How to Draw a Bucket

Updated on February 23, 2018

Drawing a bucket is easy!

Some say drawing a bucket is fairly easy, and they would be right. However, drawing a bucket to look three-dimensional with actual shading to indicate a light source may present a bit of a challenge for some folks.

Challenges are a good thing, at least that's what I think. Drawing challenges are no different than any other challenges in life—it's something to be mastered. To me, drawing is a way of working up toward something, all the while getting better and better until it is finally mastered.

I've been drawing since I was just a wee one in diapers, or that's what my mother tells me. One of my first masterpieces was smearing the contents of my diaper in long streaks along the living room and dining room walls. Instead of getting upset, my mother encouraged me to continue. She was an amazing woman.

Since those early years well over 50 years ago, I have mastered one drawing challenge after another. If you want to learn to draw and to be an artist, you must learn to accept and overcome challenges.

Right now, your challenge is to draw this bucket. Get a pencil and a few pieces of paper, and let's begin!

Step 1: Draw an Elongated Oval Shape

Drawing involves knowing two things: how to create shapes and lines as well as how to combine them in just the right way. Begin by drawing a squished oval shape.

Step 2: Draw Two Straight Lines

Draw two straight lines that start from both edges of the elongated oval. Both lines should be the same length and slightly angled. Look closely, and you'll see that the lines start from the edge and then slant slightly inward toward the middle.

Step 3: Add the Bottom of the Bucket

Pay close attention here - this is where most folks get off track and lose the drawing. Carefully start at the bottom end of the left line and draw a semicircular shape that connects to the bottom end of the right line, as shown.

  • Notice the curve of this line is very similar to the curve of the bottom edge of the elongated oval at the top.

Step 4: Add the Handle

This is just a curved line that begins at one point and ends at another. You can make a little mark on your drawing where this line begins and ends if that helps. I drew a small circle where the handle attaches to the bucket. This is my end point for the line.

Now, draw a curved line from the beginning point around to the endpoint.

Step 5: Add Some Shading

Now that the basic shape is complete, it's time to add some shading on the lower right of the bucket to indicate a shadow. This "drop shadow" is merely another shape: a semi-circle that is filled in by pressing down hard on the pencil.

Step 6: Add Final Details

For the finishing touches, simply add some shading to indicate shadow inside the bucket at the top left of your drawing.

Next, add some shading to the right side of the outer surface of the bucket as shown in the drawing to the right.

You can even add a little plastic handle to the wire handle.

How did you do?

Don't Get Frustrated and Give Up

It's very easy to make some mistakes on your first several tries and get frustrated. That is actually good. The emotional response to the frustration will actually drive you to keep going.

All artists experience this. It's how we get to be better artists and it will work for you, too. When you get frustrated, don't give up—use that anger to help push you to the next level. Give yourself a chance. I'll make a bet with you. Draw the bucket using the above tutorial at least 5-10 times. Then, step back and look at the last drawing you did and see if you haven't improved from the first drawing.

Now imagine what you could accomplish if you practiced for just 15-30 minutes every day. Good luck!

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