How to Draw Curved Lines Accurately

As an artist, most often, we use curves in our drawing. So, it’s a common thing to learn how to draw curved lines. I know, it’s easy. But how do you actually do it?

However, learning to draw some zig-zags doesn’t indicate that you can draw curved lines correctly. For this, you just need to follow some techniques as a beginner.

Well, in this article, you’ll get to know about the A to Z of curved lines. It means that I’ll share tips and techniques on how to draw curved lines. And other information like the types of curved lines and which one should be used where.

So, if you are an amateur in arts and drawing, keep following the article till the end. Hope, after going through this writing, you won’t face problem drawing curves in future.

Important ✓

Before getting into the business, you must select what type of sketching you are going to make. The reason is, depending on your art project, you have to choose the curve type first. There are so many types of curved lines to choose from. All of them have different uses, and their drawing style is also not the same.

For example – if you want to draw long hair or clouds in the sky, both curves you will use here won’t be the same. So, before learning to draw the curved lines, you must know the types and where you should use which one.

Different Types of Curved Lines

Primarily, there are two types of curves –

  • Symmetrical
  • Asymmetrical

Depending on this two, other types are created. If you can learn these accurately, other ones will be just a piece of cake for you. So, let’s move forward and get to know about these types in detail.

Symmetrical Curves

Symmetrical curved lines have the same shape on both sides. The curve starts at one end, and then it has a bend in the middle, after which it goes back to its original position.

It’s not that hard to draw symmetric curves because all you need is just some basic knowledge of geometry. You can start with an ellipse or parabola as guides for your bent line sketching. And once it’s done, add details like corners or edges according-wise till completion.

Both parts of the symmetric curves are mirror images of each other. To be easily defined, it’s the top round shape of a cylinder. It can also be anything with the same form on both sides, like a bottle or glass.

For drawing symmetrical shapes, you can always use a parallel horizontal axis. If needed, you can make a rectangular box to create a perfect oval shape. But remember not to end up with pointy corners as it doesn’t show the symmetrical bonds.

Asymmetrical Curves

Asymmetrical curves do not come back exactly where they started from, like symmetrical ones. Instead, their bends are more stretched to different extremes than those seen in symmetrically curved lines.

To draw curved asymmetrical lines, you can use a mirror as your guide. That’s how both parts are different, and the shape is not the same on either side as in a symmetrical curve. 

One of the ways to learn how to draw curved lines with this technique is by sketching shapes with opposite angles or sizes. You must keep away from symmetry while drawing these curves since they don’t run parallel at all angles.

Asymmetrical curves can be drawn with the help of the basic geometric forms – ellipses, parallelograms, etc. But it starts without following an established pattern for its shape as seen in symmetrical curves, thus the name “asymmetry.”

While drawing these curves, make a habit of drawing straight lines. Then turn them into curve shapes. It’ll make your task easier, quicker, and a thousand times better.

Other Prominent Types of Curved Lines

Though there are so many types of curved lines out there, I will show some of their prominent types only. These are mostly used in drawing and sketching.

Simple Curve

A curved line that has no sharp angles when drawing is a simple curve. These types of curved lines are not too varied and can be drawn in any direction you want.

The only thing to remember while sketching these curves is that the lines shouldn’t interact themselves. It means there will be no crossing point like an X-shape while drawing simples curves.

Open Curve

This curved line resembles the letter “C” and you can use it to make curves in any direction. This type of curved line never meets with their other ends.

If you want your open curve sketching to be even, add a straight row on one side and extend back into the curved shape. But this technique will only work if you have drawn both parts symmetrically before that at least once or twice. 

It’s because, without symmetry, one half would become different from the other half when opening outwards – causing an uneven appearance. However, parabola is a perfect example of open curve lines.

Closed Curve

It’s a type of curve with both ends coming together to make an enclosed shape. It’s not like open curved lines because this one actually meets with itself at the end or starts from one point.

As guides, closed curved lines can be drawn using vertical axis (I or U shape), semi-circle, and ellipse.

The thing about drawing these circule curves is that you might want to take care of the points where it bends.

Make sure there are smooth transitions rather than sudden sharp ones, which will give rise to jagged edges on your sketching. With the gradual transition, no unsightly bumps would be seen on the final project made out of closed curved lines.

Algebraic Curve

An algebraic curved line comes into existence when two straight lines intersect. Algebraic curved shapes are usually symmetrical and can be drawn with ease using the principles of geometry or just by sketching curved lines from both sides. It’s done in such a way that a set of points can be placed on the Euclidean plane.

