Sketching Tip #9:
Use Ellipses to Draw Arches...
I often see sketches in which arches look more like horseshoes than real arches! So to help you draw an arch that looks like an arch, here are some tips.
I start every sketch I do with what I call "Good Bones" or the foundation lines drawn lightly onto my paper. This way I can mess up or easily erase as needed, and I can establish early on what my sketch will look like.
In the sketch below, you'll see how I break down the shapes of a simple arch.
An arch has straight vertical legs (in red) up to a line called the "Spring Line" (in turquoise). The spring line is where the curved part of the arch starts. The spring line is often called out with some type of decoration or moulding. And in a straight on view like this one, above the spring line, there is usually some form of a circle (in light orange).
Now let's look at an arch from an angled view. The circle we see in a straight on view is now flattened to an ELLIPSE!!!
I draw this in lightly to help me get the correct shape of the arch--makes things so much easier!
This all might look a little technical, but it's actually really easy. Just make sure you draw straight legs, then use a circle or ellipse to get the shape of the arch above the spring line!
One more sketching tip to go in this series, and it will be on DOMES.
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