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How to Draw a Bucket

Updated on April 7, 2013

Learning How to Draw a Bucket

Some would say that drawing a bucket is fairly easy, and they would be right.

But drawing a bucket that actually looks like a bucket in three dimensions with some actual shading to indicate a light source may be a bit of a challenge for some folks.

Challenges are a good thing, at least that's what I think. Drawing challenges are no different than any other challenges in life - it is just something to be mastered. To me, drawing is a way of working up toward something, getting better and better until it is finally mastered.

I have been drawing since I was just a wee one in diapers, or so that's what my mother tells me. One of my first masterpieces was smearing the contents of my diaper in long streaks along the living room and dining room walls. Instead of getting upset, my mother encouraged me to continue. She was an amazing woman.

Since those early years well over 50 years ago, I have mastered one challenge after another in drawing.

If you want to learn to draw, to be an artist, you must learn to accepts and overcome challenges.

So, right now your challenge is to draw this bucket. Get a pencil and a few pieces of paper and let's begin...


Step 1: Draw an Elongated Oval Shape

As I say in all my other drawing tutorials, drawing is simply knowing how to create certain shapes and lines, then combining them in just the right proportion.

To begin your drawing of a bucket, let's begin by drawing a squished oval shape, as shown to the right.

Step 2: Draw Two Straight Lines

Next, starting from either edge of the elongated oval, you're going to draw two straight lines.

Start each line at the extreme left and right edges of the elongated oval.

Both of these line should be the same length and be slightly angled. Look closely and you'll see that the lines start from the edge of the oval shape and then slant slightly inward toward the middle, as shown.

Step 3: Add the Bottom of the Bucket

Now, pay close attention here - this is where most folks get off track and lose the drawing.

Carefully start at the bottom end of the left line and draw a semicircular shape that connects to the bottom end of the right line, as shown.

Notice the curve of this line is very similar to the curve of the bottom edge of the elongated oval at the top.

Step 4: Add the Bucket Handle

Again, this is just a curved line that begins at one point and ends at another.

Study the drawing to the right and note where this line begins and where it ends. You can make a little mark on your drawing where this lines begins and ends if that helps. I drew a small circle where the handle attaches to the bucket. This is my end point for the line/handle.

Now, carefully draw a curved line from the beginning point, curving it around to the end point.

Step 5: Add Some Shading

As with all drawings, the line work is simply the frame onto which we can build the remainder of the drawing.

For our bucket, simply add some shading on the lower right to indicate a shadow.

This "drop shadow" is merely another shape - a semi-circle that is filled in by pressing dow hard on the pencil.

Final Touches: Add Some Details

For the finishing touches, simply add some shading to indicate shadow inside the bucket at the top left of your drawing.

Next, add some shading to the right side of the outer surface of the bucket as shown in the drawing to the right.

You can even add a little plastic handle to the wire handle.

How did you do?

Don't Get Frustrated and Give Up

It's very easy to make some mistakes on your first several tries and get frustrated. That is actually good. The emotional response behind the frustration will actually drive you to keep going.

All artists experience this. It's how we get to be better artists and it will work for you, too.

So when you get frustrated, don't give up - use that anger to help push you to the next level.

Give yourself a chance. I'll make you a little bet here. Draw the bucket using the above tutorial at least 5-10 times. Then step back and look at the last drawing you did and see if you haven't improved form the first drawing.

Now imagine what you could do if you practice for just 15-30 minutes every day Hmm...

Good luck!


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