30 Day Drawing Challenge Day 18- Draw a Cube

30 Day Drawing Challenge Day 18- How to Draw a Cube

We’ve been having such fun with drawing contours and vignettes, but this drawing challenge would be incomplete without touching on a subject that involves perspective…the dreaded “P” word!  It’s something which most non-artists don’t understand.  I’ve also found that many of my adult students of art have skipped right over this subject on their way to painting pretty pictures.  It’s possible to paint or draw without knowing perspective, but it’s a fundamental of drawing which will undermine your work if you don’t understand it.

The best way I know to sum up perspective is with these 3 points:

  • Every realistic image you draw or paint has a horizon- and that horizon is always at the viewer’s eye level.  Hmmm, let’s think about that.  So what I’m saying is that the horizon will always be located at the level of the eye of the viewer. Plain and simple.  Not hard, right?
  • Due to the earth curving away from us, parallel straight lines will seem to recede to one point as they move away from us. That point is called the “disappearing point”.  That disappearing point is ALWAYS SOMEWHERE ON THE HORIZON LINE.  Ok..that isn’t too hard either, right?
  • Parallel lines will always recede to the same point.  So this means that any line which is running in the same direction as other lines will recede to the same point. 
3 points, but none of them are too tough, right?  
Ok, then let’s draw a box.  It’s not easy, but it illustrates this concept.  Don’t stress…just follow the steps and use my drawings as reference.  Trust me!  If you’ve never done this before, it’s information worth knowing. 
Step 1:  Draw the closest corner of the box with a vertical line.   This is always how I would recommend beginning to draw a cube. This line representing the closest corner is going to be referred to as Line A.  
Step 1 and 2

Step 2: Draw a horizon line going across the page.  Make a mark somewhere to the left of the paper and another mark toward the right edge of the paper.  These will be your disappearing points.

Step 3

Step 3: As in the drawing above, draw a light line from the top and bottom of the line in Step 1 to each disappearing point.  This will form 2 triangles.  These lines will serve as guidelines for forming your box.  Eventually we will erase portions of them.  

Step 4

Step 4: Using the guidelines, and my drawing above as an example.  Draw two vertical lines- 1 left of Line A and 1 right of Line A.  Keep them within the guidelines.  These lines will form the right edge and back left edge of your box. 

Step 5:  From the bottom of the back left edge line, draw a line  connecting it to the same disappearing point as the bottom of the front of the box.  They both recede to the same disappearing point because they are parallel.  

step 5 and 6

Step 6:  From the Top of the Right edge draw a line to the disappearing point on the left.  It recedes to the same point as those lines from the left side of the box, because why?  Because they are parallel, or running in the same direction.

Step 7: One more line to create, and it’s a bit tricky, but just look at the photo if it’s confusing.  Connect the bottom of the right side to the left disappearing point.  This is creates your final line of recession and should form an “x” under the “x” above it.  Connect between the two “x’s” with a line to form the back right corner of the box.  Here’s another photo with arrows pointing to the “x’s”…

Step 7 again

Step 8: Draw a line connecting the two “x’s”.  This will form the back right corner as in the photo below. 

Step 8- A Cube in 2 point perspective

There you go!  You’ve drawn a cube in 2 point perspective.  This shape forms the basis of most architectural drawing and can be helpful drawing many other forms as well.  

Step 9: To reinforce your understanding of drawing the cube, I would suggest you draw it again.  Refer to my directions ONLY if you forget what to do.  Try to draw the cube until you feel like you own the concept.  
Once finished, take it easy and let the understanding sink in for today.  If you’ve drawn it 2 or 3 times, then you’ve done enough. 

Congratulations!  You have learned a VERY important concept about perspective!  You are officially a little bit smarter now.  Enjoy the rest of your day and I’ll meet you here tomorrow…

PS- If you haven’t sent me any photos of your drawings lately…be sure to send them my way so I can include them in future posts…anonymously of course.  Be sure to tell me what lesson you are illustrating and what tools you used in your sketch.  Can’t wait to see what you’ve done!

I’m already looking ahead to later this week.  I will be breaking out my Tombow marker in burnt sienna color -947 for a sketch or two during the final couple of weeks of this challenge.  If you would like to get one, it’s around $5-6. Here is a link:  Tombow 947 Marker- Amazon

Happy Drawing!!


Rebecca Zdybel
Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor
Art Lessons in all media
Myrtle Beach, SC
rebecca@rebeccazartist.com

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Rebecca Zdybel is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Follow her and see her work at http://rebeccazartist.com/

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Author Rebecca Zdybel

Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor - Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art! Rebecca Z Artist (Rebecca Zdybel) is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC. She blogs and teaches locally and internationally. Sign up for her blog, classes, workshops, art travel tours, or see her work at RebeccaZArtist.com.

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