Knowing how to make jewelry: Yeah, we all know how amazing that is. But it’s also important to know how to draw jewelry. And there are a few reasons why.
For one thing, if you’re a jewelry designer, you need to know how to sketch the pieces you dream up as a first step in making them real. But even non-designers could use a few drawing lessons. Say you’ve hired someone to transform an heirloom ring into something more modern, or to create a custom piece for you. Drawing what you want will help you communicate your ideas — and avoid costly mistakes.
Whatever your goal, there are a few concepts you need to learn so you’ll be able to draw any type of jewelry, from simple rings to intricate necklaces. Here, some of the basics.
1. Get Perspective Down
Perspective is a way of drawing objects in 3D. When you’re drawing jewelry, you want to establish the depth and space of the pieces. So you need to know where and how to make the lines recede to a vanishing point. When you only have one vanishing point, you use one-point perspective . And luckily, that’s all you need when drawing jewelry. The good news: It’s much simpler than other types of perspective!
2. Pay Attention to Sizes
You need to know how to scale your designs when drawing them, making them bigger or smaller in order to zero in on the design. Most of the time, your pieces (a pair of earrings, say, or a ring) will be small enough to fit on a piece of paper, so you’ll be drawing them on a 1:1 scale (aka how they look on the paper is true to life). But sometimes you might want to change up the scale so you can get a close-up look at the tiny gems or details.
The same goes for proportions — the relationship in size between objects. You need to keep that relationship in mind, or you might (for instance) end up with a ring where a big gem overpowers a delicate band. Some jewelry pieces are so small and detailed that the slightest shift in proportions makes a noticeable difference, for better or worse.
Focus on Wearability — or Not
This one is all about personal choice. Is this an everyday or special-occasion piece? Knowing the answer to this question will help guide your work organically. For instance, you might focus on drawing (and then designing) something smaller and more comfortable, or you can go the big, extravagant route. Have fun with this part of the process — it’s 100 percent about your own artistic aesthetic!