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How to Draw a Gun: Full Tutorial

Gareth attended art school and has over 40 years of experience drawing and painting. He enjoys helping others develop their artistic skills.

This complete tutorial will teach you how to draw a gun and includes photos and videos

This complete tutorial will teach you how to draw a gun and includes photos and videos

Tools You'll Need

To do my drawings, I usually use only a few tools:

  • I always use a 0.5-sized mechanical pencil to do my very first constructional drawing—the grade is usually a B grade graphite.
  • I use 4B and 9B graphite sticks to do my shading—these are solid chunks of graphite, like a pencil, but without the wooden casing. They are all graphite except for the coating that helps to prevent the graphite from messing your hands up by rubbing onto them.
  • In the image above, you will also see a homemade paper smudging stick and a battery-operated eraser. I also used these items in the videos on this page.
The tools I used to draw the guns in this article

The tools I used to draw the guns in this article

Gun Drawing

This tutorial will show you some different ways to draw a gun, helping you to draw them accurately every time without having to do anything too complicated. As you might know, if you have ever tried to draw a gun, they can be difficult to draw accurately because they are linear shapes, very precise, and accurate to a thousandth of an inch, maybe.

The first task you need to complete is drawing the shape of the gun or what might also be called the outline. This is probably the most important part of the drawing because if you get this wrong, your gun will never look right, no matter how hard you try. The outline drawing, or "construction drawing," as it is often called, can be much easier to do if you have a picture to look at and copy from.

A drawing I created of a gun showing a bullet in its chamber.

A drawing I created of a gun showing a bullet in its chamber.

Get a Good Picture as an Example

If you don't have a picture to look at or a real gun to look at, or you are not very familiar with guns, then, to be perfectly honest, you will not really have a clue as to what you are drawing, and it will be very difficult to make your drawing look convincing. If you don't have a picture, then often the best thing to do is to go and do a search online for gun images, just type gun images into the search box, and you should find more than enough interesting pictures to draw.

Copying from pictures is much easier than drawing from real life, as pictures are already 2 dimensional, the same as a drawing because a drawing, like a picture or a photograph, can only create the illusion of 3 dimensions, which is what a real-life object is: a shape with three dimensions, something of substance and form. You will find some images of a gun below that you can draw if you don't have one.

As already stated, the first place to start is with the outline, and there are different ways to do this; you can use a grid reference method, a box construction method or a box alignment method.

The Grid Reference Method

The grid reference method of drawing a gun is executed by drawing a grid over the picture you want to draw and then making another corresponding grid over your drawing area. The grid needs to be either the same size or in direct proportion to the grid you have made over your image. You can see an example of this below where I have made a gird reference drawing of a gun to show you as an example.

To learn how to draw a gun using a grid reference, please see below where I have placed a grid over the gun image.

An example of the grid method.

An example of the grid method.

I can now draw a grid onto a clean piece of paper and use the grid lines as reference points to indicate where the drawing line will be placed, so as to draw the gun accurately onto the paper using the grid reference.

Grid reference

Grid reference

In the image below, I have placed red crosses onto the image to indicate where some of the lines of the drawing cross over the grid this is just to make it more clear where they go and to help you understand better. I would not use these when doing a drawing in this way.

Example of a gun drawing with red crosses as markers.

Example of a gun drawing with red crosses as markers.

The Box Method

The next method is box construction; the main outline of the gun is first drawn as a series of boxes, and then the detail is drawn into the boxes. This enables you to get the perspective of the gun accurate before you start to draw in detail; this method is often used for drawing all sorts of different objects, not just guns, and is most commonly seen used when drawing cars.

The box method

The box method

Draw in the details afterward.

Draw in the details afterward.

Demonstration Partly Using the Box Method

Below, you can see a video where I have drawn this gun-free hand, using a combination of this box method as the starting point so as to give the basic shape of the barrel and then build onto the barrel to create the rest of the gun. The video has been speeded up, so it is not very long and should help to further give you some idea of how this can be used.

Using Box Alignment

Box alignment can be used to draw a gun as well as anything else, really; if you look at the image below, I have drawn a box around the gun in red. This box snugly fits the outermost edges of the gun.

The blue lines that you can see directly line up with significant features of the gun and mark where they are in relation to these blue lines. If you follow the horizontal lines across the horizontal plane, you can see where they match up with the features on the gun, and the same applies to the vertical lines going down the page.

