One of my demons in art, is the ellipse. I hate drawing ellipses. Maybe hate is a strong word..I really really dislike ellipses. So many objetcs have some sort of ellipse in it. And like with perspective, you can’t be an artist without coming across ellipses.

With a snowy and rainy weekend keeping us inside, I challenged  that ellipse fear and went back to my spiral exercises(see bottom of page).


pen and watercolor in Arches aquarelle block, HP, 18x26cm

Bowl Ellipses 1


pen and watercolor in Arches watercolor block, CP, 18x26cm

Bowl Ellipses 2

I  do these great spiral exercises to practice  ellipses from the book “Sketchbook for artists”. S

  1. Start with drawing a circle and loosely let your hand move downwards in a spiral. It it best to not do it slowly, but at a natural, continuous speed, without stopping.
  2. You can enlarge and diminish to your own liking, creating different shapes and volumes.
  3. Practice placing one spiral into another.
  4. Vary the thickness of the lines. Don’t worry if it is all askew in the beginning..your hand will get steadier as you keep on doing these spring-like spirals.

..Spiral exercises four ellipses..

Ellipses 0001

Bibliography: Sketchbook for the artist, Sarah Simblet..

5 thoughts on “Sketching ellipses..bowls and jugs.

  1. I never thought of doing spirals to practice ellipses. That’s a great tip! This sketch is really lovely….you have such a nice style to your work. Thanks for sharing your work and ides.

  2. Ronelle, I’d like to save this on my demo page. I find ellipses difficult and these are great practices. I’ll have to look up SKETCHBOOK FOR ARTISTS. Who is the author?

  3. How true about ellipses! In loose and free work a slightly askew ellipse can lend a whimsical charm but it always feels good to get it right. An art book I read eons ago suggested thousands of practice ellipses were necessary and I’ve found that with the doing of them they become easy and accurate but I’m sure I never practiced thousands of them! In your quest for the accurate ellipse I hope your work doesn’t become too perfect, I love the quality of your lines and marks, they contain such LIFE!

Tthank you for your visit and comment, II appreciate it!

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