Transcendental Curve

A transcendental curve is just the opposite of simple curves. It has similar properties to algebraic curves. But while drawing transcendental curves, it will have so many intersecting and inflection points.

These curved lines can be drawn with a compass and straightedge.

Besides the types of curved lines, you might want to look at other information like how to draw, when to use it for what project, and techniques for smooth sketching.

With those kinds of things in mind, I’m sure that drawing curved lines will become easier than before! So, let’s move into that.

How to Draw Curved Lines

Now we’ve come to the most important part of this article. Here, I’m going to reveal the ways that you can use for drawing curve lines.

Using Tools

It’s the easiest way to draw curves. In your geometry box, some tools are meant for it, namely Compass and Protractor.

Since you are a beginner, pick up the tool according to the art you will make. For example, suppose you want to draw cylinder-type drawings like tea cups, mugs, glasses, and bottles. In that case, you can always use a compass to make the upper and lower curves.

Again, suppose you want to do some symmetrical curves. In that case, you can always use a protractor as it helps in mirroring image shape. 

So, pick up the tools of your choice and place them on papers. You should ensure that you have established how far from one endpoint to another. Then Place an arbitrary point at one end and use it as your start position while drawing curves. 

Now, you have to move around in circles or make long sweeps until you reach the length desired for curved line sketching. Always keep practicing to have more control over the tools.

Free Hand

Doing curves in freehand is the most interesting task to do. You don’t need to follow any rules like when you use tools. Most artists follow this method when they get control over the pencil, pen, or marker.

It’s a soothing task. For example – if you want to make ellipses, just hold the pencil lightly, and continue the rounding process. While rounding and rounding, you’ll notice that the shape of ellipses has come out.

Then draw hard lines over the area you want to keep and erase others. And yes, you’re done!

The process is the same for all types of curves while going freehand. If you want to make some long hair, then start with the S-shape. And like before, quickly draw some S’s to reveal the shapes of curly hairs.

The best tip I can give is whether you use a pen or marker – “keep your hand steady and move it uniformly.” When drawing curves on paper, make sure there’s no jaggedness seen while observing the final project. Keep practicing more until you get control over pencils.

You can’t get the most out of it until you become the master in using the tool method.

Besides beginners, do not let children draw curved lines in freehand as they might mess up the whole thing!

Techniques for Drawing Smooth Curved Lines

Getting a smooth curve is all an artist wants while playing with curved lines. So, here I’m sharing with you some techniques that will help you to draw it smoothly.

  • While drawing curves, always take a break of 2-5 minutes to loosen up your hands by practicing other drawings. You can always use charcoal pencils for this.
  • Try to copy an image for practice purposes. It’ll help you to learn different types of effects and shades. The purpose of it is to learning techniques, not to create the original work.
  • After learning from copying, draw curved lines in your own way. You’ll notice that some of your own drawing styles have evolved.
  • Draw on such a surface where you can move your arms comfortably. So, size of the curves matters as you can’t stop drawing in the mid of it.
  • Try to move your arms as faster as you can. Though it means less control over your pencils, it helps in producing smoother lines. But don’t forget to relax your arms and shoulders in between.
  • Since direction of the curves matters, you should always set it first. For example, when I need to fill a large area with curves like drawing wood grains, I first draw 5-6 lines to set the size and direction.
  • Use parallel lines for creating curves as it helps to keep balance on both sides. You can also use different shapes like – U, C, I, and S for perfect curves.


You have to be careful about using tools for drawing curves. Creating an outline with pencils is mostly recommended for beginners with light strokes. But if you use hard strokes, then it’ll be tough to erase the pencil lines.

Only after creating an outline with pencils, I recommend using markers. It’s because you can’t erase the marker marks if you make any mistake.

Additionally, for using tools like a protractor or compass, decide your project first and use them properly. Using them in the wrong way can ruin the final outcome.

Final Thoughts

I hope that these tips and techniques will be helpful for beginners who want to draw curves on their own sketching projects.

It’s always good to know how curved lines are drawn as it helps in many ways. Like, you can easily create curved shapes for your project with the help of curves like drawing wood grains or creating beautiful illustrations.

So, next time when you want to learn something new – start by exploring curved lines!

Information Source:

Loard Eva

Hi there! I’m Eva, artist, designer, photographer and mom of three little gentlemen altogether. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for ChooseMarker.

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