What is 3D drawing

This is how you can create a three-dimensional drawing

"We hardly ever realize how much everything we perceive is a model of the world created by our brain."

This quote from the book “How our brain creates the world” by Chris Frith seems absolutely understandable as soon as you notice how well a successful 3D drawing can deceive our perception. However, that is quite difficult Reality in all its dimensions on a flat sheet of paper - especially for painting beginners.

Which drawing techniques can you use?to paint a three-dimensional drawing? How do you create the illusion that an image is not flat?

In this article we would like to explain to you how you can create drawings in 3D that are as realistic as possible on drawing paper ...

What is a 3D drawing anyway?

What exactly is that Difference between a drawing in 2D and an image in 3D? The answer is relatively easy to understand.

When drawing two-dimensionally, you do not pay attention to the volume of your subject on your drawing, but only height and width. For a drawing in 3D you integrate a third dimension: the depth.

Needless to say, this third dimension makes a drawing appear much more realistic, as it remains true to the smallest subtleties that the eye observes in reality. Depressions, distances and proportions can be recorded in a 3D drawing. Find a painting course in Hamburg here.

From perspective representations to to correct optical illusions the 3D drawing takes different forms, for which you should already have profound painting knowledge.

How do artists manage to present their drawings perfectly in three dimensions? How can you get a piece of paper no longer looking flat?

The first thing you need to learn to add volume to your drawings is how to draw from a specific perspective. Find painting courses in Berlin here.

How can I draw from different perspectives?

Perspective drawing is a technique that enables you to draw an object in a room in three dimensions. The drawer respects the depth of the space and reproduces the object as it is presented from its point of view.

The cavalier perspective gives volume to an object by adding dashed lines parallel to the visible lines. This type of drawing can be found e.g. in the geometry of the representation of a cube.

When drawing, one uses a lot the linear perspective. To create a good linear perspective, one relies on two elements:

  1. One horizontal line
  2. One or more vanishing points

Based on these elements, you can draw lines to create a grid that enables you to realistically represent a scene. There are several types of linear perspectiveswith which you can add depth and volume to your drawing:

  • The frontal perspective: The eye looks at the object from the front. The drawing is based on a horizon line at eye level and all lines converge in a vanishing point.
  • The perspective with 2 vanishing points: Here you look in two directions and there are two vanishing points. For example, you can draw a cube or another geometric shape, taking into account the depth in the room.
  • The perspective with 3 vanishing points: Here one takes into account all dimensions of the object and works with three vanishing points. It is the most realistic perspective that is particularly popular in architecture, e.g. to depict a building.

To get a realistic drawing, you have to be able to work with perspectives. For a successful 3D drawing you have to learn these techniques. You have to train your eye and that Proportions of the objects understand. If you want to draw people and objects three-dimensionally, then you have to be clear about the effects of depth in space.

Some draftsmen and Painters also use the color perspective. This can be compared with a photo camera. The perspective relies on impressions. The foremost level in the picture is shown clearly and precisely, further back the details become more and more blurred. In painting in particular, people like to play with colors and shadows in order to generate this effect of depth. The colder and weaker the colors, the further back there is a level.

This technique was developed in the 15th century and used by most of the famous painters of the era, including Leonardo da Vinci for the Mona Lisa.

Create an optical illusion with a drawing

Artists who can draw with perspective make more of an impression with their work than others. The objects seem to literally stick out of the picture and take on life. Examples are tattoos with 3D optics that look like a spider is sitting on the body, or comic heroes flying out of the magazine at the reader.

How does it work? With another drawing technique: anamorphosis, also called the secret art of perspective. The anamorphic illusion is a technique that artists can use to create optical illusions in their drawings with a process of deforming the image. If the picture is successful, you get the impression that it is bringing it to life and that it is highlighted.

This impression is an optical illusion that can usually only be properly perceived from a precise angle. So when you look at an anamorphic drawing, you have to look in a certain wayto notice the 3D effect. The drawing looks deformed from other angles.

But how does a drawing succeed that emerges from the drawing paper?

Exactly, with the right technology. Not only do you have to be able to deform your drawing correctly, you also need some drawing techniques for a realistic result. There are numerous steps between the first sketch and the final realistic drawing. You have to be able to draw every detail of your object faithfully and know how to put your picture in color.

