Creating The Illusion Of Form

As with some of the earlier examples in the previous sections I have here shown other methods using different pen, ink and brush techniques to create the illusion of form on a two dimensional surface.

The first method I have used employs a flat head brush and a series of washes to give the illusion of a sphere. Firstly draw the sphere outline and horizon line at the back to create the composition. Draw also the shape of the shadow. Start by using the Indian ink in the most dark and opaque areas, that being the shadow, a small part of the underside of the ball and the area above the horizon line at the back of the ball. Dilute some of the Indian ink to create a slightly lighter wash and place this next to the dark area that is on the sphere, gradually diluting and spreading the tone over the sphere until it becomes completely light at the opposite end.

The illusion of a cube is created by a controlled splatter technique using a toothbrush. First draw the cube out lightly using a pencil, not forgetting to put the back line in to create the sense of space. Then mask out the areas surrounding the darkest side of the cube, leaving that area the only area open to the splattering. Take the toothbrush and dip it into the ink. Make a test example first of all to ensure a smooth and consistent area of ink is applied, and when you are happy with the result turn the process to the exposed area on your drawing. When this has dried do the same with the mid tone area by masking around that and then applying a mid-tone. Wait for it to dry and the using the same procedure do the same for the last, and lightest tone.

Create the illusion of a cone by the use of front light shading with a fine felt tipped pen and correction fluid. As with the other two solids draw the outline with pencil first very lightly and place the back line in. The nearest point of the cone will be the lightest area and as the surface of the cone gradually goes back the tone will become darker. In this drawing I have used correction fluid to make the lighter area on the drawing appear even lighter. The dark areas have been created by using a series of lines that follow the curve of the form. These lines become denser and darker as they begin to reach the outside edge of the form.

Create the form of a cylinder by the use of a rapidograph or rotring pen. Again draw the outline of the cylinder with a pencil, and the back line to create the space. On one side of the cylinder draw a series of vertical lines. Start with them being very close together giving the sense of a shadow. Gradually space the lines out so the other side of the cylinder is completely white. Now repeat this process on the top of the cylinder but from the opposite side - this gives the illusion that the cylinder is hollow. These are just a few ways to create illusions of the 3D effect. You should think of other methods that might be employed to create similar illusions, and try them out to expand your visual perceptions.

Shapes Form Drawing

Artists who have been specially trained often create drawings with these pens. These people are usually architects who have studied the subject at university. I am showing these examples as something that you might aspire to in the future when you have had more experience at drawing, rather than attempting them now.

Form Drawing ExamplesHuman Head Drawing Perspective
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  • Eino
    How is the illusion of space and form created in drawing?
    4 years ago

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