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3.3 Sketching Circles, Arcs, and Ellipses


Small circles can be sketched using one or two strokes, without blocking in any construction lines. Circle templates also make it easy to sketch circles of various sizes.

For better looking freehand sketched circles of larger sizes, try the construction methods shown here. Figure 3.26 shows an object with rounded features to sketch using circles, arcs, and ellipses.


3.26 Many objects have rounded features that circles, arcs, and ellipses are used to represent. (Tim Ridley © Dorling Kindersley.)

Sketching Arcs

Sketching arcs is similar to sketching circles. In general, it is easier to hold your pencil on the inside of the curve. Look closely at the actual geometric constructions and carefully approximate points of tangency so that the arc touches a line or other entity at the right point.

Sketching Ellipses

If a circle is tipped away from your view, it appears as an ellipse. Figure 3.27 shows a coin viewed so that it appears as an ellipse. You can learn to sketch small ellipses with a free arm movement similar to the way you sketch circles, or you can use ellipse templates to help you easily sketch ellipses. These templates are usually grouped according to the amount a circular shape would be rotated to form the ellipse. They provide a number of sizes of ellipses on each template but usually include only one or two typical rotations.


3.27 A Circle Seen as an Ellipse

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