A sphere is different from a circle since it has 3 dimensions, that is, it is three-dimensional. Drawing a sphere can be tricky due to the shading and lighting required to make it look three-dimensional. However, all you need are some simple tools and some imagination to properly draw a sphere.
Method 1 of 3: Draw a Sphere
Step 1. Gather the supplies you need to draw the sphere
This is a basic method of drawing a sphere, so simple materials are needed.
- sketch pad or paper
- cotton balls or tissues
- circular shaped object
Step 2. Trace the circular object on the paper
You can use a small bowl, glass, mug, or some other object with a circular shape or base.
Tracing the circular object allows you to focus on shading the sphere rather than learning how to draw a perfect circle
Step 3. Choose where the light source will be
Once you determine the angle from which the light source will come, draw an arrow into the circle from that direction.
Later you must leave an intact place in the sphere below that arrow, to represent the area illuminated by the light source
Step 4. Fill the sphere with very light shadows
Avoid pressing the pencil too hard while shading, as this is the first layer of shading. You will need to add additional layers of darker shading in later steps.
Leave the circular or oval area intact, below the area where the arrow points from the direction of the light source
Step 5. Soften the shading with a cotton ball or tissue
Rub gently over the light shading, being careful not to run the graphite off the edges of the circle.
Remember to leave the lighted area intact, so you must also be careful not to cause the graphite to run into that area
Step 6. Add more shading in the areas of the sphere where the light source reaches the least
Again, lightly shade around much of the circle, shading darker on the sides of the sphere where the light source cannot reach.
This type of shading is called a midtone. You should have some midtones of shading around the center of the sphere
Step 7. Repeat the process of smoothing the shading with a cotton ball or tissue
Again, be careful to avoid smearing the lighted area and causing the graphite to run off the edges of the circle.
Step 8. Darken the outer edges of the sphere, particularly on the bottom and opposite side of the light source
The light source cannot reach these areas, so naturally they must be darker.
As you move away from the light source, the shading should darken. However, it should not be as dark in the space directly below the sphere
Step 9. Again, soften any shading that you have darkened
Maintaining a smooth look to the dial is important to help it look realistic. Use the cotton ball or tissue to do this.
Step 10. Make the edge of the crescent opposite the light source the darkest
This is the final shading step, creating the central shadow.
Shade the edge moderately dark, and taper it into a crescent shape before tapering it on the other side. Keep this dark area of shading near the bottom edge of the sphere. It should not be more than half a centimeter thick
Step 11. Rub the cotton ball or tissue over the dark crescent at the bottom to smooth it one last time
This will help blend the center shadow with the rest of the sphere.
Step 12. Clean the edges of the sphere and erase any stains that have crossed the edges
There may also be isolated line marks that have crossed the edges. Be careful not to erase anything inside the sphere.
Method 2 of 3: Draw a Sphere with an Egg Cup
Step 1. Prepare the materials on a desk or table
There are several things you will need to have to help you draw a sphere with this method, so make sure you have everything close at hand.
- sketch pad or paper
- blur, cotton ball, tissue
Step 2. Turn the egg carton upside down on the paper
Keep it near the middle of the page, if possible, so that you have enough space on all sides.
Remember that one side of the sphere will have the central shadow, which is the darkest part of the sphere, where the light source cannot reach
Step 3. Trace the outline of the egg cup with a light line
When you pick up the egg cup, you should have a perfect circle on the paper.
Step 4. Decide the direction of the light source
The light source will come from the upper left or the upper right. The opposite side of the light source is where the central shadow will be found.
In the case of a shadow emerging from the left side of the sphere, the light source should be in the upper right corner. On the contrary, in the case of a shadow emerging from the right side of the sphere, the light source should be in the upper left corner
Step 5. Mark a faint guide line with a ruler, from the light source to an area about 1 centimeter inside the circle
Mark a point lightly when you reach the length of 1 centimeter. Next, draw an arrow in the corner that extends down towards the circle, showing the direction of the light.
Step 6. Draw a small oval shape around the point you just marked at a distance of 1 centimeter inside the circle
That point is the center of the lightest area, which means you won't have to shade the inside of the oval later.
Step 7. Place the egg cup over the circle so that only the opposite edge of the light source can be seen
This refers to the lower edge of the circle opposite the light source. The goal is to leave about a centimeter of space between the original circle and the edge of the egg cup.
Step 8. Trace the curved edge of the egg cup from one side to the other by drawing a faint outline
The space you have just created will be part of the central shadow of the sphere, which is the darkest part where the light source cannot reach.
This figure can be described as an eclipse. Keep this in mind as you read the following instructions
Step 9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 above, moving closer to the center of the circle about three more times
Now you must have four eclipses, made with the egg cup, on the lower edge of the circle opposite the light source. These eclipses will occupy about half of the circle.
You'll use them for the midtone, or gradual shading of the sphere to help give it a three-dimensional look
Step 10. Freehand draw a few additional midtone outlines on the side of the circle located near the light source
At this point, the egg cup will be too large to draw smaller midtone outlines.
- Draw them lightly freehand, using the small oval shape (that is, the lighted area) and expanding them outward until you have three larger and larger ovals.
- It is acceptable to leave a gap between the largest oval and the central eclipse of the egg cup.
