The cube is a six-sided, three-dimensional shape that is a useful shape to learn to draw to master the art of creating three-dimentional shapes on paper. It is a subject matter tackled by most people learning to draw in art classes and art college and something I would like explore in this blog article today. So, here is a handy guide for beginners on how to draw a cube using pencil. Grab your pencil and get sketching!

1. Basic Cube Tutorial
This first tutorial demonstrates one way to draw a basic cube. This was drawn freehand in a sketchbook using a 2B pencil. Follow the steps below and have a go yourself in your sketchbook.

Step 1 – draw a square. The two vertical sides are parallel and the two horizontal lines are parallel too.

Step 2 – Draw a second square offset to the side, behind the first.

Step 3 – Draw parallel lines joining the top corners and bottom corners of the two squares.

Step 4 – Strengthen the lines and tidy up the edges. In this example I will leave the ‘imaginary lines’ running through the cube as they are. This help us to understand the form of the cube.

2. Second Basic Cube Tutorial (With Shading)
This is a second way to construct a basic cube on paper. I used a B pencil for the outlines and a 4B pencil for the shading.

Step 1 – Draw a square on your piece of paper.

Step 2 – Draw a line out diagonally upwards from three of the corners

Step 4 – Draw a line at the top and down the right hand side to complete the box (use the photo below as a guide to help).

Step 5 – Add some shading if you want to. Always select one side to be dark in tone, one to be medium and one light. This will give the impression of a three-dimensional shape. I tend to build up layers of shading and the shading isn’t always completely even to make it a little more realistic. Take a look below and have a go. Do several of these to experiment and practice.

Step 6 – Try adding some shadows….

3. Basic Cube from a Different Ange (With Shading)
In this third demonstration I am drawing a cube from a different angle so that the edge is at the front rather than the flat face of the cube. I used a B pencil for the outlines and a 4B pencil for the shading.

Step 1: Draw a vertical line. This is the front of the cube that will be facing you.

Step 2 – Draw two lines diagonally out to one side (and upwards) from the first line you drew. See image below for details.

Step 3 – Do the same to the other side. Notice that I have let the lines go out further than I will need.

Step 4 – Draw a vertical line to the left of the first line you drew. This crosses one of the two sets of diagonal lines…

Step 5 – Draw a line to make the top left edge of the box (parallel to the front right top edge).

Step 6 – Complete the cube by filling in the same on the other side – a vertical line to the right and then the final line making the back right corner of the cube.

Step 7 – Use an eraser to remove any excess from the lines and feel free to clean up your outlines and tidy up the shape where necessary until it looks cuboid.

Step 8 – Begin to shade in the sides of the cube to build its form and three-dimensional quality. One side dark, one medium and one light. Start by adding gentle layers of shading and build up from there. I switched to a 4B pencil for this to get a really dark shade where I wanted it. I also strengthened some of the edges of the cube too.

Step 9 – You can also add some shadows. Try extending some of the lines to play with shadows on different sides of the cube. See below for what I did with this cube.

TIP – try these tutorials several times. Maybe change the shading on each one or try different pencils to see whet you like. Practice makes perfect so if you want to improve your drawing… then draw more! Enjoy.

Have fun with drawing cubes!

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