In order to create an anamorphosis, you have to be able to deform the image that you want to represent on your sheet. These techniques can help you an anamorphic drawing get:

  • Use a camera and take a photo of your object to use the photo as a template.
  • Use a tool to deform your object the way you want it to be displayed so that you can then draw it.
  • Use a grid to be able to draw your object in the right proportions.
  • Cuts off part of the contours of the object to reinforce the 3D impression.
  • Use multiple sheets or fold a sheet to create volume.

Many artists have become known for their anamorphic works, e.g. Ramon Bruin. Anamorphosis is also very popular in street art: Numerous artists like to create the impression on the street that one is falling into an abyss. Take a look at the photos of the works of Edgar Mueller or Jolian Beever - very impressive! Painting classes can also be used to deepen this.

With these videos you can learn to draw in 3D

In order to practice 3D drawing, you should know the most important techniques for these drawings. You can meet many Online tutorials, e.g. from YouTube, get free tips to improve your sketches and create better and more realistic 3D drawings.

There are video tutorials for all levels, whether you are a beginner or an advanced painter.

We have selected a few good YouTube videos for you, with which you can learn to draw different shapes and bring your pictures to life.


Let's start with something very classic: Here you will learn how to realistically represent a cube.

In this video you will learn how to give the impression that your drawing paper has a hole, similar to the way many street artists use it.

Here you create a true 3D effect on your drawing paper and it looks like a real snake is lying on your drawing.

Get 3D drawings with drawing computer programs easily

There are many tools that you can use to spread a 3D effect. In many different professions you can represent simple drawings in three dimensions.

3D architecture software, 3D modeling, industrial design, design software or 3D animation software ... Today, 3D is everywhere. It's even slowly being overtaken by augmented reality and 4D cinema. Thanks to the 3D modeling software, creations can now also become reality with a 3D printer.

As an animation artist, you can easily a free drawing tool Find. These are mostly self-explanatory and easy to use and allow you to familiarize yourself with the third dimension in drawings.

But which tools are best for 3D drawings?

Of course, it depends on your needs. You can use an online program for your 3D drawings or download software onto your computer. Here are some examples of 3D programs:

  • Photoshop: A must have for all graphic designers. Photoshop gives you endless possibilities to create and edit images.
  • Krita and Artweaver are also drawing programs that have proven useful.
  • Google Sketchup: Perfect for 3D modeling, originally developed for architecture and interior design.
  • Blender: This program is used for modeling and 3D animation.
  • AutoCAD: one of the most frequently used tools for 2D and 3D design.
  • Manga Studio EX is great for creating comics and manga.

Implemented the whole thing in a painting course in Düsseldorf.

The best apps for 3D drawings

If you want to learn 3D drawing, you can also use apps for your smartphone or tablet.

After all, you have them with you always and everywhere, all day long. So you can easily improve your 3D drawing techniques as soon as you have a moment, e.g. during your lunch break or on the train. With your mobile phone or tablet you can learn to draw volumes and get a 3D effect.

3D drawings are currently very much in vogue. Regardless of whether you want to learn to draw for professional reasons or you are privately engaged in technology, there are many apps that are suitable for learning 3D drawing. We have selected some apps that you show the many possibilitiesthat you have with such apps. There is something for everyone!

  • How to draw 3D and illusion: Learn 3D drawings with videos

This app is very educational and uses video tutorials to teach you to draw in three dimensions. The best YouTube tutorials for 3D drawings are summarized here, which is very useful if you don't feel like searching the whole internet for meaningful videos yourself. The app is updated every week and with just one click you can regularly discover new videos on 3D drawing techniques.

  • Tilt Brush: 3D Drawings in Virtual Reality (VR)

With Tilt Brush it becomes very easy to create three-dimensional virtual reality drawings. Even if this may not necessarily be about 3D drawings on a sheet of paper, you shouldn't miss this experience and discover with this app what you can do with 3D. With 3D glasses and headphones you can let your creativity run free and create a virtual universe in 3D.

  • Leopoly: Draw people in 3D

This app is available for tablets and computers. With it you can represent people in three dimensions and edit them with numerous tools that you can find in your toolbar. Especially the manga and comic fans among you will have a lot of fun with this app, because you can write your own story - and draw.

