In this lesson I’ll teach you how to draw a 3D cube (freehand) using two point perspective concepts. I won’t be teaching you technical techniques using a ruler. Instead I want to show you how to draw a 3d cube without using a ruler and vanishing points. The skills you will learn here would be best utilized for sketching, drawing cartoons, or comic style art.
I’d like to show you some basic concepts when it comes to drawing 3 dimensional cubes. There are some common mistakes people make that are easily corrected. All you need is some basic knowledge to be able to identify and fix these mistakes.
With the techniques you will be learning in this tutorial, you will be able to draw just about anything that takes on the basic shape of a cube. I didn’t realize how many objects there are that are cubes until I starting putting this lesson together. They are everywhere!
Don’t Do This!
I’d like to start by saying this… If you are currently drawing your 3D cubes using the overlapping square method. Please stop! It drives me nuts when I see this. It’s nothing short of a parlor trick and doesn’t teach you anything. Furthermore, it’s almost impossible to apply this method to any everyday object. My goal is to teach you the needed skills for you to be able to look at any (cube shaped) object and draw it.
Let’s get started on something a bit more practical to use in your drawings.
Mechanical or regular pencil
These are the supplies I used for this tutorial. There are many acceptable supplies you can use. It’s really just a personal preference.
I settled on this method after struggling to get my students to understand the concepts involved in drawing 3D shapes. Even the older ones struggled to draw a 3D cube correctly. After trying several different techniques, this is what I came up with that made the most sense to them.
Step 1 – Start by Drawing the Corner Nearest to You
There are a couple of ways to begin drawing your cube. How you start will depend on the angle you will be viewing your object. If you are looking at your object from a straight on view, you would use a 1-point perspective concept. I won’t be showing you that here though.
I find the ¾ view to be the most interesting most of the time. For the purpose of this tutorial, I’ll be focusing on the ¾ view. This will require you to follow the 2-point perspective concepts.
Begin by drawing the corner of the cube that is nearest to you. It should look something like this.
Step 2 – Draw the Bottom Edges
For the bottom edges of the cube, draw two lines forming a slight “V” shape. The length of these lines will determine the overall shape of your cube. If you want your final drawing to look like an even cube, keep these lines roughly the same length.
Step 3 – Draw the Top Edges
Next, draw the lines for the upper edge of your cube that are closet to you. These should also form a slight “V” shape. It’s very important that these lines are parallel to the corresponding lines on the bottom of the cube. The top and bottom lines to the left of your corner must be parallel to each other. As well as the top and bottom lines to the right of your corner being parallel to each other.
Step 4 – Draw the Sides
Now you want to connect these lines with two vertical lines. Both of these lines need to be parallel with your initial corner line. If these three lines are not parallel with each other, your cube will start looking funky.
Step 5 – Draw the Edges Furthest from You
Add in the edge of the cube that is furthest away from you. Again, keep these lines parallel with their counterparts across from them. If you look at the image below, you want to keep the shorter lines parallel with each other. As well as the longer lines parallel with each other.
Step 6 – Draw the Inside Line to Add Depth
The last thing you need to do is add in the far corner to the inside of your cube. This line should also be parallel with the other three vertical lines.
Here is what my completed cube looks like.
You Can also take this a step further and add some thickness to your cube by adding some additional lines to your drawing. Again, just keep your lines parallel.
As I was walking around work today I was looking for something interesting to draw that had a basic shape of a cube. There were so many options to choose from.
I settled on this crate that I came across. I thought it would be fun to draw, so here we go. As mentioned in my earlier post, Anyone Can Learn to Draw, the first thing you have to do is learn to “See”. You should begin by taking note of the angle at the bottom of the crate as you start to layout your sketch.
This was my initial sketch that I did. However, after looking at it, I realized one of the boards wasn’t quite right. The angle of the center board on the top is off just slightly, which makes a pretty big difference. If you wanted your boards to look uneven, then this would work just fine.
I re-drew the top board so it was parallel with the boards next to it. This was my final sketch. The board I fixed is drawn with a regular pencil. I also cleaned up the bottom boards as well.
I’ll leave you with this challenge. How many different objects can you draw from a cube? I would love to see what you come up with. Please stop back and share your results.
Here is my practice page. I walked around the house and quickly sketched anything that was cube shaped. The more you practice, the better you will be able to “See” what you are drawing. This is a quick exercise that you would benefit from doing often.
If you need some help, feel free to contact me at email@example.com