Step 11. Shade the bottom eclipse as dark as possible
This is the eclipse that is meant to be part of the central shadow, so it has to be as dark as you can get with the pencil.
Step 12. Shade the previous eclipse gradually using lighter shades
As you continue upward toward the brightest oval, each eclipse should be slightly dimmer than the next.
When you get to the brightest area, it should be completely intact
Step 13. Blend the shades using a smudger, cotton ball, or tissue
It works over the entire sphere, gently blending the different shades of shadow so that they blend smoothly from the light areas to the dark areas.
Start working from the lightest part, that is, the lightest area, towards the darkest part to avoid dragging the graphite from the darkest areas to the lightest areas
Method 3 of 3: Draw a Sphere Using a Model
Step 1. Gather the supplies you will need to help you draw a sphere
This method is a bit different in that it uses a real sphere, placed in front of you, as a model as you draw.
- a spherical object
- sketch pad or paper
- moldable eraser
- blur, cotton ball or paper
Step 2. Place the spherical object as a model
Place it on the table or desk in front of where you are sitting, and make sure a light source falls on it from one side. This will help you see the highlights and shadows of the sphere.
Step 3. Draw a plane around the edges of the paper
It is simply an edge that is 1 centimeter away from the edges of the paper.
You don't need to use a ruler to do this, although you can use it if you want
Step 4. Draw the limits of the sphere
This may simply be an approximation, as you will have to measure the limits later.
- Draw four very wispy, short lines in the shape of an open square. They should not connect to each other, but should represent the four sides of the square.
- The lines should be extremely light so that they are easy to erase later when retouching the drawing.
Step 5. Mark the horizontal and vertical axes within the limits
Lightly draw the axes so that they just intersect the boundaries you have drawn.
You can use comparative measurement to do this, which means that you can create the size of the boundaries and axes by comparing the size of the sphere model with the pencil. Hold the pencil vertically so that it covers the sphere from top to bottom. Hold the tip of the pencil at the top of the sphere, and place your thumb on the pencil where it touches the bottom of the sphere. Place the pencil on the paper without moving your thumb. Compare this height with the vertical axis that you have drawn on the paper and adjust accordingly, if desired. Repeat the process, except now you need to measure the width of the sphere. Compare it to the horizontal axis you have drawn and, again, adjust accordingly if desired
Step 6. Compare the width and height of the axes
These should be fairly close in length as much as possible.
Place the pencil along the vertical axis with the tip at the top. As before, place your thumb on the bottom of the shaft. Now, rotate the pencil horizontally and compare that distance to the horizontal axis. Adjust the axes if one is longer than the other
Step 7. Draw the outline of the sphere using the boundaries you drew in step 4
Imagine that the edges of the sphere were made up of a series of planes, made up of several short, straight lines. Start by drawing the edges of the sphere in this way, with an outline.
- Add a first series of contour lines, in the suggested shape of an octagon. These lines should just barely cross at the ends.
- Then, draw a series of smaller contour lines inside the first set. This new set does not need to intersect as it will be attached to the rounded shape of the outline.
Step 8. Draw transitions from one plane line to the next to form curves
Draw a small curved transition line where the contour plane lines do not connect, to join them.
These lines help enhance the circular shape that you are going to create
Step 9. Clean the edges of the outline using the eraser
Once you have drawn all the contour lines on the circle, you need to clean up and make the circle thinner.
Flatten the moldable eraser to help you do this. It will become a thin, flat edge so you can cleanly erase the isolated marks and the thickness of the new circle
Step 10. Decide where you want the light source to be
Draw an arrow extending from the direction of the light source, down towards the circle. This indicates where the brightest area will be.
Step 11. Draw a curved line on the opposite side of the circle from the light source
This curved line will connect the axis transitions you have drawn.
- If the light source is in the upper left, then the curved line should run along the lower right of the circle. Conversely, if it is in the upper right, then the curved line should extend along the lower left.
- This curved line marks the beginning of the central shadow.
Step 12. Erase the horizontal and vertical axes after drawing the curved line
Now that you have drawn the circle and the start of the central shadow, the axes are no longer needed.
Step 13. Shade the shadow of the occlusion
This is the small shadow located just below the sphere, which, in previous methods, you have known as the central shadow. The light source cannot reach this area, therefore it is quite dark.
Keep this fairly dark shadow confined to the bottom of the dial, with each edge tapering off as soon as it begins to accumulate on the sides of the dial
Step 14. Fill in the shadow of the shape
Use a medium dark shading throughout the space between the curved line you have drawn and the edge of the sphere.
Soften the shading with a smudger, a cotton ball, or a tissue when you are done shading the area
Step 15. Continue shading from the dark to the lightest areas, working from the bottom up
You will have a lighted area where the light source will be, so as you shade towards the top, remember to leave a spot intact.
As you move towards the top of the sphere, you will need to make a shading known as a midtone. This is a lighter shading than the one you made in the lower half of the sphere, opposite the light source
Step 16. Leave the brightest point near the light source on the sphere
As you shader towards the light source, be sure to leave a circular or oval highlight area.
The shading around the lighted area needs to be done softly to represent that the light source is reverberating in that area
Step 17. Blend the shading so that the tones blend together
Use the smudger, cotton ball, or tissue, and gently rub the shading from light to dark areas to blend the tones and soften the appearance of the drawing.