From 2D Design To 3D Shape With A Pencil And A Plan

Don't Panic Button C. RosinskiThis three dimensional shading exercise is much easier than it looks because it’s created with the same style of gradation around each “petal” of the form. I’ve inserted the Don’t Panic button though, just in case you think you might need it but, honestly, you won’t. :)

Eight Section 3D Shape C. Rosinski

Eight Section 3D Shape

Mental Health Note: There’s no need to finish this drawing in one sitting, and drawings never really have to be perfect, so stay mellow my fellow pencil sisters and brothers. Like nearly everything else in life, drawing is more fun when you’re relaxed.

Line Drawing Template Download

Creation of eight lobed line drawing C. Rosinski

Line Drawing Creation

You can get a pretty good idea how I sat up the line drawing just by looking at it.

I got lucky and picked the right sized large and small circle templates on the first try, but the trick is that the small circles need to be about the width of one section to fit side by side in larger circle. For the most shapely petals though, make the small circles large enough to overlap each other a bit.

To finish the design, I drew an arc from each small circle to the center of the large one.

Eight lobed line drawing with extra lines erased. C. Rosinski

Extra lines erased.

Here’s the design with the extra marks erased.

I used a kneaded eraser to lighten the lines as much as I could first, and then used a battery powered eraser to remove the rest of them. I used the kneaded eraser first as a precaution, because sometimes battery powered erasers smear heavily applied graphite with such force that it leaves an embedded smudge that’s nearly impossible to remove.

Flat Pencil Tip C. Rosinski

Flat Pencil Tip

I used an HB pencil for the entire drawing and a flattened pencil point for the hatching. I wanted to preserve the hatching’s texture so I didn’t use any blending tools. (Blending tools smear the hatching’s texture.)

Brief Flat Pencil Point How-To

Create a flat pencil point by running it back and forth over scrap paper and use it by bringing the flat point directly over to the drawing without shifting your grip on the pencil.

Outlined petal. C. Rosinski

1. Outlined petal.

A three step process to shade each petal.

1. Draw a dark line around the edge. I wouldn’t normally start a drawing this way, but in this case I wanted the edge around each shape to be the deepest part, and deepest equals darkest in this situation.

In the simple imaginary lighting used for this shape: Light = Up and Dark = Down

Gradated Petal edge. C. Rosinski

2. Gradated edge.

2. Shade around the inner edge with a short gradation that lightens near the middle of the petal.

Petal filled with hatching. C. Rosinski

3. Filled with hatching.

3. Fill in the rest of the shape with a light hatch.


  • To give a petal more depth, deepen the edge by darkening the outer edge of the gradation.
  • A short edge gradation and wide top highlight makes a petal look wide and shallow.
  • A smaller top highlight and long edge gradation makes a petal look taller and more tapered.
Finished 3d shaded eight petal shape. C. Rosinski

Finished with highlights.

A Graceful Ending
To finish, shape a kneaded eraser into a medium round tip and use a tapping motion to lighten the center of each petal. So that the petals all match, save this step for last so you can work on all of them at the same time.

Kneaded Eraser Tip Shapes C. Rosinski

Kneaded Eraser Tip Shapes

A tapping motion lifts and lightens the graphite and leaves the texture alone. If you drag or rub the eraser across the hatch, you’ll smudge the texture and it’ll be hard to make that spot blend in.

To smooth any unevenness or get rid of distracting dark spots, gently tap those areas with a small round or pointed tip.

Eight Petal Design Line Drawing Template pdf C. Rosinski

Tidy Line Drawing

Here’s a tidy line drawing to download if you want to trace the design. This a large version that you can reduce to the size you prefer.

Line Drawing Template PDF



You can find something similar to these simple and inexpensive supplies fairly easily, but I’m a Blick affiliate and get a bit of money when you buy from my links. They’ve been my art supply store for over thirty years. If you do, thanks! In any case, I use these brands myself and here’s what I suggest:

Pencils – added a couple more so you can experiment with texture and depth
Derwent Graphic 2B
Derwent Graphic HB

Derwent Graphic 2H

(If one is out of stock, get the next softer grade.)
Canson Classic Cream Drawing Pad

Faber-Castell Kneaded Eraser

Alvin Vinyl Eraser

Helix Automatic Cordless Eraser
Kum Long Point Pencil Sharpener

Draw, relax, and have fun,





About Carol

I'm an artist, an accidental author, and lover of life. I grew up in Yorktown, Indiana, and I've been writing (and drawing) this website since 1999.
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14 Responses to From 2D Design To 3D Shape With A Pencil And A Plan

  1. jackie says:

    I love the way you teach easy follow. You are great please keep helping. I never was able to afford art calsses all i know how taught myself.

    • Carol says:

      Hi Jackie,

      Thank you and I do plan to keep making lessons and posting them here. Lots of people are in your situation, and it’s possible to teach yourself how to draw just by reading books, watching videos, and finding lessons online.

      Good luck!

  2. kendell says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these lessons, I will tell my grandchildren about them as I am sure they will help understand there art lessons at school easier. These are really appreciated

  3. zizwe says:

    I liked your step by step approach, as well as your innovative methods when takling drawing problems. I was also taken by your simple and comprehensive technics.

  4. ana says:

    this is really easy. im so glad my teacher showed me this!

  5. Ash says:

    Thanks for mentoring us . I wasn’t getting any good books out there and yeah your posts are really very helpful

  6. James says:

    These lessons help me alot. Your tips are amazing. Keep them coming. Thanks alot!

  7. Mike says:

    Would you recommend this method with shading skin? I like to experiment different techniques.

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