How to Draw an Ellipe by Eye

I moved this up from an earlier posting as I have had so many questions about how this is done.

Knowing how to draw an accurate ellipse "by eye" can be an extremely useful tool...i.e., from rendering vases and teacups - not to mention its use in portraiture.

Here's how it is done:

Determine the outside dimensions of your ellipse with a rectangle.

Connect the corners of the rectangle with straight lines (CC).

Where these lines intersect is the center, point B.

Divide line BC into thirds by eye and mark with dots.

Point D is the outermost dot and will be moved verrrry slightly outward so that it is a little less than 1/3.

Mark the center of the sides of the rectangle (Point A).

With a dotted curved line, the elipse will only touch the rectangle at Point A and pass through Point D.

Thank heavens this works with any perspective view too and that is when you REALLY need it.


When drawing a circle or any curve, it will always be easier to be accurate if you use a dotted line rather than a solid line first.


amy donahue said...

I've been reading various posts on your blog for several months now. Thank you for sharing so much of your knowledge and thoroughly tagging the subjects of your posts. I had 4 years at a high ranking art school and never learned many of these things! Thank you thank you thank you!

My Painting Studio said...

I am delighted that you find my work useful. You made my day!

Debbie Viola said...

Great information. But it makes me realize why I never liked math!

My Painting Studio said...

On a hgher level - Math is an art form.

Einstein said that Math is the music of the universe. And a lot of the Old Masters were into sacred geometry.


The Golden rectangle


Using the Golden Section

Barb Benik said...

Very good instruction. Thank-you for sharing. Just discovered your blog, and I will be checking in regularly!

My Painting Studio said...

I am finding that the blog format is limiting in many ways and am working on an eBook about the nuts and bolts of classical painting.

Stay tuned.