Drawing common pieces of furniture is less difficult than it may seem at first, particularly when you are equipped with the right materials and a little patience. Whether your subjects are Windsor Back or upright chairs, a long elegant dining or casual kitchen table, you can render these pieces effectively and accurately in a careful drawing. Because tables and chairs are the foundation for many still life and interior works, learning to sketch these domestic staples will greatly enhance your artistic repertoire.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Medium grade graphite pencil (HB-F)
- Metal or wood ruler
- Kneaded rubber eraser
- Medium surface drawing paper
Holding your ruler parallel with the horizontal line of your paper, draw a line near the middle of the page, approximately 4 inches long. Draw another line 1 inch below this one, but parallel to it. Allow this line to extend slightly beyond the first line. This will be the top of your table.
Holding your ruler diagonally, connect the upper and lower lines with a deeply slanting line. This line should create corners on this side of the table, and the bottom corner should jut out farther than the top. Repeat this on the other side of the table, so that the vertical, connecting lines of the table are slanting in the same direction. This is your tabletop.
Holding your ruler vertically, perpendicular to the horizontal tabletop lines, draw a line 3 inches from the two front-most corners of the table. Holding the ruler in the same way, draw an identical line 1/8 of an inch to the right or left of the existing line. Connect the lines at the bottom with a short line. These are the front table legs.
Holding the ruler vertically again, so that it is parallel to the two existing table legs, draw a line 2 ¼ inches from the back two corners of the table. As you did in the previous step, draw another identical line 1/8 inch to one side of the first line. Connect the lines at the bottom where they stop. These will be the two rear table legs. Use your eraser to get rid of the lines that go through the tabletop itself.
Holding your ruler vertically near the left side of the table, parallel to the table legs, draw two lines 1 ½ inches apart that begin ¼ inch above the front of the tabletop and end where the front most table legs end. These lines will be one of the chairs. On the inside of each of these lines, draw a symmetrical line less than 1/8 inch from the existing one. Connect these lines at the top and bottom. These are the back legs of the chair.
Holding your ruler horizontally and perpendicular to the chair's legs, draw four lines on the upper half of the chair back 1/8 inch apart from one another connecting the two chair legs. Approximately halfway down the chair, draw a horizontal line on the chair back. Holding your ruler diagonally, at the same angle you used with the table sides, draw a 1- inch line out from the chair, towards the back of the table. Draw another line parallel to this coming from the other side of the chair. Connect these with a horizontal line that parallels the first you made. This will be the seat of the chair. Erase all extraneous lines that overlap the chair back.
From each of the front corners of the chair's seat you have just drawn, using your ruler draw two lines 1/8 inch apart from each other that end approximately 1 inch short of the back legs of the chair. Connect these lines with a short horizontal line at the bottom. These are the front legs of the chair. Erase any extraneous lines that overlap the chair back.
Move to the right side of the table with your ruler and pencil. Repeat steps 5-7 to create a second chair at the table. Use your eraser to clean up any smudges or unwanted marks.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure your pencil is sharp.
- Be sure to work where there is adequate light.
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