How to Draw A Sphere

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Learn how to draw a sphere with all the elements needed to end up with something realistic. Drawing the perfect sphere using a pencil can be quite challenging. Using a vector software to do so is relatively easy. In fact, most application can help you create a sphere like the one below in just a few seconds. 

There are a few things you can do to add more realism to your illustration. I will show you a few basic tips on how to create the perfect sphere and I will also give you a few examples of images that are not necessarily considered being perfect spheres. 

How to Draw A Sphere

A simple circle to start with

Indeed, this cannot be considered a sphere. No shadows, no depth and no volume are visible on this illustration. The object is flat and everything in this image is in two dimensions. Let's see how you can easily simulate a 3D object using only 2D elements. 

How to Draw A Sphere

A simple technique to create a 3D object

The easiest way to create a 3D object using only 2D shapes is to add a highlight on the circle using an oval shape like shown below. Of course, the effect is pretty basic and it can only be useful if you don't have access to a gradient fill tool or simply want to use this particular style in your project. 

How to Draw A Sphere

Using the gradient fill tool

At first, this might look like a cool sphere. After all, midtones are visible throughout the illustration and the bottom of the object is darker while the top is brighter. However, this sphere was done with a gradient fill tool (which is good), but using a linear fill (which is not good). 

Although the result is cool, the 3D aspect of this image is not accurate. Something is missing to create the perfect sphere and a small modification is needed to end up with the desired result. 

How to Draw A Sphere

Here is the perfect sphere!

Below, you can see the perfect sphere also done with the gradient fill tool. This time, a circular fill was used to create this cool image. Here are the five things you need to see in a sphere in order to illustrate this object properly:

  1. Highlight: A bright and visible area near the light source (which is located on the top right of the illustration). The center of the highlight is almost completely white in this case.
  2. Midtones: This is the area where indirect light is illuminating the object. You should see a perfect gradation of grey colors and this gradation must be circular to achieved the effect properly.
  3. The core shadow: The darkest part of the sphere can be found here. Very important since we need both the lighter and darker areas to be strong to give more depth and volume to the drawing.
  4. Reflected light: A little addition that I made manually. Do you see the subtle bright line near arrow number four? That would be the light reflected by the ground on the object. 
  5. Cast shadow: In this case, I made it brighter for readability purposes, but don't hesitate to create a dark cast shadow. This one is important to locate the object in space. 
How to Draw A Sphere

Yes, now you know how to draw a sphere that is realistic!

Don't hesitate to modify the luminosity, position and color of the light source if needed. Once you start playing with these elements, possibilities are virtually endless. Like I said earlier, learning how to draw a sphere manually is feasible, but it can be more challenging and difficult. Have fun! :)

How to Draw A Sphere


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