Basic 101: Class 4
Drawing Cylindrical Objects
BEFORE you start this week’s lesson go to the following tutorial
by Mike Sibley on the subject of ellipses.
Here is the definition of an ellipse:
Main Entry: el·lipse
Pronunciation: i-'lips, e-
Etymology: Greek elleipsis
1 a : OVAL b : a closed plane curve generated by a point moving in such a way that the sums of its distances from two fixed points is a constant : a plane section of a right circular cone that is a closed curve
Source: Merriam-Webster online
Here is the definition of our subject, the cylinder
Main Entry: cyl·in·der
Etymology: Middle French or Latin; Middle French cylindre, from Latin cylindrus, from Greek kylindros, from kylindein to roll; perhaps akin to Greek kyklos wheel -- more at WHEEL
1 a : the surface traced by a straight line moving parallel to a fixed straight line and intersecting a fixed planar closed curve b : the space bounded by a cylinder and two parallel planes cutting all its elements -- see VOLUME table
2 : a cylindrical body or space: as a : the turning chambered breech of a revolver b (1) : the piston chamber in an engine (2) : a chamber in a pump from which the piston expels the fluid c : any of various rotating members in a press (as a printing press); especially : one that impresses paper on an inked form d : a cylindrical clay object inscribed with cuneiform inscriptions
- cyl·in·dered /-d&rd/ adjective
Source: Merriam-Webster online
Good grief! All this time I thought that a cylinder was a tube. I guess the moral of the story is don’t get tangled up in too many technical points.
Figure 1 is a Slinky—A slinky, besides being fun for every girl and boy, is a wonderful illustration of a cylinder in action. It lifts and it separates, don’t you know and so for our purposes it is a versatile model.
EXERCISE 1. Draw the diagram of the Slinky as I did . Do as many of these as your sanity and your time will allow. When you draw this object think about the cylinder that it IS and the ellipse’ that are contained with in—if you think about it, every coil is an ellipse and all of the combined coils make up ONE cylinder
Now look at figure 2. Let’s draw a cylinder sans Slinky:
1. First, decide how big, mall or wide that you would like your cylinder to be.
2. Start drawing by roughing in the ellipses, top and bottom. I generally move the pencil in a counter clockwise manner.
3. Next sketch in the sides and now you have your cylinder. Sounds simple.
There is a very common confusion about the relative depth ("roundness") of top and bottom ellipses, that is, the perspective of the cylinder - it must be counterintuitive.
Still it is easy to observe:
Take a glass or mug, look at the shape of the top rim while moving it up and down before your eyes. Observe where the ellipse becomes shallower, farther away or nearer to the eye level ?.
Or shown in another way:
That said, drawing top and bottom equally deep is a good rule of thumb when the vertical distance to the eye level is not extremely different.
LEARN TO SEE, JUST LIKE THE CUBE, THE CYLINDERS THAT ARE IN THE OBJECTS THAT SURROUND YOU EVERYDAY.
Figure 3 is a demonstration of modifying a cylinder to make an object:
1. Start by drawing your cylinder like you did above.
2. Once you complete the cylinder draw the shape of the object WITHIN the cylinder. Shaping the neck and body of the bottle.
It is THAT simple. I have gone ahead and sketched out, using the cylinder, several other objects. Try your hand at them—then look around your house and see if you can find some more.
Here are the practice exercises (below) for this week. Several are drawings that I have completed but there are others that are just photos. Try to do at least ONE of these. If you happen to see a cube in the drawing—DRAW IT! Happy drawing!