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How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:30 pm
by McDuffies
Seriously? I rarely use elliptical speech baloons, but when I want to draw them, I run into a lot of problems. Mainly, rulers with elliptical stencils/cutouts are impossible to find. I got one such ruller, but it's ellipses are sometimes just not the size that I need. Is there any other way to draw correct elliptical balloons?

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:15 pm
by Numoryn
Looks like you do traditional art, right? I would have sent you to DeviantArt for a huge number of tutorials on them for Photoshop and the like. As you don't, I would suggest that you find some wire that you can bend to the shape you need. Maybe something off an old spiralbound notebook or a long twist tie. That way you'd be able to trace around them will fairly decent success as long as you bent it smoothly.

Otherwise, if that method doesn't work for you, scan one of your smaller ones that don't work or pull one off the internet and print it to the size you want, trace it onto some thicker paper and cut the hole to make your own stencil. Those are the only two I can think up right now for you and both will take a little bit of effort, but it's what I would do. Hopefully they help.

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:37 am
by McDuffies
I tried cutting my own stencils, but edges never turn out smooth enough.

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:49 am
by VeryCuddlyCornpone
WOW. I just realized you were talking about ellipses, as in oval shape type things, and not ellipses plural of ellipsis, as in ... . I was amazed at Numoryn's suggestion that you twist a spiral notebook wire into the shape of an ellipsis XD I figured that surely somewhere you must be able to find a stencil template with the appropriate sized dot in it!

I'm sorry I can't be of much actual help as most of my linework, specifically lettering, is done without guides. Now that I'm trying to take the lettering a little more seriously I do go so far as to sketch the outline of the word balloon before I ink it so that it has an increased chance of appearing to be a proper, non-lumpy shape.

I know that they sell French curves which you might be able to use for this purpose. I know they don't give you a full ellipse, but they give you a range of curves that you could probably use to MAKE an ellipse.

Sorry for the unhelpfulness of this post.

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:56 am
by McDuffies
I got those curves too... I don't even know how to begin to use it. Sure they look nice and useful in a store window, but as soon as I get them home I'm stumped like hermit using a computer for the first time. :( I also tried those rulers that you can bend around, and didn't get far with them either. Maybe I should search for how to use them on internet?

WOW. I just realized you were talking about ellipses, as in oval shape type things, and not ellipses plural of ellipsis, as in ... . I was amazed at Numoryn's suggestion that you twist a spiral notebook wire into the shape of an ellipsis I figured that surely somewhere you must be able to find a stencil template with the appropriate sized dot in it!

At least you didn't think I was talking about breaks in continuity in storytelling.

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:55 am
by Numoryn
McDuffies wrote:I tried cutting my own stencils, but edges never turn out smooth enough.


Do you just use a scissors? I've found that those Exacto knives are fairly precise around curves, especially when you have the thicker paper. Wish I could think up something else for you. :(

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:09 pm
by VeryCuddlyCornpone
McDuffies wrote:I got those curves too... I don't even know how to begin to use it.


Yeah me neither. I figured that you might, though. Being born in 1979 and all.

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:55 pm
by Numoryn
Well, I tried going on to YouTube to find "How to draw speech bubbles" and "How to draw an elliptical..." I didn't find much there, but I now know how to make the perfect circle using four toothpicks, a rubberband, and a marker. XD

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:15 pm
by RobboAKAscooby
VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:
McDuffies wrote:I got those curves too... I don't even know how to begin to use it.


Yeah me neither. I figured that you might, though. Being born in 1979 and all.


I find they only come in handy for inking a curve smoothly. Mostly they're a case of roughly sketch your shape then play around with the curves until you find a part that fits right and draw the curve smooth.

Don't know how well they'd go drawing ellipses, you'd be moving the curves half a dozen times just to get the shape right.

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:01 am
by McDuffies
Numoryn wrote:Do you just use a scissors? I've found that those Exacto knives are fairly precise around curves, especially when you have the thicker paper. Wish I could think up something else for you. :(

I used scissors and scalpel, both were messy.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Yeah me neither. I figured that you might, though. Being born in 1979 and all.


Hey! If you wanna make me look old, at least choose an earlier year!

Well, I tried going on to YouTube to find "How to draw speech bubbles" and "How to draw an elliptical..." I didn't find much there, but I now know how to make the perfect circle using four toothpicks, a rubberband, and a marker.

I know how to draw ellipse using a string and two pins. I'd have to perforate a paper though.

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:49 pm
by Lostmind
McDuffies wrote:I know how to draw ellipse using a string and two pins. I'd have to perforate a paper though.


Ha, I remember doing that. Also remember using a compass to draw one. It has been so long but if I remember correctly you draw two smaller circles touching and the use and arc to connect the two.

You might try looking at stencils used in professional drafting or drafting books.

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:14 pm
by Phact0rri
I always used a compass when I doing hand drawn balloons back in the day.

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:26 am
by McDuffies
Compass?

Lostmind wrote:You might try looking at stencils used in professional drafting or drafting books.

The problem is that I can't find them anywhere.

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:40 pm
by Wendybird
A compass is a circle drawing machine which is basically just a pointy thing and a pencil hinged together. You can replicate one by attaching two pencils together at the back end with a rubber band, then jamming an object in between them and keeping it in place with another rubber band. You can move the object up and down the pencils to change the size of the circle.

The compass method does not produce mathematically correct "ellipses."

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:52 pm
by VeryCuddlyCornpone
I thought of something, but it might not be that effective or give that much variation, but the bottoms of different shampoo and lotion bottles tend to be elipse shaped if you want to try tracing them. Again, not perfect, but it's something... :)

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:48 pm
by McDuffies
Wendybird wrote:A compass is a circle drawing machine which is basically just a pointy thing and a pencil hinged together. You can replicate one by attaching two pencils together at the back end with a rubber band, then jamming an object in between them and keeping it in place with another rubber band. You can move the object up and down the pencils to change the size of the circle.

The compass method does not produce mathematically correct "ellipses."

Oh, I didn't know that was the english term. I got those, i just don't know how to draw elipses with them.

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:22 am
by robotthepirate
McDuffies wrote:
Wendybird wrote:A compass is a circle drawing machine which is basically just a pointy thing and a pencil hinged together. You can replicate one by attaching two pencils together at the back end with a rubber band, then jamming an object in between them and keeping it in place with another rubber band. You can move the object up and down the pencils to change the size of the circle.

The compass method does not produce mathematically correct "ellipses."

Oh, I didn't know that was the english term. I got those, i just don't know how to draw elipses with them.


What do you call them?
And @ Wendybird - Two pencils rubber banded together with something jammed between them? Does that actually work?

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:48 am
by McDuffies
robotthepirate wrote:What do you call them?


Ε estar.

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:56 am
by Mastermind
McDuffies you're not alone, I also had no idea. Mine is called cyrkiel. From circle, I guess :wink:

Re: How to draw ellipses?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:58 pm
by McDuffies
Why can't these english speaking people speak bad english like everyone else?