Geometric drawings are often misunderstood and seen as boring and technical. Drawing geometric designs can be an extremely useful tool for the artist. It is important to understand that there are different kinds of geometric drawings, however, many artists tend to avoid them because they do not know how to draw them or what they can actually do with them.
I will show you a few examples of geometric drawing types below but first, let’s go over some important information about this style of art.
The good thing about learning geometric drawing is that even though they are considered restrictive because of their mathematical nature, they actually contain so much fluidity within their own lines so once you master these tools, there won’t be any limit for what kind of artworks can come from your imagination.
So let us show you some tips on how we can create geometric drawings that can be used in art.
What exactly is a geometric drawing?
Geometric drawings are created with geometric shapes and lines that follow mathematical properties but it does not mean you have to know math to be able to do them. At most, all you need to know is how to measure and what basic shapes are.
This type of drawing is often used in technical illustrations, logos, and other design work but it can also be used in fine art. The geometric shapes that are typically used in geometric drawings are circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, and hexagons.
They don’t even need to be 3 dimensional, they can be 2 dimensional and still work.
You can create lovely patterns, designs, or even cool-looking portraits that are made up entirely of geometric shapes that are placed in a way to achieve the image.
The advantage of using geometric drawings is that they provide a very strong structure for your artwork and the final product looks extremely polished due to the precise nature of the shapes.
However, because these drawings require knowledge in basic mathematics and following specific rules, some artists feel restricted by geometric drawings and see them as a limitation rather than an opportunity to create something new.
When were geometric drawings first used in art?
Geometric drawings have been used in art for centuries and can be seen in many famous paintings, such as the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. They can also be found in art painted on clay pots and tiles dating back thousands of years in places such as ancient Egypt and Greece.
In more recent times, geometric drawings have become popular again with artists like Piet Mondrian and Wassily Kandinsky using them to create their iconic pieces of art.
What are some things to consider before starting a geometric drawing?
Before you start a geometric drawing, it’s important to understand the basic principles behind them. In particular, you need to know about:
- the different types of geometric shapes and how they can be combined
- the rules that govern how these shapes can be connected together – noting that these rules are more a guide rather than a must-follow rule
- how to calculate the size and of each shape
Once you understand these principles, geometric drawings can be a fun and exciting way to create art.
Since geometric drawings follow so many rules they tend to lack the fluidity seen in most other drawing styles which is why they are often considered boring or even negative by artists but if you think about it from another perspective geometric drawings have several positive attributes including:
- being able to draw shapes perfectly every time (which makes them great for math teachers)
- creating symmetrical designs that look beautiful when done correctly (and people love symmetry!)
- helps with drawing perspective
How do I start with Geometric Drawing?
You actually do not need much to get started with geometric drawings. All you need are:
- a Ruler
- a Protractor for drawing or calculating angles (optional)
- a Drawing Compass (optional, and it’s not the compass you use to find North!)
- paper and pencils (or pens)
Once you have your supplies ready, what next?
You may think that geometric drawings are the easiest thing in the world but it takes a lot of practice and planning to get designs to look perfectly symmetrical and geometric.
I like to start with a few thumbnail sketches of what I want part of the drawing to look like, this helps me decide what shapes I want to include or exclude. It also helps me work out if my design is too complicated or does not contain enough detail.
I also need to figure out if I want my geometric drawing to tell a story, or am I using it for decorative purposes and all I want to do is have a cool repeating design that appears over and over on my surface.
Step-by-step instructions on how to draw common geometric drawing shapes
I have been doing geometric drawings for over 25 years now, so I will share some steps on how to draw common geometric shapes with you today. These are not the only geometric shape but these examples cover a lot of what we see in our daily lives. So let’s get going, shall we?
Circle/Circular geometric drawings
The circle is one of the most important shapes used in geometry because it represents unity and completeness as well as infinite possibilities. You can use them to create spirals or cylinders.
A circle is the most basic geometric shape and can be drawn with just one line. It has an infinite number of points and lines that can be drawn from its center making it a very versatile shape.
Circles are often used to create more complex shapes or to frame other objects in a composition.
Geometric Line art
Geometric Line art look like patterns that can be made as a design on clothing or as wall art for your home. The lines do not change direction, which is why they seem to repeat over and over again. Geometric line art tends to appear in Asian cultures more than any others but you will see them occasionally pop up elsewhere too.
Once considered an outdated architectural shape, it has now become one of the most common shapes we find everywhere around us from buildings and roads all the way down to products we hold daily such as smartphones, tablets and laptops e.t.c.
When repeated over and over with slight shifts in angle or space, you can create fantastic designs on their own.
They are also used as the basis or outline of many geometric drawings.
The triangle is another very basic geometric shape that is found in nature all around us. When stacked on top of each other, they form pyramids that have been used throughout history for various purposes such as tombs, churches, and even entire cities.
Like circles, triangles can also be easily combined to create more complex geometric shapes.
What are some examples of Geometric Drawings?
Here are some fun examples of geometric drawings that I have found online that are designed to inspire you to look beyond the boring that you may have been shown in school and see how creative minds can apply the boring to be amazing.
Is Cubism geometric drawing?
While you may think that because it contains the word cube, cubism had very little to do with geometric drawing.
Cubism was a movement that aimed to de-construct and reassemble objects and images to break them down into their most basic geometric shapes.
Sometimes known as fracturing or decomposition, this technique gave rise to many surrealistic paintings of the period which helped inspire future movements such as Dadaism.
Is a Spirograph, Geometrical Drawing?
If you are looking for geometric drawing tools, Spirograph is a fun option to get kids interested in geometric designs but it is not the best tool for experienced artists.
While this toy was designed as an educational toy aimed at teaching children about geometry and art, people also found it to be quite popular with adults which sparked off adult coloring books featuring these intricate designs created using geometric shapes such as swirls and circles along with dots and lines.
Give Geometric Drawing a Second Chance – Wrap up!
There is a lot more to it than meets the eye when it comes to geometric drawings. You can supplement free form drawings or use them as patterns to make any art stand out. So give geometric drawings another chance! You might surprise yourself.
Thanks for reading my article about geometric drawing! I hope you learned something new from this post as well as found it useful in some way or other. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me – I would love to hear what you think!
“Detail of ‘I Like My Odds in Your Scenario’ poster. Buy 4 sizes in our shop, link in the bio. #poster #illustration #geometric #drawing #colorful #fantasy” by Happy Sleepy is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
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Joseph Colella is a frustrated artist with over 40 years experience making art (who moonlights as a certified Business Analyst with over 20 years of experience in tech). While he holds a Diploma in Information Technology, in true wasted talent style he spent years trying to get into various Art degrees from the Accademia di Belle Arti (Napoli), and failed to get into the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) at the University of Western Sydney. His goal is to attend the Julian Ashton School of Art at The Rocks Sydney when he retires from full time work. In his spare time, he writes for the this blog, WastedTalentInc, where he shares practical advice on art, making art, and art materials. Joseph’s art has been sold to collectors all over the world from the USA, Europe and Australasia. He is a trusted source for reliable art and copyright/fair use advice and is committed to helping his readers make informed decisions about making them a better artist.
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