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How to Draw an Analog Clock Face

Updated July 20, 2017

The two most popular clock styles are digital and analogue clocks. Digital clocks tell time by displaying numbers on a screen and are usually electronic devices. Analogue clocks display the time visually through the placement of the hour, or short, hand and the minute, or long, hand on a clock face and are typically mechanical in nature. Drawing an analogue clock can be done freehand. However, a precise analogue clock requires the use of tools and careful measurement.

Draw a small dot in the middle of your paper. This mark represents the centre of your analogue clock face.

Adjust your geometric compass by moving the pointed, or non-marking, end a set distance away from the pencil, or marking, end. Tighten the compass to securely lock the ends in place. The distance between the two ends represents the radius, or half the diameter, of your circle.

Place the pointed end of the compass firmly on the centre mark. Lean the compass slightly to place the pencil end lightly on the paper. Swivel the compass around the pointed end so that the pencil end moves to draw a perfect circle.

Lift the compass off the paper and set it aside. You should now have a perfect circle on your paper and a small dot representing the centre mark.

Place a straightedge or ruler vertically onto the paper. The edge of the ruler should pass over the centre mark. Where the ruler meets the top of the circle is the 12th hour. Draw a small mark at that position and write the number "12" just inside the circle at this mark. Where the ruler meets the bottom of the circle is the sixth hour. Draw a small mark at this position and write the number "6" just inside the circle at this mark.

Place a protractor on the paper with the crosshair exactly over the centre mark of your circle and the 90-degree line running through the 12th mark. Write in the hours just inside the circle at the following degree lines: "3" at the 0-degree line; "2" at the 30-degree line; "1" at the 60-degree line; "11" at the 120-degree line; "10" at the 150-degree line; and "9" at the 180-degree line.

Depending on the size of the clock you are drawing, you may need a ruler to help extend the degree line of the protractor to the edge of the circle in order to draw your numbers in the correct positions.

Turn your protractor on the paper with the crosshair exactly over the centre mark of your circle and the 90-degree line pointing downward through the sixth mark. Write in the hours just inside the circle at the following degree lines: "4" at the 150-degree line; "5" at the 180-degree line; "7" at the 60-degree line; and "8" at the 30-degree line.

Again, depending on the size of the clock you are drawing, you may need a ruler to extend the degree lines of the protractor to the edge of the circle in order to draw your numbers in the correct positions.

Remove the protractor and the ruler from the paper and set aside. You should now have a perfect circle with the hours drawn in the correct positions.

Choose the time you would like the analogue clock to display.

Draw in the minute, or long, hand by using a ruler to draw a straight line from the centre mark to the correct number position. The length of this line should stretch from the centre mark to just inside the edge of the circle.

Draw in the hour, or short, hand by using a ruler to draw a straight line from the centre mark to the correct number position. The length of this line should stretch from the centre mark to the numbers you have drawn.

Add arrow tips to the ends of your minute and hour hands to complete your analogue clock face.

Tip

If this is your first time drawing an analogue clock face, use a pencil so that any mistakes can be easily corrected.

Warning

Be careful when handling a geometric compass, as the pointed end can be quite sharp.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Protractor
  • Geometric compass
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About the Author

Originally from Canada and currently living in Hong Kong, Tracy Wang has been blogging and writing since 2002. She enjoys writing about food, children, living in Asia, behavioral economics and effective communications. Wang holds a Bachelor of Mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Canada.