What Exactly Is Geometrical Drawing?

Geometrical drawing sounds as though it should be a technical skill close to technical drawing for engineering. Anyone with a love of art but a hatred of math may be turned off by the term. Also, there is sometimes negativity around geometric fine art where critics don’t appreciate the skill involved. The reality is that geometrical art is highly skilled, creative, and great fun once you get into it. So, what is geometrical drawing, how can you get started, and who can you use for inspiration?

Geometrical Drawing

Geometrical drawing focuses on the use of geometric shapes to create designs, patterns, and more complex artwork. These drawings could be as simple as a basic doodle or as complex as a sketch for a geometrical painting. You can also focus on simple 2D shapes or work on 3D forms. You don’t need much to get started – just some pencils and paper. But, you can expand your work by thinking about perspective, shading, and color choices. With practice, you can create some interesting geometrical art.

What Shapes Can You Create in Geometrical Drawing?

There are two routes that you can take with your geometrical shapes drawing, which then lead to different types of images and techniques. The first is to focus on 2D shapes. This is a good starting point because it is much easier to sketch out a line drawing and not get caught up in realism. Then there are 3D shapes. This is more complex, but quite satisfying to perfect.

2D Geometrical Shapes Drawings

Geometric Seamless Vector Pattern
Geometric ornament. Seamless vector background

This is where we simply use squares, triangles, circles, and other multi-sided mathematical shapes to build patterns or images. You could create symmetrical images akin to kaleidoscope patterns or maybe an abstraction of a real image into geometric shapes. The latter is good fun because it forces artists to re-evaluate the way they look at objects, scenes, and even people. Deconstructing a landscape or scene into angular shapes gives it a new dimension. Or you could create rows of circles and color them to represent a landscape. The options are endless!

3D Geometrical Shapes Drawings

Geometrical orange background
3D Geometrical yellow background

With 3D geometric work, it gets a bit more difficult. First, you need to learn how to turn your 2D shapes into realistic 3D forms. Turning a square into a cube requires an understanding of light and angles. The same is true with triangles and pyramids or a circle into a sphere. Shading techniques like hatching are great for spheres. You may also want to look into perspective drawing to create 3D blocky interpretations of scenes, such as cityscapes. It is a simple as creating points on a horizon and making sure everything lines up.

How to Get Started with Geometrical Drawing

The best thing to do to start with is just to get a pencil and paper and start doodling. Start with basic shapes, see how they can relate to each other, and work on patterns. Many artists will admit to doing this in the margin of exercise books in class at school. The geometry theory may have bored us into doodling, but we retained something in building those patterns.

Beyond doodling, you can make a more conscious plan of using geometric shapes in drawings in a sketchbook. Don’t be afraid to start playing with other materials too. Ballpoint pens, colored pencils, and more all work well. Newcomers fear the ballpoint pen because it isn’t a “real” artist’s tool and you can’t erase it. But, it is fluid and accessible for mindless pattern making.

What About Using Tools for Accurate Shapes?

You can use tools for precision, but I recommend trying to work on drawing the shapes freehand as well. Rulers are great for precise squares but also restrictive for fluid creative expression. The same goes for compasses and circles. A compass will allow for uniformity where necessary but freehand is organic and interesting. It all depends if you want to be technically correct as well as interesting artistically. Also, consider using paper with gridlines for guidance.

10 Geometric Drawing Tools for Artists and Designers

  • The first tool on our list is the humble pencil. Pencils are great for sketching out ideas and getting a feel for proportions and placement. You can use them to draw straight lines, curved lines, or any other shape you can imagine.
  • If you’re looking for something a little more precise, a ruler is the way to go. Rulers come in all sorts of different sizes and shapes, so you can find one that’s perfect for your needs. You can use a ruler to draw straight lines, measure lengths, or create perfect circles and squares.
  • Another great tool for geometric drawings is a compass. Compasses allow you to draw perfect circles of any size, which can be handy for creating designs with radial symmetry.
  • A T-square is a great way to draw straight lines at perfect angles. It’s especially useful for creating grid patterns or drafting architectural plans.
  • If you need to create complex shapes and curves, a set of French curves can be really handy. French curves are curved templates that help you draft smooth, flowing lines.
  • Mechanical pencils are a great tool for precision drawing. They come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, so you can find one that’s perfect for your needs. Plus, they never run out of lead!
  • Geometric stencils are another great way to add some flair to your drawings and designs. There are all sorts of different stencils available, so you can find ones that are perfect for your project.
  • A graph paper notebook is a must-have for any artist or designer. Graph paper is great for sketching out ideas, planning compositions, and working out proportions. Plus, it’s just really satisfying to use!
  • Last but not least, a good old fashioned pencil and paper are all you really need to get started with geometric drawing. Just grab a sheet of paper and start doodling! You might be surprised at what you can create.

So there you have it! These are just a few of the many different tools you can use to add some geometric flair to your drawings and designs.

Is Spirograph Geometrical Drawing?

In a way, Spirograph sets and related products are an introduction to geometrical shapes drawings. It is all about creating patterns with various shapes and discs and rotating those through a larger circle. Still, some people would argue that this toy doesn’t create a drawing and that there isn’t enough control over the image. Spirograph sets are great for kids getting into arts and crafts but you can encourage them into free-hand drawing for geometrical art too.

Turning Geometrical Drawings Into Geometrical Art

Some people see geometrical drawings as little more than doodles and playful sketches. But, that doesn’t have to be the case. For a start, those sketches can become studies for paintings that continue the geometric theme. Also, there are plenty of highly respected artists that worked with geometric forms a lot.

If you have a basic pattern or concept in your sketchbook that you really like, you can transfer that onto canvas for a more colorful and impactful painting. Alternatively, you might want to use other forms such as collage as a different way of creating shape. Cutting shapes from colored paper and sticking them into abstract forms is fun and therapeutic.

Famous Geometrical Artists to Draw Inspiration From

If you lack the confidence to play with geometrical drawing and art, it might help to study the work of the masters. Ignore those that say that pre-schoolers could make geometrical art. It takes a keen eye for composition and color. Kandinsky is arguably the greatest to work with geometrical shapes in an engaging composition. Many also love Mondrian’s use of blocks of color. Matisse is also a great person to study for those collages.

Give Geometrical Drawing a Second Chance

Don’t write geometrical drawing off as pointless doodling. For a start, doodling leads to some of our best ideas. Secondly, you can create some intricate and beautiful designs with just a pencil or pen and a piece of paper. Get creative, practice with 2D and 3D forms, and see where geometrical art takes you. You may surprise yourself!