Perspective Drawing Exercise: Turnarounds

perspective drawing exercise - turnaround drawing

In this article you will learn an effective perspective drawing exercise for developing a good sense of form.

This is definitely going with the theme of making drawing harder to make it easier..! I learned about this one in a perspective class with legendary teacher Marshall Vandruff. The difficulty of the assignment is what stretches your abilities and keeps your drawing-brain fit! ūüėÖ

How to make a turnaround drawing

The challenge: draw an object, but instead of drawing it the way you see it from where you are looking, draw it the way it would look when seen from the side.

You can draw from life, or from a reference image. When you work from life, try to imagine what the object looks like from the side, draw it, and then check by actually looking at the object from the side. The best way to work with reference images is to have actual images of the views you draw, so you can check in the end. 3D renders work well, too.

Stretch yourself, but don’t stretch yourself too much! It’s helpful to begin with simple household objects that have no overlaps. Increase the complexity of the objects you draw as you gain confidence. It’s important that you do this gradually, so you don’t¬†get frustrated¬†and learn¬†most effectively.

Step by step instructions

  1. Pick an object or reference image.
  2. Simplify the object/image into basic forms in your mind or in a quick sketch.
  3. Draw a small top view as a map to orient yourself.
  4. Draw a turnaround view. I like to do¬†90¬į turns first, then add 45¬į views and¬†odd angles.

perspective drawing exercise - turnaround drawing steps

Example of drawings from different views

perspective drawing - turnaround drawing examples

Having Fun with Animation

If you know some animation basics, you can string together a series of drawings and create a spinning object!

perspective drawing - animated turnaround drawing example of a hand

Your turn to practice this drawing exercise

Pick a simple household object and make one turnaround drawing!

Further Reading

There is a great in-depth article on perspective drawing on Autodesk’s blog by¬†Monika Zagrobelna.


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