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How to draw a cube: A creative and comprehensive look, 2023

Welcome to How to Draw a Cube!

Happy drawing, everyone! I hope you’re doing well and ready to learn how to draw a cube with me today.

Cubes are one of the five basic forms in art. Mastering the skill of drawing cubes freehand and in perspective is essential on your artistic journey. Whether you want to draw everyday objects or complex structures, everything can be built from or carved out of a cube.

In this comprehensive tutorial, I will demonstrate various methods for drawing cubes, both freehand and in perspective. You’ll find step-by-step images and videos to guide you along the way. Drawing cubes is simple, but it does get challenging when it comes to adding perspective. But don’t worry, we will tackle that bridge later. Let’s start by understanding what cubes are.

Let’s Learn About Cubes!

According to a definition found on Kiddle, a cube is “a block with all right angles and whose height, width, and depth are all the same. A cube is one of the simplest mathematical shapes in space” source.

The key concept to grasp is that a cube is a three-dimensional shape with volume. Unlike a square, which only has width and height, a cube has width, height, and depth. Each side of a cube is a square, connected to the others by straight lines called edges. The corners of a cube, also known as vertices, are always at right angles. In total, a cube has 6 faces, 12 edges, and 8 corners.

If you’re interested in a more mathematical explanation of cubes, you can find it here.

You may have heard people refer to boxes as 3D cubes, especially when discussing perspective drawing. Technically, not all boxes are cubes, but for drawing purposes, it doesn’t matter either way.

Exploration and Study: Natural and Man-Made Cubes

Interestingly, naturally occurring cubes are relatively rare. They can be found primarily in rock, mineral, and crystal formations. However, man-made cubes are abundant in everyday objects. Let’s explore natural and man-made cubes through reference boards.

Natural 3D cubes
Image: Natural 3D cubes

Man-made 3D cubes
Image: Man-made 3D cubes

Shape Breakouts and Natural Variations

Drawing cubes doesn’t require an extensive study of shapes and variations, as cubes are quite simple. The shapes on a cube are all squares, and the variation is limited. When drawing cubes, we have two options: a cube or a rectangular “cube” (box). Simple, isn’t it?

Now, let’s dive into the different methods for drawing cubes freehand. I’ll share step-by-step tutorials and videos for each method.

How to Draw a Cube: Step-by-Step Tutorials

I have come up with some names for the cube-drawing methods I’ll demonstrate:

  • The Basic Method
  • Upside-Down L’s
  • The Headless Stick Figure
  • Connect the Squares Method

The Basic Method

This method, which I learned early on in my art journey, starts with a simple square shape and gradually builds into a cube by adding depth with additional lines.

Upside-Down L’s

This method offers a different perspective by starting with an upside-down letter ‘L’. It helps us think in terms of edges and vertices rather than shapes and faces.

The Headless Stick Figure

In this method, we begin with the back corners of the cube and progressively work our way forward in space. Starting with a headless stick figure establishes a good starting point.

Connect the Squares Method

This method focuses on connecting the corresponding points (vertices) of the squares. It allows for more creative and interesting cube and box variations.

To make the cube-drawing process even clearer, I have created videos demonstrating each method. Check them out below!

Video: How to draw a cube – 3D cube drawing
Video: Cube drawing by connecting squares

How to Draw a Cube in Perspective

Explaining perspective with words and images alone can be challenging, so I’ve prepared a video demonstration to help you understand the basics of drawing cubes in perspective.

Please note that the video uses a three-point perspective grid, but you can use any perspective setup as long as you have the necessary vanishing points for your desired perspective.

Video: How to draw a cube – 3D cubes in perspective

How to Draw a Cube: Form Dissection

With basic cubes and boxes, which don’t represent anything specific, there aren’t any interior forms to explore. However, I still find it helpful and useful to demonstrate cutting into, cutting away, and dissecting the cube form. Watch the video below for a visual guide.

Video: How to draw a cube – 3D cube dissection

More Cube Drawing – Building Other Forms

As I mentioned earlier, cubes and boxes can be used as building blocks for various forms. Here are a few simple examples to demonstrate the versatility:

More forms from cubes 01
More forms from cubes 02
More forms from cubes 03

Images: Freehand forms from cubes

How to Light a Cube

To demonstrate the effects of lighting on a cube, I have captured some photographic examples using different light sources. These examples will serve as a visual tutorial for understanding how light falls on a cube.

Lighting with a Spotlight

The following images were taken in a makeshift still life box, with a cube illuminated by a white spotlight.

Closest to light source
Furthest from light source

You’ll notice that the shadow gets longer and softer the further the cube is from the light source.

Overhead Studio Light

In this set of images, the cube is lit by an overhead studio light, which functions as a large diffused light source. Notice the differences in shading and shadows compared to the previous examples.

Closest to the overhead diffused light source
Furthest from the light source

Candlelight

For these images, a candle was used as a point light source, creating darker and more defined shadows. The position of the candle varies, resulting in different lighting and shadow placements.

Closest to the point light source
Furthest from the light source

Additionally, I have included examples of cube lighting and shadow placement using traditional medium, graphite pencils.

Example of cube lighting and cast shadow placement
Lighting example

How to Draw a Cube From Imagination

Now it’s time to let your imagination soar! Grab a pencil and some paper, and draw cubes from your imagination. While I have chosen to draw everyday objects for simplicity, you can take cube drawing to limitless possibilities.

Video: How to draw a cube from imagination – demo

Happy Cube Drawing!

That wraps up everything you need to know about drawing cubes. I hope you found this cube drawing tutorial helpful on your artistic journey. Thank you for choosing my little corner of the internet, and I appreciate your time and support.

If you have any feedback or questions, please leave them in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you!

Take care, stay safe, and happy drawing!

More How-to-Draw Articles on CecelyV.com

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  • How to draw a sphere
  • How to draw a mushroom
  • How to draw a banana
  • How to draw a pumpkin

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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