View Full Version : 11/3/10 Product Info's Tip of the Week: How To Use A French Curve

Blick Art Materials
11-03-2010, 09:13 AM
How To Use A French Curve
French Curves are one of those art instruments you look at and think to yourself, “What in the world do I do with this?” They may often get set aside and lost amongst other templates and drawing aids. But, to no avail, they serve a purpose and a really helpful one at that, if you understand how to use one.

Step By Step Instruction
French Curves serve to draw a smooth, curved line through predetermined points.
1. Draw two lines.
Note: this step may be eliminated with points “floating” on the paper.
2. Plot points on the lines. There should be at least two points drawn, one on each line. However, the more points the more precise the line.
3. Lightly draw a curved line connecting the points.
4. For the finished line, match the various parts of the French Curve to points on the freehand line and use it as a guide to redraw the line, moving the French Curve as needed for a continual line.
5. Always work away from you, avoiding using the underside of the curve, as this may cause erratic curvature in the line.
6. When you come to the final point, stop the curve line just short of the point. Move the French Curve down farther passed the final point, on to another point to finish off the line so as to keep a smooth, continual line.
7. When working with an irregular curve, plotting several points is beneficial to make a smooth, consistent curvature.

Who Uses French Curves?
French Curves are used by an array of artists. Illustrators, draftsmen, airbrush artists, painters, and tattoo artists alike utilize French Curves for precise line drawings.


-Kristal F.
Product Information Specialist

For further assistance using art supplies, feel welcome to contact our Product Information Department at
1-800-933-2542 or e-mail us at info@dickblick.com (info@dickblick.com). Hours of operation: M-F, 8:00am-5:30pm CST.