Torus Drawing Guide
Updated: 08 Nov 2023
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.
The reason for that is overlapping.
Meaning, the front of the torus hides part of its back.
When drawing realism, you do not want to have lines in your drawing (or painting).
Therefore, use brightness values instead.
If you do not understand terms like foreshortening or overlapping, visit my depth drawing guide.
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.
In some cases, depending on the light source, highlights or shadows can follow the contour lines of the objects you are drawing.
Try to define which part is closer to the observer.
When it curves, the foreground part (red) overlaps the background part (blue).
Pay attention how the red lines are also present when rendering.
For realistic texture rendering, visit my texture drawing guide.
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.
Once you figured that out from observation, you can draw from imagination, with direction and overlapping in mind.
Advanced object drawing is the ability to draw from imagination.
To draw a complex scene, it is important to master perspective drawing.
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.
While a perfect (round) torus represents objects like bracelets, rings, driving wheels, etc., many complex objects share their unique overlapping structure.
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.