How to draw solid figures using isometric dot paper

Written by will milner
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Isometric dot paper is a special drawing paper that guides the artist in drawing three-dimensional shapes. In these shapes, all point-of-view lines recede at 45 degrees. This is especially useful for technical drawing, though the fact that the lines do not converge means that far-off things do not get any smaller. This can make some visual arrangements impossible to accurately draw isometrically.

Skill level:
Moderate

Things you need

• Pencil
• Ruler
• Isometric paper

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Instructions

1. 1

Position the paper so that the dots are closer together vertically than they are horizontally. With most isometric paper, this means laying the paper in the normal portrait position.

2. 2

Position the shape you will draw so that it faces "diagonally on" to you --- one vertical edge is closer to you than the others, and the edges that recede from you do so at equal angles.

3. 3

Draw the closest vertical line from the shape you are drawing first. Match the distance you draw to the length of the vertical in real life. Isometric paper is usually produced with gaps between the dots of one inch, half and inch or one-quarter inch. Make sure to measure first and draw accurately. For example, if you are drawing a cube three inches square on 1:1 scale with one-inch paper, then the vertical line should span three gaps between the spots.

4. 4

Draw the lines that are receding. If you are drawing a die, these will be the two lines forming the closest edges of the upward face and the closest lines from the face on the table. Draw diagonally upward from the first vertical line you drew. For the left line, this means going from the spot on the top of the vertical line to the spot immediately above and to the left of it. For the right-hand line, flip the steps. The distance between the spots vertically is the same as the distance between the spots diagonally. So if you are drawing a cube three inches long, the diagonal lines should span three gaps between the spots.

5. 5

Join the ends of the diagonal lines upward with vertical lines. You will see already that the object recedes into the paper. Now draw the lines coming diagonally inward and joining to form the rear angle on top of the shape. On the die shape, these are the two farthest lines on the top face.

6. 6

Extend this shape in any direction by lengthening the lines. Ensure that all the ends of all the lines are joined and the verticals are correctly aligned.

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