure out to your distances. As you can see, this square is approximately the same distance from all of the outside edges. It's not perfect, but I didn't use a ruler. I just did my best, and that's all you can do as you can see up here as my hand was still getting kind of warm and the fact that it was circles. These are not quite as perfectly center. This, however, is a little bit better. This is another reason that warming up your hands with shapes can be helpful. 5. Spheres: Now we're going to move on to some three dimensional shapes. Now, I'm not going to do a lot of spear examples because essentially, the way that you draw sphere is simply a circle that you add some type of shading to. However, I will try to give you a visual of this concept. The main thing with three D objects and drawing them is you need to try to imagine them as three dimensional objects. And I know that sounds very common sense, but sometimes it falls by the wayside. So if we just start with a circle here again, very rough. But what we're going to do is we're going to imagine that there is an ellipse working its way through this because, as I mentioned before, an ellipse is used for circles to represent a circular object with some perspective to it. Well, this is kind of a crude example, but if you see, this is the front of the object. But this dotted line back here is supposed to represent where the shape of the object continues again. The more realistic way of creating a sphere is with shading. So I'm not going to get too far into this because that's not really what this course is about. 6. Cubes and Rectangular Solids: the next object we're going to create is a cube. Now I'm going to do this several different ways. And the first way is the way that I used to do when I was a kid. However, it is very helpful in understanding how cubes work. So the first thing you're going to dio is something. Draw a square. I drew the sides of the square much too long, so I simply erase them off. And now you're going to create another square overlapping this square. Now we're going to connect this point at this point, this point and this point at this point in this part now, I'm actually going to grab my violets pencil here, and I'm going to dark in some of these lines so that we're not quite as confused by it. This is the front of your cube. This is top of your cube, and this is the side of your cute. You can also add a dotted line connecting this to this to represent where the other side of that cube would be not going to draw this same style of cube. But I'm going to do it without the overlapping squares and I'm going to show you how to do that. So you start with their square and then you simply add your edges all at the same angle. Laura's similar as you can get well free handing, and then you connect the dots. I don't have to go in with my purple here, but I will just because I feel like it now. As you could see, this is actually the same cube as I demonstrated here. However, I don't have my construction lines. You can use this same technique to create boxes of any size or shape so long as the sides air either square or rectangular. As you can see here, I have made a fairly flat rectangular box that is more deep than it is tall. And here I have kind of done the opposite. I've done a very tall, skinny box that goes back a medium distance. I will also give you a very, very basic example of a cube, or rather, a rectangular box that has some perspective tipped. Now, perspective can be a tricky thing, So I'm not really going to be able to get into it fully here. However, I will show you how to create a box that looks like it's going off into the distance, and we're going to be using a very similar technique to the one that we used here. So we're going to start with this square, and now we're going to draw a much smaller box much further away. As you can see, they're not overlapping. But essentially, what this is supposed to represent is the front of our block and be back. And now we're just going to connect the lines this corner to this corner, this corner to this corner, this corner to this corner in this corner to this quarter. Now, as you can see, the little square we have created over here kind of disappears of it. And that's the point, because you shouldn't be able to see it from this angle. Now what we have is a shape that is going off into the distance 7. Cylinders and Cylinder Variants: now here is where we're going to take advantage of those ellipses that I was talking about earlier. I said You can use ellipses to create cylindrical shapes, and that is exactly what we're going to dio. So we're going to start with an ellipse. And if you can't tell by now, this is exactly why it's important to practice our shapes and to make sure we can do them quickly and efficiently. Because when it comes to creating and drawing three dimensional shapes, we almost always start with a two D one. Now what we're going to do is we're going to go down a little bit from where we created our first ellipse, and we're going to make another one that is as close to identical as we can. This will be the top of our cylinder, and the one we're about to draw will be the bottom again. These are rough, but this is a sketch and we can refine later, and and now all we're going to do is we're going to connect to the edges. This is another dotted line, and this is where the bottom of our cylinders, you can imagine lines running around the object, Teoh kind of visualize it as a more for three dimensional object. And the bees all have the dotted bit of the ellipse. Now, this is a good visual representation of how the bottom of a cylindrical object is supposed to appear. You have this mine here that is the rim or the top, if you will. And then this should be a very similar curve again, as similar as you can get well free. And these ellipses show why that, IHS? Because it is exactly the same on the top and the bottom. Thus the bottom of your object would not need flat. It would be the same as your top curve. Now I am going to draw another cylinder here, but I'm going to add some perspective to it, as it did with my rectangular solid. Previously, I'm going to start this with a circle and I'm going to draw a smaller circle further away. And then, as with our cylinder, you simply connect to the edges. And there we have a cylinder that is making its way further away from us. I'm going to do a couple more examples of cylinders just so you can get a general idea of what I'm doing. Now that I've done a couple of examples here, I'm going to kind of explain what I did. This is simply a cylinder. This is very basic. This is more reminiscent of a cone than it is a cylinder, because what this is essentially doing is because this shape is not the same as this shape , and it is a the lips instead of a circle. What were basically creating is a object that has one end that's pretty big and then a smaller end and then connects. It just isn't pointed. If we pointed it off, this would be a cup. Essentially, what we have created here is a kind of smushed cylinder. If this was a circle and this was also a circle, it would be more cylindrical, However, because we used in the lips, it's basically a full Latin shape 8. Cones: Since I have already kind of talked about cones, I thought I would just give a little bit of a example of one. So you know what I'm talking about? And the way we're going to do this is we're going to start with an Ellipse and then we're going to pick a point. I'm going to pick one very middle of the road, and now we connect to this point to this edge and the same point to the other. Now again, this is where that rounded bottom comes into play. This is the dotted line of the back of said Cone. Again, Try to imagine it as a three dimensional object with lines running in a similar curb to the bottom. Now you could also create cones going in different directions. - Now , as you can see in both of these instances and this one over here because of the angle of the point, in contrast with the Ellipse, we can see the bottom of the cult. Here we can see the bottom and the cone is going off in that direction. Here's the bottom going in this direction the same here. However, this is more reminiscent of a shape that is laying on a table because the curved bottom and the fact that it is going straight up from that curved bottom means that this entire thing is visible and nothing else is. 9. Thoughts on Practice: No, I've already done a handful of pages here. As Faras shape practice is concerned, however, especially when you're starting out, you need to do much, much more. I did these when I was trying to who will warm my hand up. And this is 8.5 by 11 paper. I don't always work in my sketchbooks when I'm doing these types of warmups just because I feel like it can be a waste of space. But it is still very important, as you can see shapes layered on top of shapes, shapes inside of shapes. I was doing more rectangular solids here. I do recommend using two colored pencils, at least when you're getting started, so that you can really understand why the shapes are the way they are. I kind of compare it to mathematics. If you just go through the motions of saying, Oh yeah, I understand how decimals work. I understand how fractions work and then you move on to algebra. You're going to be very confused because you don't truly understand why they work. That's why work like this is important. It's important to practice the shapes and to understand why they are the way that they are , and once you understand that, you'll be able to draw much more quickly and much more efficiently, and you'll have a better understanding of how and why you're drawing things the way that you are. 10. Outro: So I hope this class has helped you to understand a little bit more about three dimensional shapes, not only how to draw them, but also why they're formed in the way that they are and why that's important. Feel free to leave any photos of shapes created during this class in the project section. And if you have any questions, leave them in the discussions panel and I will get back to you as soon as possible. I hope that this class was helpful to anyone struggling to understand the concept of three dimensional shapes. Thank you all so much for watching and until next time.