Basic lines, shapes, forms

June 20th, 2018 / Graphics Basics, Illustrations Basics

This post will certainly be useful for the most novice illustrators, although it is hard to overestimate the value of the basics. It is worth coming back to them even at the later stage of learning, even to warm up before starting a new drawing.

Each field has its basics in music – notes, letters in literature, mathematics in numbers. They are small pebbles from which we build larger, more complex constructions. Knowing these most fundamental elements, we can move on to more complex issues.

Starting from basic lines…

In drawing, the most basic element is the line.

There are types of lines:

  1.  horizontal – help to put horizon on the drawing and “ground” drawn objects – gives them support, helps to align objects,
  2. vertical – help determine if the drawing is not crooked,
  3.  slanting,
  4.  perpendicular – important when creating auxiliary lines in the drawing, when we practice them well we will not draw crookedly (correct this sentence),
  5.  parallel – as above prevent crooked drawings, set proper proportions,
  6.  centerlines,
  7. axis of symmetry

Basic lines Turdus Concept

With the help of a line we can:

  • do simple exercises and warm up your hand before drawing,
  • we can build a sketch structure by drawing auxiliary lines (even if we have them already mastered, it is worth having them all the time somewhere in the back of the head – you do not need to draw them to imagine them) – help to determine if the drawing is not crooked, whether we properly kept the proportions and perspective,
  • shade – adding three-dimensionality to our drawing,
  • create textures
…through two-dimensional forms…

With the line, we can build more complex shapes:


  1. The triangle – of drawing triangles helps to train the brain in predicting the point of intersection of lines and in recognizing proportions,
  2. square – practice drawing simple straight lines, parallel lines and perpendicular ones,
  3. circle and ellipse – helps you to practice drawing curves and smooth shapes

basic shapes Turdus Concept

…to 3D objects.

From these basic shapes, we can go to drawing solids (forms), which on a two-dimensional sheet will look like being three-dimensional objects, and that’s what drawing is about (at least the realistic one, which is the basis) to best pretend this depth:

  1. cone
  2. cube
  3. ball
  4. roller

basic forms Turdus Concept

At a later stage you can draw everything using the above-mentioned basics. If you take a good look, everything is made up of basic shapes. If you practice the foundations well, you can only have these basic shapes in your imagination and do not use them in the initial sketch.

However, they help to get the right proportions (which will be in the next post) and perspective. Because always drawing we should start from the general and strive for detail. when we start to draw from the detail it may turn out that we have beautifully drawn hair in a character who has too big head in relation to the rest of the body.

basic sketch Turdus Concept