If you take an image of a gun or anything else you would like to draw, then you draw a box around the image. You can use the edge of the box to identify where different features of the gun go in relation to the edge of the box by working horizontally and vertically.

So long as the box on your drawing area is the same size or has the same dimensions as your box around the gun, then it will not matter if the box is bigger or smaller. You can still accurately draw your gun by identifying where everything goes in relation to the box.

The first video on this page is an example of me using this method to make my drawing.

Box alignment

Box alignment

You can use the edge of the box to identify where different features of the gun go in relation to the edge of the box by working horizontally and vertically.

You can use the edge of the box to identify where different features of the gun go in relation to the edge of the box by working horizontally and vertically.


If you practice this a little so you get confident, then you can simply use the edge of the piece of paper you are drawing onto without having to draw the box.

This is a good way of learning how to draw because as you practice it and get better at it, and you start to look both horizontally and vertically as you draw, which is how most professionally trained artists draw to get their drawings accurate. You will notice that when professionally trained artists draw, they don't draw a box around what they are drawing, they just draw it, and if you practice in this way, it helps a great deal in enabling you to draw like professionally trained artists do, eventually without boxes.

Thank you for reading my page about how to draw a gun, and I hope you found it helpful. If you did, please leave a comment below. If you have any questions about these methods I use to draw a gun or would like more clarification on anything, then please also leave a comment in the box below.


Gareth Pritchard (author) from North Wales on November 26, 2016:

Hi KRIPITA GOYAL, thank you, for taking the time I am happy it was useful to you, guns can be quite challenging to draw, all the best to your success.

Gareth Pritchard (author) from North Wales on February 28, 2015:

Hi MonkeyShine75, thank you on both counts, I am happy that you like my techniques for how to draw a gun.

Mara Alexander from Los Angeles, California on February 28, 2015:

I like your techniques, I also like this hub, and voted it up

Gareth Pritchard (author) from North Wales on March 24, 2013:

What is not giving any detail?

What could you possibly mean by detail?

It seems to me that your statement gives even less.

Thanks for taking the time anyway.

KORNEL on March 24, 2013:

They don't give us any detail

Gareth Pritchard (author) from North Wales on September 17, 2012:

Hi assimilated, thank you for the comment, I will tell you something that I find very interesting, the power of images.

An image is like an empty room there is nothing in there until we enter.

"Images dominate our lives.

They tell us how to behave.

What to think.

Or even how to feel.

They mold and define us, but why do these images, pictures, symbols and art, we see around us everyday, have such a powerful hold on us?"

( BBC, British Broadcasting Company documentary, how art made the world.)

Look it up on YouTube, very interesting, Thanks again, Gareth.

assimilated on September 17, 2012:

Very interesting. My partner is an artist, I have to show her this tutorial. But I believe she'll stay with her more "peaceful" drawings :-D

Thanks for sharing and putting so much work into this!

Gareth Pritchard (author) from North Wales on April 10, 2012:

Hi Georgina, thanks so much for your efforts in my cause, really.

I have used all of these methods at some time or other but I am not fond of the box method. It gets confusing for me, although it seems many do use it for drawing cars mostly.

Personally I don't have a method that I use all the time as such I just make it up as I go, probably because essentially I am self taught and draft from sight usually, even when scaling up. The last mural I did was the side of a smallish building and I did it by sight mostly, although having uniformed brickwork helped a lot as well, a bit like a grid.

I had a quick look at your pastel workshops, very nice and I will be going back, especially for the sky. The only teacher I ever really had, was great with pastels and did the most fabulous sky's, in fact most of his pictures where just sky's actually.

Thank you so much, Gareth.

Georgina Crawford from Dartmoor on April 10, 2012:

Very useful info you have here. i sometimes use the grid method, especially to scale up (I tend to work 'big'), but I've never used the box method. great hub. rating up and following you.

Gareth Pritchard (author) from North Wales on March 20, 2012:

Hi Annastaysia,

Thank you for your comment and I am happy you found it helpful and that you are in your words an inspired artist, as drawing is a very useful tool for an inspired artist. I have been drawing portraits for the past week so you might see some of them soon.

Thanks, Gareth.

Annastaysia from Wisconsin on March 20, 2012:

I tried and drew the gun and found that your information and picture were helpful. I'm an inspired artist too, and would enjoy to draw some more of your designs. Nice job.