  • Tinkercad: 3D modeling for beginners

Tinkercad is an Autodesk app. Autodesk offers many apps and programs for professional and amateur draftsmen and graphic artists. With Tinkercad you can easily draw in 3D, because the interface is absolutely user-friendly and easy to understand. You can bring your creations to life by printing them out with a 3D printer via the program.

  • Tinkerplay: 3D drawing for children

Tinkerplay is also an Autodesk app and is very popular with children. This makes it very easy to create people and creatures in 3D. You personalize a template and combine several suggested elements. A great app for beginners and to give your imagination a little nudge. You can then print out your 3D characters.

3D drawing: which 3D pens are suitable?

When talking about 3D drawings, you also have to talk about which pen is best for this type of painting.

What is a 3D pen?

A 3D pen is an innovative tool that works in a similar way to a 3D printer. A 3D pen enables you to to write and draw in three dimensions - with a very simple principle. The pen heats the material with which it is drawing, which cools (more or less quickly) when it hits a surface.

So you can very easily draw in three dimensions. You can use an object to trace the contours three-dimensionally, draw several parts and then put them together or let your creativity run free.

A 3D pen can two different types of plastic contain: ABS and PLA. The choice of material is important for the result and it depends on what you want to achieve:

  • ABS cools down immediately, which is good for 3D drawings. You can easily create shapes and rely on the structure to hold up. You can draw straight lines, spirals and various shapes in three dimensions. But ABS is also suitable for writing in 3D and then gluing your creations together. ABS is a plastic made from gasoline.
  • PLA cools down a little more slowly, therefore it takes longer for this plastic to solidify. For this reason, PLA is better suited for 3D writing, because it sticks better to a surface, e.g. cardboard, metal or ceramic. PLA is mostly biodegradable and biologically produced.

How do I choose the right 3D pen?

3D pens are comparatively cheap (especially compared to 3D printers, which private individuals can or rarely want to afford) and are therefore very popular. Artists, whether amateurs or professionals who are interested in three-dimensional drawings, children who can occupy themselves with them for hours, hobbyists who simply want to make small objects themselves - there really is a very broad target group for 3D pens.

The first 3D pen was the 3Doodler. Today there is already the 3rd version of this pen, an absolutely reliable pen with which you can draw precisely and which is already available at fair prices. Today there is, however many 3D pens in all possible price ranges. You have to choose based on your expectations, goals and needs. You should consider the following aspects:

  • Design and weight: An important point, because the pen should lie comfortably in the hand so that you can execute your 3D drawings precisely.
  • Pen with screen: Another important point to learn the basics of 3D drawing and make sure that the temperature of the material is right. With the temperature you can create certain effects in your drawing.
  • The price:  An obvious point, because your budget inevitably has an impact on the pen you want to buy. There are 3D pens for less than 50 €, but the quality is not optimal. Think about how important quality is to you - a higher investment can be worthwhile.
  • The mark: There are some well-known brands for 3D pens, e.g. 3Doodler, Lix, 3D Yestech, Vistorstar, Mohoo and others.

You can also find video tutorials on certain 3D pens on YouTube, so let yourself be inspired and learn how to use the 3D pen properly.

Our tips for learning three-dimensional drawing quickly and easily

Regardless of whether you use new technologies or want to use a sheet of drawing paper for your three-dimensional drawings, you can make progress the fastestwhen you take a drawing course, either online or with a private drawing tutor.

A drawing teacher can give you tips and tell you from experience what will help you to learn to realistically represent an object in 3D.

In addition to a drawing course, you also need some specific skills for three-dimensional drawings. In order to achieve this, you need patience and you need to practice drawing regularly. If you good three-dimensional drawings want to get it done, you can start with this advice:

  • Do different exercises, to get to know the perspectives and volumes.
  • Learn to draw details to get a realistic result.
  • A 3D drawing is above all a drawing. For a realistic picture you have to master some basic drawing techniques (proportions, shading (for example with faces), light, perspective (for example when drawing hands), thickness of the lines ...)
  • You need to practice regularly, to automate certain processes. Always have your drawing book or sketchbook with you.
  • Let yourself be inspired by the works of artists, that you like. Check out how the others do it and use video tutorials to show your models.

Are you ready for your first drawing in 3D? Then grab your pen, your drawing paper and don't forget your eraser - or use your tablet! We wish you much success…

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Lea

has a Masters in International Management and loves blogging and translating because of her thirst for knowledge and her affinity for languages.