How to Take Your Drawings to the Next Level: Ideas for Adding Depth and Dimension

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The Importance of Adding Depth and Dimension

As an artist or a creator, you may have noticed that your drawings lack that extra “wow factor.” You might have excellent skills in sketching, shading, and coloring, but there’s something missing. That missing element is depth and dimension.

Adding depth and dimension to your artwork creates an illusion of space, creating a more realistic and visually appealing image. Luckily, there are many ways to add depth and dimension to your drawings that can help you take them to the next level.

1. Overlapping Elements

One of the most straightforward techniques to create depth is overlapping. By drawing multiple objects partially overlapping each other, you create the illusion of objects existing in different planes. The objects that appear closer to the viewer should overlap objects that are farther away.

For example, if you are drawing a still life of apples, you can create depth by partially overlapping some apples with others. The apples that are closer to the viewer should overlap the ones in the back.

2. Light and Shadow

Light and shadow are vital elements of art that can add depth and dimension to your drawings. You can create an illusion of depth by adding shading on one side of an object, indicating that light is coming from a particular direction.

By adding shadows, you can create the illusion of volume or thickness in objects. Pay attention to the angles of your light source and the objects in your drawing to create realistic shadows.

3. Perspective

Perspective helps create an illusion of depth, as it uses techniques to portray objects at different distances. There are three types of perspective: one-point perspective, two-point perspective, and three-point perspective, with each technique depending on the number of vanishing points.

In one-point perspective, all lines lead to a single vanishing point. In two-point perspective, objects have two vanishing points, while three-point perspective involves three vanishing points.

4. Scale and Proportion

Scale and proportion refer to the size relationships between objects in your drawing. By using smaller objects in the background and larger objects in the foreground, you create an illusion of depth.

When drawing objects in different sizes, make sure to maintain the correct proportions to create a realistic and proportional scene.

5. Texture and Detail

Detail and texture aid in creating depth and dimension by adding interest and contrast to your artwork. Adding texture to your artwork creates a sense of realism, such as drawing bark on a tree or adding hair texture to an animal drawing.

By combining these techniques and using them in conjunction with your already-developed technical skills, you can create dynamic artwork that seems to jump off the page.

Techniques for Adding Depth and Dimension:

In section 1, we explored the basics of understanding depth and dimension in your artwork. Now we’ll dive into some techniques for creating those effects in your drawings. Here are six ideas for taking your drawings to the next level:

1. Overlapping Objects: One simple way to create depth in your drawings is to overlap objects. This can be done by drawing objects closer to the front of the scene larger, and objects further away smaller. Even if the objects are the same size, overlapping them will still give the illusion of depth.

2. Linear Perspective: Linear perspective is a method of drawing that involves creating the illusion of depth by making objects that are further away appear smaller. You draw a series of converging lines to create the illusion of distance. It’s a bit more complicated, but it’s an effective way to create realistic depth.

3. Atmospheric Perspective: Atmospheric perspective is similar to linear perspective, but it involves creating depth by varying the value and intensity of the colors. The closer something is, the more intense and saturated the colors are. The further away something is, the lighter and less saturated the colors become.

4. Shading and Shadows: Shading can give your drawings a three-dimensional appearance. By adding shading and shadows to your drawings, you can create the illusion of depth and make the objects appear more solid.

5. Texture: Creating texture in your drawings can also add depth and dimension. By drawing textures that are closer to the viewer with more detail and a stronger value, and textures further away with less detail and a lighter value, you can create the sense of depth.

6. Scaling: By scaling objects in your drawings, you can create perspective and dimension. As objects get smaller the further away they are, you can achieve the illusion of depth and distance by carefully placing objects of different sizes in relation to each other.

Adding depth and dimension to your drawings can take your artwork to the next level. Experiment with these techniques to see which ones work best for your style of drawing. As you become more comfortable with these techniques, you will be able to create increasingly complex and interesting scenes.

Playing with Texture and Patterns

Welcome back to our series on taking your drawings to the next level! In our first two sections, we explored using various mark-making techniques and understanding light sources. Today, we’ll be focusing on ways to add depth and dimension to your drawings by playing with texture and patterns.


Adding texture to your drawings can create a sense of depth and dimensionality by suggesting the surface quality of the objects or elements you’re depicting, and giving your viewer’s eye something more to engage with. Here are a few ways to incorporate texture into your drawings:

1. Use different strokes: Instead of using the same line width and texture throughout your drawing, experiment with different types of strokes. For example, you could use parallel lines to suggest wood grain, crosshatching for an organic texture, or circular strokes to create a bubbly or circular texture.

