How To Draw A Chess Piece

How To Draw A Chess Piece
How To Draw A Chess Piece

The beauty and simplicity of both the individual chess piece and a whole set combined can provide you with an excellent source to produce drawing from direct observation.

In this post, I will describe how to sketch and draw a geometric form of a symmetrical chess piece step by step. Once you have mastered of basics of this skill, you will be able to progress and draw more complex irregular shapes such as the Knight.

Select the Chess Piece you Want to Draw

if you are aware of which chess piece you want to draw great. However, I suggest you begin by drawing the most straightforward form in a chess set. The pawn.

Sketch the Chess Piece Lightly to Start.

To begin drawing with a faint center line as the primary form of the piece, you will be drawing is symmetrical. Doing this early in the drawing will enable you to maintain correct proportions.

Next, draw the top of the pawn; this can be achieved by drawing a faint circle to represent the spere at the top of this piece. For further information about premium quality drawing and sketching paper to begin your drawing, click here to visit Amazon. 

Check the Proportions of your Drawing

At this stage in the process of your drawing. It is advisable to check the proportions of the picture. Enabling you to create a drawing that is both accurate and looks right.

To begin checking the proportions by measuring the top of the chess piece and comparing how many times it fits into space below.

To make this draw faint marks onto the centerline to indicate the base and the body of the chess piece.

Draw the Base of the Chess Piece

When you draw the base of your chess piece, you are giving your drawing a sense of stability and weight. 

Apply Value and Tone to your Drawing

If you are unsure how to begin adding pencil shade to your drawing, an excellent place to start is to create a tonal scale. This will demonstrate that you can apply shade whilst controlling the pencil.

This can quickly allow you to practice graduating shading from light to dark.

  • Consider the form of the chess piece. When drawing the pawn, it is a good idea to locate the shadow slightly off-center; this will make your drawing look more authentic.
  • Using a pencil, apply shadows from the top of the chess piece to the bottom using a 2B pencil, add shade using the side of the pencil.
  • Follow the form and curvature of the chess piece and apply the shadow accordingly.

Drawing a Chess Piece in Pen and Ink

One of the simplest ways to draw a chess piece is through the medium of pen and ink. The best method is again to draw the chess piece in pencil. 

  • Make sure that all of the relevant shapes and proportions are correct. The lines which are drawn in pen and cannot be erased. If they are found out of proportion at a later stage in the drawing.
  • You that the outline is now ready to draw with the pencil. You are now ready to begin drawing in pen.
  • Carefully follow the pencil dawn in pencil. 
  • Gradually the form and shape of the chess piece will begin to appear.

How to Add Diagonal Hatching in Pen and Ink

  • To apply an added sense of 3-dimensional space, you should apply a hatched line from the top down onto the chess piece you drew earlier.
  • Progress onto adding diagonal hatching onto the base of the chess piece and the main body of the pawn.
  • Again ensure that you follow the contour of the chess piece as this will make the drawing appear more three dimensional.

Add a Cast Shadow at the Base of your Drawing

  • The drawing of a cast shadow at the base of the drawing will give the image a sense of context and make it seem more realistic.
  • Again using a hatched line, apply a series of quickly drawn lines to the right of the base of the chess piece.
  • The lines closest to the chess piece should be drawn closer together and more densely configured. This will give the appearance of a darker cast shadow in the area in which the shadow is darkest.

Draw a Background Element or Feature

  • When you are thinking about drawing a chesspiece in context, the first thing that you probably come to mind is a chessboard.
  • As a background element, this can be drawn in a decorative manner to create a more detailed drawing.
  • Begin by drawing a diagonal line at an angle to the vertical chess piece. Again I would suggest you apply tone either in the form of a hatched line or tonal shade with a 2B pencil.
  • As background, this should be rendered in a lighter value to the main feature, the chess piece.

Drawing a Chess Piece in Color Pencil

  • Try to start a color pencil by considering how you want to render it. Using color pencils is of real benefit as the color can easily be blended and layered to create
  •  Probably the simplest method is to create a monochromatic drawing in back color pencil. 
  • Begin with a light sketch from which the proportions of the piece are clearly mapped out.
  • Lightly mark out areas of dark, mid tonal and the light regions of tone and value.shadow
  • Take a dark color pencil, such as a black or dark blue and begin the add graduated shade from one side of the chess piece.
  • Progressively begin to add darker shadows onto your drawing to create increasing levels of depth.

Mixing Primary Color Pencils to Draw a Chess Piece

Another effective way to use color when using color pencils is to limit your color to the basic three primary colors.

  • Begin by applying layers of light yellow over the surface of your drawing.
  • Leave the areas blank where you wish the show a highlight.
  • Progress onto adding darker shadows either in primary blue.
  • This is an excellent way to create depth in your drawing. Remember to vary the amount of pressure you're applying with the pencil to create a graduated blended shadow.

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Ian Walsh is the creator and author of and an Art teacher based in Merseyside in the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a PGCE in teaching Art and Design. He has been teaching Art for over 24 Years in different parts of the UK. When not teaching Ian spending his time developing this website and creating content for the improvedrawing channel.

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How to Draw a Chess Piece