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How to Draw a Cylinder

how to draw a cylinder overview

Difficult level Beginner, Normal
Estimate time 15 minutes
Material recommendation pen, marker, crayon, brush, color pencil

Drawing a cylinder is a fundamental skill in art and design. The cylinder can be used to create various objects and shapes. A cylinder is a three-dimensional object with a circular base and straight sides, and it can be challenging to draw directly. In this guide, we will go through the step-by-step process of drawing a cylinder and provide some tips and tricks to help you improve your skills.

How to Draw a Cylinder – Step by Step

draw a cylinder step 1

Step 1: Creating the Oval Base

draw a cylinder step 2

When drawing the cylinder, the initial step is to draw the oval base. Start by creating two horizontal lines, one at the top and one at the bottom. The distance between these two lines is the height of the cylinder. Then, draw a perpendicular line at the center of the horizontal lines, connecting the two.

Then, draw an oval base at the top horizontal line. The point where the perpendicular line and the horizontal line must be at the center of the oval. Repeat creating the same oval base, this time in the lower horizontal lines. You have now created the upper and lower bases of your cylinder.

As shown in the figure below, there are different oval bases that you can make in terms of shapes and designs. You can select the design of your oval bases depending on your preference.

Basic shape to make cylinder:

basic shape to make cylinder 1 basic shape to make cylinder 2

Step 2: Creating the Basic Shape of the Cylinder

draw a cylinder step 3

After creating the top and bottom vases, the next step is to create the basic shape of the cylinder. You can start by connecting the two oval bases from their edges. Doing this step will form the new cylinder.

Please note, as shown in the figure below, the line connecting the center must be perpendicular to the line’s axis. You can now erase the parts in the cylinder that you cannot see in the actual setting.

Step 3: Creating the Detail and Coloring the Cylinder

draw a cylinder step 4

This step creates additional details to make the cylinder look real. You can draw lines inside the cylinder that are parallel to its edges. Then, you can start coloring the cylinder by putting an imaginary light source on the left side that determines the intensity of the color in various parts of the cylinder. The part near the light source is lighter, and the farthest is colored dark.

Step 4: Adding a Shadow

draw a cylinder step 5

The final step is enhancing the drawn cylinder by creating its shadow. When drawing the shadow drops, please note that they should be located in the opposite direction from the light source. You can have the option to divide the curve surface into even smaller pieces to make the shade look smoother.


In conclusion, drawing a cylinder is an essential skill for artists and designers. Following the step-by-step process outlined in the guide and practicing regularly, anyone can master the art of drawing a cylinder.

Remember to pay attention to the proportions, use shading to create depth and dimension, and be patient with yourself as you learn. With enough practice, you can draw cylinders confidently and accurately, opening up a world of possibilities with your artwork.

how to draw a cylinder pin

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