2. Experiment with different tools: Beyond different strokes, there are a whole host of materials and tools you can use to add texture. Try using a textured paper or surface, colored pencils or pastels, or even found objects to create interesting textures and patterns.

3. Consider the character of your subject: The texture you choose should be appropriate to the subject of your drawing. Smooth, shiny textures might be more appropriate for man-made objects, while rough or fuzzy textures work well for natural elements like plant life.


Patterns can add visual interest by breaking up the surface of your drawing and providing a rhythm or repetition for the eye to follow. Here are a few ways to incorporate patterns into your drawings:

1. Incorporate graphic patterns: Strong, graphic patterns like stripes, polka dots or chevrons can provide a bold, eye-catching contrast against more organic or textural elements.

2. Use texture to suggest pattern: Instead of using explicit patterns, try using texture to create the sense of pattern. For example, try using a crosshatching technique to create a sense of a woven fabric, or use circular strokes to create the look of bubbles or scales.

3. Consider natural patterns: Nature provides a wealth of repeating patterns and shapes that you can incorporate into your drawings. Consider the hexagonal shapes of honeycomb, the spirals of a snail shell, or the branching structure of a tree – these kinds of natural patterns can add an organic, harmonious feel to your drawing.

Playing with texture and patterns can be a fun and rewarding way to add depth and dimension to your drawings. Experiment with different materials, techniques and subject matter, and see what kind of effects you can create! Be sure to check back for our next installment in this series, where we’ll be exploring the challenges and rewards of drawing from life.

Experiment with Different Perspectives

How to Take Your Drawings to the Next Level: Ideas for Adding Depth and Dimension

Experiment with Different Perspectives

One of the most exciting things about art is the ability to change perspectives and viewpoints, creating a sense of depth and dimension. Adding depth to your artwork can bring it to the next level, adding a sense of realism and three-dimensional quality to your drawings.

The following are some ideas for adding depth and dimension to your artwork:

1. Explore Different Angles and Perspectives

Experiment with different perspectives to see how they impact your drawing. Draw an object from different angles and explore how changing the viewpoint impacts the composition of your artwork. Try exploring new perspectives by using a grid to draw objects in three-point perspective, or by drawing objects from above or below.

2. Use Overlapping Shapes and Forms

One of the simplest ways to create depth in your artwork is by overlapping shapes and forms. Overlapping shapes creates a sense of depth and dimension, suggesting that some objects are closer to the viewer than others.

3. Add Atmospheric Perspective

Atmospheric perspective refers to the way that objects in the distance appear less detailed and less distinct than objects that are closer to the viewer. Adding atmospheric perspective can make your artwork appear more realistic and three-dimensional.

4. Explore Value and Contrast

Using value and contrast can also help create depth in your artwork. By varying the value and contrast of shapes and forms, you can create the illusion of depth and dimension.

5. Experiment with Texture

Texture can help create a sense of depth and realism in your artwork. Experiment with different textures, such as rough textures for objects that are closer to the viewer, and smoother textures for objects in the distance.

By exploring different perspectives, values, textures, and atmospheric perspective, you can take your art to the next level, adding depth and dimension to your drawings.

Practice, practice, practice

Practice, practice, practice.

If you want to take your drawings to the next level and add depth and dimension, the best thing you can do is to practice. This means drawing as often as possible and experimenting with different techniques and styles.

Here are some ideas for practicing:

1. Start with simple shapes and objects. Practice drawing boxes, cylinders, spheres, cubes, and other basic shapes. Then, add details and shading to make them look more three-dimensional.

2. Experiment with different shading techniques. Try hatching, cross-hatching, stippling, and blending. See which ones work best for you and your drawing style.

3. Study the work of other artists. Look at how they use shading, lighting, and perspective to create depth and dimension. Try to emulate their techniques and incorporate them into your own work.

4. Use reference photos. Take photos or find images online of objects or scenes that you want to draw. Study them closely and try to recreate them as realistically as possible.

5. Draw from life. Go outside and draw the buildings, trees, and people around you. Observe how light and shadows fall on these objects and try to capture that in your drawings.

6. Keep a sketchbook. Draw every day, even if it’s just a quick sketch. This will help you to develop your skills and creativity over time.

Remember that adding depth and dimension to your drawings takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself and keep working at it. With dedication and persistence, you’ll see improvement in your drawings over time.