Torus Drawing Guide

Updated: 08 Nov 2023

Guide for drawing complex objects like with torus shape

This is an advanced guide, and an extension to my guide for drawing from imagination.

I drew and rendered the examples below in a realistic style, using pencils, pens, and markers.

If you are new to realism, read my realistic drawing guide first.


A torus is a complex shape.

Its outer shape is like an ellipse (foreshortened circle), while its inner shape is like an eye.

Torus shape

The reason for that is overlapping.

Meaning, the front of the torus hides part of its back.

Torus shape and lines

When drawing realism, you do not want to have lines in your drawing (or painting).

Therefore, use brightness values instead.

Drawing of a torus shape with pencils

If you do not understand terms like foreshortening or overlapping, visit my depth drawing guide.

Torus-Like Shapes

Some complex shapes share the characteristics of a torus.

Torus-like shapes have a curve, which causes overlapping.

This means that although the shape is continuous, because it is curved, the front (red) hides the back (blue), partially.

Guidelines for a curved shape

In some cases, depending on the light source, highlights or shadows can follow the contour lines of the objects you are drawing.

A graphite drawing of a staircase railing Staircase railing drawing

Try to define which part is closer to the observer.

When it curves, the foreground part (red) overlaps the background part (blue).

Contour lines of a faucet sketch

Pay attention how the red lines are also present when rendering.

Realistic graphite drawing of a faucet Faucet graphite drawing

For realistic texture rendering, visit my texture drawing guide.

Organic Objects

While man-made objects are more defined, organic objects are more abstract (yet, follow the same rules).

As before, look for the front part, which overlaps the back part.

Overlapping in a fish pen drawing

Once you figured that out from observation, you can draw from imagination, with direction and overlapping in mind.

Pen drawing of an octopus and marine animals

Complex Drawing

Advanced object drawing is the ability to draw from imagination.

To draw a complex scene, it is important to master perspective drawing.

Pen drawing of a torus shaped buoy with weapons

After you get the structure right (in perspective), it is time to render it.

Rendering is deciding on a style (realism, sketch, etc.), and a medium (colors, pens, pencils, etc.).

In this example, I used markers.

To learn more about markers, visit my marker drawing guide.

Drawing of a deathbuoy with markers. Torus-shaped military marine object, wich looks like a lifebuoy, but with cannons and weapons. Deathbuoy


While a perfect (round) torus represents objects like bracelets, rings, driving wheels, etc., many complex objects share their unique overlapping structure.

For a beginning artist, mastering drawing boxes and cylinders is essential. Once you know that, you can learn how to draw round object and how to draw spherical objects.

To see which paper I use for each project, visit my drawing-paper review and guide.

In addition, I highly recommend learning about composition drawing.