How to draw a sphere step by step for beginners and kids

Learning how to draw a sphere on paper can be difficult for kids and beginners if you don’t have the right instructions to follow. When it comes to drawing spheres, many guides show you the most complicated way to do it.

This can make it difficult for kids and beginners who are just starting out. I’m here to show you the easy way that will wow your friends and family.

My guide is simple and easy to follow, you will learn how to draw a sphere step by step for beginners and I will follow it up with some simple instructions on how to draw a sphere for kids.

Both steps will detail how to draw a sphere with a shadow because shadows and shading are always needed when you want to draw a 3D object effectively.

How do you draw a simple sphere?

I am going to show you how to draw a simple sphere in 3 easy steps.

  1. When drawing a sphere, start by drawing a small circle. Easy.
  2. What makes a circle a sphere is that a sphere looks 3D (3-Dimensional) because of the shading that you add to it. Before you can start shading and to make the sphere look more realistic, you should start by adding a light source. This is where the sun or light will appear. Knowing this makes it easy to add in the shadows and where to apply shade.
  3. Now that you know how to draw a sphere, try adding some details like a pattern or texture. Smudge the pencil marks a little with a finger or thumb. Have fun and experiment!
how to draw a sphere
Draw a sphere in 1, 2, 3 steps

What does a sphere look like?

A sphere is a 3D object that looks like a ball or globe. It is formed by connecting two circles, which gives it a smooth and even surface.

When drawing a sphere, one of the keys to making it look realistic is adding in shadows and highlights to create dimension and depth.

Here are some examples of spheres drawn by other artists, some use digital art tools, others simple pencils and even the stippling technique has been used.

Below I will show you how to draw a sphere step by step using a bit more detail than the simple one above.

How to draw a sphere step by step for beginners

Drawing a sphere for beginners is quite a simple thing but you need to understand 3 things.

  1. Light source – this is where the light will hit the sphere and where a shadow will be cast.
  2. Realism – all spheres have the same shape so learning how to shade them will give you the best chance at realism. Adding small details like reflections will amp the realism effect up.
  3. Make it as complicated or as easy as you need. Start simple and practice. Add more detail the better you get.

Follow the steps below to make a realistic but easy to draw sphere.

Please note: all images below are original content and can not be copied or re-shared without permission or attribution.

Materials Needed

  • 2H Pencil for light pencil work and lighter shading
  • 2B or B pencils for darker shading
  • Plain paper or sketch pad

Steps

Step 1: Draw the outline of the sphere.

This can be done by drawing a perfect circle using the 2H pencil. If you can’t draw one freehand you can trace something that is a circle. This can be a cup, glass, or bowl. It all depends on how big or small you want the sphere.

For a beginner, I would draw a small sphere just so you can get some practice drawing many spheres without wasting too much time working on one sphere.

IMG 0291
Step 1 – draw a circle

Step 2: Place a light source

Once you have the basic outline, start to shade in the sphere. Begin by adding a light source such as I have with a simple ‘x’ somewhere up in a corner. This will help create the illusion of a 3D object.

Let’s make the light source somewhere in the top right. This is now going to make a shadow appear in the bottom left.

The shadows are always diagonally opposite to the light source, so if your light source is to the left, then shadows will appear on the right. If you lower your light source then the shadows will be higher and longer.

IMG 0293
Step 2 – add a light source

Step 3: Place shadow lines

These are just light pencil lines using a lighter 2H pencil that will tell you where the shadows will be. A lighter pencil is best as the shadow outlines will not be as visible when you shade over it. (I used a 2B pencil below as it appears darker in photos.)

The shadows will usually appear opposite to where the light source is and also on the base where the sphere is sitting.

You will not be shading anything in this step, you are just working out where the shadows will be based on the light source.

See how the shading is also rounded, we do not shade using straight lines when we are drawing a sphere. The shade lines usually follow the curve of the sphere.

IMG 0294
Step 3 – add shadow outlines

Step 4: Shade the shadows in

Now in this step, you will be shading inside the shadow lines we drew in step 3.

Grab your 2B or B pencil and start light and slowly darken as you move to the area that would be underneath the light source. Start with the 2B and use the B pencil for the darker tones.

As you shade in the darker parts of the sphere, you can block in some shadows on the base where the sphere is located.

To make the shading more realistic, start with a light pencil (2H) and then add darker tones with the 2B/B pencil. Look at the example below, slowly building up the darkness as you shade.

I like to angle my pencil so that i can swoop it around as I draw the curve but you can also add small cross hatching lines and mix it up. You can rush it (as I did) or take your time for better results.

IMG 0295
Step 4 – block in some darker shadows

You can blend the shadows using pencils overlapping 2H and 2B. If you have a little more skill, try using the pencils by drawing over and shading very lightly or you can do the cheat version and slowly smudge the shading with your thumb or finger. I have used both my thumb and a blending tool.

IMG 0296
Step 4 – smudge the pencil with a finger or thumb or use blending tool

Finally, add some shading to the top 2/3 of the background wall and lighter shading to the bottom 1/3 of the surface of the sphere so that it looks like it is in a more realistic environment and not just against a white background.

IMG 0297 2
Step 4 – add some background

How do you draw a sphere for kids?

Learning how to draw a sphere for kids is very similar to drawing a sphere for beginner adults but I will get you to add less detail.

Steps

Step 1: Draw the outline of the sphere

Draw a simple circle. Trace a cup or something round. Do not draw the circle too dark.

IMG 0298 2
How to draw a sphere for kids – step 1 draw a circle

Step 2: Place a light source

Let’s make the light source somewhere in the top right. This is now going to make a shadow appear in the bottom left.

IMG 0299
How to draw a sphere for kids – Step 3 add a light source

Step 3: Shade and smudge the shadows

Now we shade in the sphere in the areas that are opposite the light source. Look at my example below.

Also, all spheres have almost the same shadows, so if you learn how to shade in shadows like this, you will always draw a good sphere.

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How to draw a sphere for kids – add simple shadows

Use your thumb or finger to smudge the shadows so that they look nice and smooth.

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How to draw a sphere for kids – smudge the shadows!

How to draw a sphere video

While reading instructions and following pictures may work for most people, some people just need to see a video of someone drawing a sphere. So, I have found a really good one on YouTube that you can follow. It is quick and also easy to do.

How to draw a sphere – wrap up!

I hope this guide on how to draw a sphere was useful. Learning to draw a sphere on paper was one thing I had to master early when I was learning to draw as spheres make up so many objects that are used in still lifes, life drawing, and painting.

If you are looking for an easy way to learn how to draw a sphere, remember to follow these simple steps: Start by drawing a simple circle and then add in shadows using light and shadow to create dimension.

With practice, you will be able to draw perfect spheres every time! So what are you waiting for? Grab your pencils and start drawing today.

Sources

study” by Dan4th is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Sphere-Drawing 101” by Pizzo Calabro is marked with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Sphere drawing” by nahekul is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Stippling practice: sphere” by Bushman.K is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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